Who comes up with these?

You know that I am automatically drawn to the absurd.  The slightly offbeat is a lode stone for me.  And that I have a slightly offbeat sense of humor (and a sense of humor should never be wasted).  And that it is always a GOOD bad idea for me to be allowed to collaborate with people with like-minded DERANGED humor. 

In my perusal of the National Days (and you know there is something for each day of the year), much to my shock and amusement, I found that September 2nd was National Beheading Day.  I kid you not.  Go a"head" and Google it - you know you want to. 

I really don't know who ever comes up with stuff like this.  Seriously???  National Beheading Day???  But far be it from me to argue.  Fortunately, I am not the only nutcase sane person who is easily amused by things like this.  And it was easy enough to find another wacky soul cohort who believed that even though we did not understand it... we must celebrate it... 

The image that this day conjured up was that of Alice in Wonderland - you know, the Queen of Hearts and her famous cry "off with her head".  So along that theme, we decided to celebrate with headless muffins and red-velvet cake.  (Hey, any excuse for cake and muffins, you know?)  I wish I had a shot of her muffins, because they were really clever.  She has a white batter on the outside and filled them with a mixed-berry batter that came out pink.  Really cool effect. 

Now, I am one of those people who never has understood the appeal for red-velvet cake.  I just don't get it.  It looks kind of cool, but it doesn't really taste like anything to me.  Fortunately, my baking buddies at KAF had a recipe for Red Velvet Cake which I only slightly modified (I increased the amount of cocoa by a tablespoon and added a tablespoon of espresso granules to heighten the flavor of the chocolate. 

I was a little mortified when I saw that the recipe called for a quarter cup of red food dye.  REALLY????  But it all worked out okay in the end.  I feel compelled to mention that liquid food dye is almost impossible to find these days.  The only things they sell in the store are multi-packs of food coloring GEL.  Fortunately, I had a couple of mostly full bottles of red dye from Christmas's past and I added a little gel to get the extra color and topped it with an extra 1/8 of a cup of buttermilk to make sure the liquids were good. 

I topped the cake with an creamy boiled icing that used granulated sugar.  It was very creamy.  Although, I am sure that a traditional buttercream or cream cheese frosting would have been great too. 

The verdict: the cake was moist and visually appealing.  It tasted fine, but it didn't really have any flavor that jumped out at me.  I guess I am just too much of a Yankee to understand the appeal. 

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