Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas – Wishing you Holly and Red Velvet Cake!

What could be merrier for the celebration of Christmas than a bright red layer cake decked out in snowy white icing?

Red Velvet Cake is a classic Southern Retro Cake – equal parts gentility and bodacious attitude. It’s a fine finish to a day of Southern-style holiday feasting. Oddly enough, despite its popularity in the South, some sources trace the origin of the Red Velvet Cake to New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the 1920s, and there is a recipe for “Velvet Cake” contained in the 1896 edition of the Boston Cooking-School Cookbook.

The cake just barely manages to upstage my Paula Deen “Old Fashioned Holiday Glazed Ham” studded with festive bling – glittering pineapple slices and maraschino cherries – which I served as the main course for Christmas dinner.

The recipe for Red Velvet Cake comes from the Lee Bros. – Matt and Ted Lee – who I got to meet at the International Chefs Congress in New York in September. They are two super nice guys who have truly written the book on Southern cooking. As expected, the ruby-red batter is velvety-smooth, and the addition of orange zest and buttermilk gives the cake a nice Southern “twang.”

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night, y’all!

©2009 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


Kalyn said...

Your cake is gorgeous. I'm not sure I've ever had red velvet cake, but it sure does look pretty!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Looks like the perfect Southern meal. I'd be so tempted to eat dessert first.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Merry Christmas to you too. Don't you just love the Lee Brothers cookbook? It's so full of wonderful southern things and the stories they tell of Charleston are fun too. I heard that they live in NYC.

I had no idea the Red Velvet cake was from the interesting. I've never made a Red Velvet cake and don't remember them in the south during my childhood, although you see them everywhere now.

doggybloggy said...


Julia said...

I love red velvet cake!

Your ham looks great, too! And I would probably go for that first. But it reminds me of Hawai-ian pizza. I wonder where the link between the two exsists... do you know?

~~louise~~ said...

What a beauty of a ham, T.W. I can never get my pineapples to sit so "purty."

I'm sure your dinner was delicious. Your Red Velvet Cake is the Pièce de résistance!

Thanks for sharing, back to packing:)

Lori Lynn said...

My oh my that ham looks amazing. Hope you had a very merry Christmas!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Wow! These are two very impressive dishes. On my list, is to make my first red velvet cake. I'm such a fan of pineapple and maraschino cherries (I don't care what people say about red dye!). Everything looks so festive. Here's looking to a wonderful New Year of sharing one another's favorite dishes!


Giff said...

Happy holidays TW :) Have a great new year!

veron said...

What a lovely red velvet cake, and I love ham with pineapple. Hope you had a great Christmas, T.W.!

Fresh Local and Best said...

This is such a festive and beautifully crafted cake. I've heard so much about the different versions of red velvet, so it's great to know that the Lee Brothers version is successful. The ham looks great too!

I hope you had a fabulous Christmas!