I'm intrigued by the Red Velvet Cupcakes. I like the idea, but not the dye. Hmmmm. I have been reading all about the different recipes online, and saw you could make them with beets. I found in my research some bad reviews using the beets . Earthy tasting did not sound appetizing (dirt? yuck!). So I continued on my research, and it turns out that regular cocoa, milk and baking soda tend to turn a chocolate cake slightly reddish. Was this the original Red Velvet? It seems no one is really sure. It became popular in the 50's and is known as a Traditional Southern Recipe. I wish I could ask my grandmother, being a southern woman, maybe she would have known!! Anyway there are a lot of interesting stories out there!
As for me, I decided to forgo the bottle of red dye and just make delicious, yummy, chocolate cupcakes with regular cocoa, (not dutch processed cocoa) to see how it would go. I did not use a recipe with milk or baking soda, so maybe it would have been more pronounced if I had. The problem with milk is it tends dilute the chocolate flavor and make it more bitter. I went for more flavor, and less color.
Here you can see the crumb is quite good and if you look left you can see a slight reddish tint from the Hershey's cocoa powder, not the dark chocolate look the dutch cocoa gives. Not really red by any stretch, however, anyway you slice it, it's a wonderful combination.
These were given to my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Mike as a gift for watching my girls. Thanks Y'all!
Hope you like 'em! :)