Follow by Email

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Red Velvet 101

One of the questions I hear the most at the shoppe is what is Red Velvet? What flavour is it and why is it red?

Red Velvet is a type of cake with southern origins from the 20's, ranging in colour from bright red to brownish red. The reddish-brown color of the cake originally was from a reaction of the cocoa powder with an acidic ingredient usually buttermilk, While cocoa powder contains anthocyanins (red vegetable pigments) they are only red in the presence of acids.

If you have ever made red velvet without colour you will understand that this natural process does not produce a very appetizing colour. Hence red food coloring is often added now in the form of a paste for a more dramatic effect. I believe that the red food dye also contributes to the distinct flavour of the cake.

Red Velvet is usually always paired with some version of a cream cheese icing or frosting. But I once read about an illusive tail that back in the 30's it was actually layered and iced with a icing made of flour named Ermine. After doing more research I have learned that Ermine frosting is basically a boiled milk icing, sometimes referred to as “Butter Roux”, although that is not technically correct, since it is not based on a roux. Ermine frosting is simply a different method of making a Butter Cream using the gluten in flour and casein in milk to create a suspension, instead of the albumen in egg whites like Swiss and Italian Butter Cream or an emulsion like the egg yolks in a French Butter Cream… This is all a little technical but I feel its important to understand the roots of the very popular cake. I have yet to try making this type of icing. I understand it does not require refrigeration and has a very smooth, soft and creamy texture.

I'm not sure how we got from this icing to the now loved cream cheese icing that is usually paired with red velvet but my suspicions are that the tang in cream cheese is perfectly paired with this acidic somewhat bland cake. I feel that red velvet cake is just the white sandwhich bread for peanut butter sandwiches. Pair red velvet with a plain vanilla icing or butter Creme and you will understand its just not the same without the cream cheese icing or frosting.

Important dates for Red Velvet Cake
1989: Steel Magnolias grey armadillo groom’s cake with a deep blood red center
2002: Official Wedding Cake of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s lavish wedding
2007: The Wedding Cake Shoppe adds Red Velvet to their wedding cake and cupcake menu
2010: Red Velvet becomes as popular as Vanilla cake, the most traditional flavour to date*

*Vanilla will always be the yummiest flavour ever discovered to me.

The last thing I wanted to include here is the alternative to adding red food colour to the batter to intensify the red colour of the cocoa powder. Most people have asked me if you can get the same results with beet juice. The answer to this is, no. Adding beet juice will make the cake a darker purplish colour and will make the cake taste a little like, beets. Adding beet puree seems like the best way to add the most intense amount of colour, but you may as well call it beet velvet. Don't get me wrong, I love beets. I'm just a purist. So keep it simple-no colour or colour but save the veggies for carrot cake.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Harbourfront Fantasy Strawberry Shortcake Competition

We were so excited when we were asked by Harbourfront Center to participate in a live cake decorating competition during there strawberry festival over Canada Day long weekend. The theme was simple. Strawberries. Inside and out. We decided to go with a retro design on the outside and a very traditional vanilla bean cake with a decadent vanilla bean buttercream and tons of fresh sliced strawberries on the inside. So Yummy.

The rules were, you could bring your cake masked and covered due to time constraints. We pre-made half of our sugar hand sculpted strawberries and did the rest live in front of the audience and cameras. Are opponent was Ayoma of Ayoma cake masterpieces.

After an exciting few hours of cake decorating and answering questions from the audience and judges it was finally time to do the tasting and judging portion of the competition. We patiently wait for the winner to be announced and its us!!!.

Thanks so much to everyone at RedPath Sugar for sponsoring the competition and giving us lot of sugar to make our cakes with. We had tons of fun!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Happy Long Weekend!

Here's a pic of a airplane cupcake we made yesterday.
It's always a fun day when we get to make something special for a client.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our Favourite Floral Cakes

Spring is finally here! Flowers are blooming which means it's the start of wedding season. Here are a few of our favourite floral cakes.

Friday, May 13, 2011

We love Scrabble too!

We love Scrabble and we love a cute couple.

A few months ago, our upstairs neighbour Eddy purchased a pair of Boo Dolls from our shoppe. He used them to propose to his lovely girlfriend Saara.

Naturally, she said YES and they asked us to make their wedding cake.

We had so much fun making this special Scrabble cake and cupcakes for their big day.

Congrats to Saara and Eddy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our Favourite Boy Cakes!

Here at The Wedding Cake Shoppe we make stunning feminine cakes. We also make pretty awesome male themed cakes. Although it seems a bit harder to do. Always more research for sure. I have compiled my favourite boy cakes we have made this past year. The thomas the train cake we made for Ushers sons birthday while he was touring the past summer.

This cake was for a guinea pig named squeak's funeral. The couple that ordered it were so sweet. He was red velvet and cream cheese icing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Baked Creation: The Wedding Cake Shoppe

Thanks so much to A baked Creation for creating such a lovely blog on our Shoppe. They dropped by on Valentines Day to take home some cupcakes. Valentines day was with out a doubt our busiest day ever!

A Baked Creation: The Wedding Cake Shoppe: "Our second stop during our pre-Valentine's Day weekend: The Wedding Cake Shoppe 859 College Street Toronto, ON M6H 1A1 (416) 916-2253 The..."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Purse Cakes have made a comeback!

I Made our first purse cake about 5 years ago. Since then I have seen a steady increase in interest for these yummy handbags. Here are some of the highlights of our favourite purse cakes. Everything in the photos is edible. Of course!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Highlights of our Valentines Window 2011!

We will be changing our window to Easter/Spring this upcoming week. Here are some highlights of the cakes and treats that have been in the window this past month and a half.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Family Day!

Happy Family Day!

Just wanted to post a few pictures of recent kids birthday cakes! Seems like the first one is extra special here at the Shoppe!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thank You! Yes, you!

It's Customer Appreciation Day this Saturday the 19th at the Shoppe. Drop by between 11-5 for some delicious treats!

See you soon!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our First Post

This is our first post! (Even though I signed this blog up almost a year ago) Things at the Shoppe are always so hectic that it is hard to find time to write or even reflect all on the cakes and cute thing that we make. I thought I would start with some lady bug cupcakes we made this Valentines day weekend. The gentleman that bought them called us the next day to say that we had to make another dozen for someone who was at the party that couldn't stop talking about them. Sarah made these fondant covered cupcakes (twice!)