the holiday table

December 12, 2011
Tis' the season for holiday parties galore... and what's a holiday party without good eats and sweet treats?  I'm so excited to share with you some holiday-inspired-yummies to help make your holiday a little bit tastier!  I'll be sharing some must-have recipes that I consider staples on my Holiday Table.
Floral design by Ash ; Tablescape by Camille

What traditional foods must you have when entertaining family and friends for the holiday? 
Stay tuned for the Holiday Table series...

red velvet cake {to-go round II}

A sure sign of a great weekend?  Five baking-burns scattering my hands and arms.  Here's to hoping you had an equally amazing weekend!  Part of the fun included these jar-baked-cakes.

My favorite cake without question is red velvet.   I attribute this particular cake to it's classic Southern roots and have always loved its light cocoa flavor and the cream cheese frosting.   To transform this cake into the perfect gift {and to bump up the Southern appeal}, I baked them in mason jars again.  
I had such an amazing weekend and have been working on some exciting things.  If you're a follower, you've likely seen many updates.  Stick around for some more delicious holiday recipes coming up this week! 
Red Velvet Cake 
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of table salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
1-1ounce bottle red food coloring
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar

For frosting: 
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups (16 ounces) confectioner's sugar
16 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of table salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt. 
  3. In separate bowl add buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and eggs and whisk to combine. 
  4. Sift cocoa into a small bowl the mix with food coloring until it forms a paste. 
  5. Beat butter and sugar together, in a standing mixer, set on medium for 2 minutes while scrape down sides of bowl. 
  6. Add 1/3 of flour mixture and and beat on medium speed just until it's incorporated. Add 1/2 the buttermilk mixture and beat on low until combined. Scrape down the bowl. Add 1/3 of flour mixture and beat on medium until incorporate. Add the rest of buttermilk mixture beat on low until combine. Add last 1/3 of flour mixture and beat on medium until just combined. Scrape down the bowl. 
  7. Add the cocoa paste mixture and beat on medium until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and make sure the bottom of the batter is incorporating as well. Give the batter a final good stir with a rubber spoonula to mix completely and pour into mason jars. 
  8. Bake in preheated oven about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  9. To prepare the frosting, beat butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes in a standing mixer. Add cream cheese1 piece at a time and beat until incorporate. Beat in vanilla and salt.  
  10. Pipe on completely cooled cakes. If frosting seems a bit too soft to pipe well, pop it in the fridge a few minutes to firm it up a little.