RED VELVET COCKTAIL

From The Salt Exchange.

Most red velvet cocktails begin with the obvious — a cake — or cupcake-flavored vodka. Steve Lovenguth, bartender at The Salt Exchange, wanted to stay away from that, so he started with vanilla vodka and then used other ingredients to give this cocktail its red velvet flavor and color.

To serve the drink, he took a little of the cream cheese frosting from the chef’s cake, thinned it out a little, and piped it around the rim of a martini glass. Then he mixed some beet juice with plain crystallized sugar and let it dry out. When it was ready, he dipped the rim of the glass into the pink sugar.

For the cocktail, mix together:

2 ounces Three Olives Vanilla Vodka

1½ ounces Godiva original chocolate liqueur

½ ounce creme de cacao

1 ounce beet juice

 

RED VELVET CAKE WITH BEETS

From The Salt Exchange.

Yield: Two 8-inch rounds 

2 cups shredded red beets, simmered in 1 cup water and ½ cup of lemon juice and pureed

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder, natural

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon salt

2 eggs, whole

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup vegetable oil

Combine all the dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Combine all liquid ingredients in a separate bowl, including beet puree, mix well.

Combine wet and dry ingredients, mix thoroughly.

Prepare the cake pans with a light coating of vegetable oil and dust with flour.

Pour equal parts cake batter in each pan and place in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool on racks 5 minutes.

Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.

Ice cake.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup butter, room temperature

4 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

Combine sugar, heavy cream and extracts in bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment.

Add cream cheese and butter to mixing bowl and, at lowest setting, incorporate the mixture.

Increase the speed and whip until slightly fluffy.