'red velvet' on Serious Eats

Red Velvet Pancakes from the Buttermilk Truck in Los Angeles

If you needed an excuse to eat cupcakes for breakfast, here you go. The red velvet pancakes from the Buttermilk Truck, which serves breakfast and late-night food around the Los Angeles area, are essentially cupcakes, but flat. Even the cream cheese butter is more like frosting than actual butter. They're fluffy, cakey, insanely moist, and filled with chocolate chips, a nod to red velvet's usual cocoa element, that melt inside like a fresh-from-Mama's-oven Toll House cookie. More

The Scarlet Batter

Slate's Daniel Engber wonders why we praise El Bulli's Ferran Adrià for using xanthan gum but recoil at the use of FD&C Red No. 40 in red velvet cake, and says our aversion to artificial coloring makes no sense: If the artificial colors are as safe as natural ingredients and they don't taste bad, then why should we avoid them? The gastronome might argue that the chemical dyes impart a color that's unappetizing on its own terms. The garish brilliance of red velvet cake has no referent in nature; it's disgusting because it's fake. Natural dyes, on the other hand, can make food look wholesome and real, by restoring our ingredients to their natural state. If a stalk of rhubarb... More

NYT Dining Section Roundup: A Wine Collector, Red Velvet Cake, and Paul Bocuse

Florence Fabricant explains why over 300 people (including 80 chefs) flew into Monte Carlo from all over the world to spend this past weekend commemorating the 80th birthday of the chef Paul Bocuse in Celebrating the Ringmaster of the Restaurant Circus: "Before chefs had their own TV shows and million-dollar book deals, when today’s international obsession with chefs and restaurants was in its infancy, Mr. Bocuse was on the cover of Time magazine as the champion of nouvelle cuisine. People knew his name when they could name no one else who worked in a kitchen. "He made it possible for chefs to be respected international celebrities,” said the New York restaurateur Drew Nieporent. "And he made haute cuisine popular. His... More

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