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Old 02-12-2013, 11:21 PM
 
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With all of the concerns being raised over the possible detrimental health effects of artificial food colorings, such as red #40, has anyone experimented making red velvet desserts the old fashioned way--with beets and cocoa? How did it go? Challenges?

Just in time for V Day...
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:02 AM
 
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Good question! I don't bake or even eat red velvet desserts because of the dye.

When I was a teen and just starting to bake someone gave me their favorite recipe for red velvet cake, and one of the ingredients was a 2 ounce bottlr of red food coloring!

I was shocked and haven't ever eaten any red velvet dessert.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fibonacci View Post
With all of the concerns being raised over the possible detrimental health effects of artificial food colorings, such as red #40, has anyone experimented making red velvet desserts the old fashioned way--with beets and cocoa? How did it go? Challenges?

Just in time for V Day...
I haven't, but I don't often eat cake and haven't baked one in years. Frankly, I have no desire to eat a piece of Elmo red cake.

The Unknown History of Red Velvet Cake
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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I LOVE red velvet cake! I've made it a few times, and yes, it uses the entire bottle of red dye. i never thought about it, but how much red dye would a person have to eat to have issues?
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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In the past, a lot of Red Velvet Cake recipes used beets or beet juice to get the red coloring. Here are a few recipes:

Red Velvet Cake with Beets?! The Bake Cakery The Bake Cakery

All Natural Red Velvet Cake | sophistimom

A Kitschy Girl's Guide To Cupcakes and More: Red Velvet Cupcakes With A Twist

Hope this helps~ I've tried one and it was pretty good.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:50 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
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I can't think of any reason that cake has to be red. If you like the cake, make it without the dye. It won't change the taste or the texture of it.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Volcano
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I always thought the red dye was the only reason to make it. Other than the color, as the writer of: The Unknown History of Red Velvet Cake put it, it's just a mediocre cake.
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
I always thought the red dye was the only reason to make it. Other than the color, as the writer of: The Unknown History of Red Velvet Cake put it, it's just a mediocre cake.
Isn't that like saying cocaine is the only reason for Coca Cola? There are so many health issues associated with red food dye that I can't imagine putting 2 ounces of it into a cake a good idea.

I would use beet juice or not make it at all.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Volcano
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Originally Posted by missik999 View Post
Isn't that like saying cocaine is the only reason for Coca Cola?
Did you read the article? The cake recipe was distributed and popularized by the red dye company. The red dye WAS the reason for the cake, yes. Other than the color, I feel there's nothing outstanding about the cake. I've literally never had a piece of red velvet cake that impressed me, and I've often wondered why people even bother making it.

Quote:
There are so many health issues associated with red food dye that I can't imagine putting 2 ounces of it into a cake a good idea.
Maybe. It's a popular claim in alternative health circles. But in fact there's no substantial scientific evidence that it's not safe, which is why it is still on the market and widely used in thousands of consumer products.

Quote:
I would use beet juice or not make it at all.
I vote for "not make it at all." There are so many other cake recipes that taste a lot better.

Last edited by OpenD; 02-15-2013 at 07:28 AM..
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:44 AM
 
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The U.S. lags behind Great Britain in this matter. The government there has required companies to stop using dyes that are harmful and companies must label packages with warnings if artificial coloring is used.

In GB strawberry juice, beet juice, carrot juice, etc. are used to color foods.

Food dyes do nothing to improve the taste or quality of food, so it seems like an unnecessary risk to use them.
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