What is that, velvet?

Is it the devilish color, or the exotic chocolate, but not so chocolate flavor, or is it the fact that it's just darn good that makes "Scarlet" (red velvet) my number one order? Since the brith of Babycakes Couture red velvet cupcakes are the most requested items. So much so that my kiddies are tired of the leftovers. So I asked myself, what is it that people love about this cake? I had to think back to when I was first introduced to the Red Velvet cake. I was preggers, so it may not have been as good as I thought is was, none the less, it was love at first bite.
There was a woman at my old job who just loved to feed me, and again, I was preggers so I didn't protest; don't judge me. I would come in in the morning and there would be presents left on my desk. Well one morning there was this odd looking red cake, three layers, wrapped in saran wrap. I had never seen anything like it before and the scent that was seeping out of the wrapping was irresistable. That morning baby and I had cake for breakfast. I devoured that cake and started smashing the crumbs together with my finger so that I could eat them too. I immediately went to her desk to find out what the heck it was that i had just eaten, and when I could get more. It was probably the best cake I had ever tasted. That is until my version of it was born.
So what is it?
I polled a few of my customers and the feed back was pretty consistant. Most people associate the red velvet cake with the south, rightfully so, and it is nostalgic for them. As the majority of the people in the Philadelphia are have relatives, grandparents and such, who relocated here form the southern states years ago. They recall, having eaten red velvet cake on special occasions when these older family members would bake it. My grandmother is from the south as well and I can truly relate to that feeling, however she never made us red velvet cake. I'm going to have to inquire about that. Other customers enjoy my red velvet cake in particular because of it's moistness and the light flavor of my cream cheese icing. A lot of the red velvet I have come across have been dry and crumbly where, not to toot my own horn, but mine is more moist and rich, which apparently people like. Also one customer stated that the light chocolate flavor was what she like about it, because she doesn't like chocolate. I think that is the key. It has this familiar flavor that you just can't put your finger on, it's the chocolate. Too much and it will just be a red chocolate cake, and you don't want that.
So where did this delighful dessert come from? Surely it didn't just fall from the heavens.
I couldn't seem to find the origin of the recipe, but it seems as if it was a variation of the Devils Food cake of the 1900's, which also had a red tint to it, but it was very faint. This is said to be a result of the reaction of the acids in the vinegar and the buttermilk with the chocolate. Ahh, the science of baking. I also found that they used to color the red velvet cake with cooked beets. Now, I'll take my veggies in a carrot cake, but I'm seriously going to pass on the beets in my cake. Glad they stuck with red food coloring.
So that's your cake lesson for the day.
Here's a few pics of the Red Velvet cupcake I ate for breakfast today that inspired this post.
And NO, I'm not preggers!
Sorry about the quality. My camera is acting all kinds of stupid.