Alternative for Red Food Dye... - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-07-2008, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister just phoned and is making a Red Velvet Cake - I've never heard of this before but apparently it requires large amounts of red food dye... She was wondering if there is a natural alternative - I suggested berries but thought it may alter the taste... so, I'm asking here, does such a thing exist??

Robin
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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Red Velvet Cake traditionally uses a LOT of dye. I think you'd have a hard time getting that color -- it's a vibrant red -- with anything natural without altering the taste. It's a chocolate cake, so you have to color the already-brown cake bright red, and I think berries (or beets, which are also used for dyeing food sometimes) would be too overpowering/screw up the recipe, kwim?
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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I agree with VikingKvinna. Red Velvet Cakes are one of my grandmother's specialties. I really don't there would be ANY way to get around using red dye and still having a real red velvet cake. She could just leave it out and have a "brown velvet" cake instead. Red Velvet cake does taste different from regular chocolate cake - less cocoa, and usually contains buttermilk - and usually has a yummy cream cheese icing.

Man, I want some cake now!
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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I tried making a red velvet cake with beets. It was a disaster and tasted like dirt (in true beet fashion). Maybe the mix would have less food coloring:
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:41 AM
 
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Weird double post.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:00 PM
 
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You can get a beet-based natural food color at Whole Foods. Maybe that would work?
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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I wonder if using pureed raspberries would work - beautiful deep red color and chocolate and raspberries make a wonderful combination!
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tips... We are in Canada so we dont have whole foods, but I'll ask my LFS about the Natural Red food dye! I found this recipe online and sent it to her - I hope it doesnt end up tasting like dirt... I imagine it will be sweet because beet juice is fairly sweet!

http://www.thehealers.org/food/redvelvet.html
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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Hibiscus flowers make a vibrant red dye.

Steep a handful in hot water just to cover until the water cools. You'll get a bright red dye.

I can get hibiscus in the bulk herb section of my local HFS, it's used as a flavoring agent for a lot of teas.

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