This weekend, my recipe for Garlic Cream Cheese with Sundried Tomatoes and Chives Dip was not the hit of our party.
Instead, the talk of the party were these:
Red Velvet Cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and a slice of strawberry. They even were wrapped in decorative red-striped paper and set atop a polka-dot tiered serving tray. They looked amazing. And they tasted incredible.
There were more cupcakes than people, but nearly every cupcake was eaten. I don’t think Red Velvet Cake is a regular dessert in Australia, and these created quite a sensation.
I experienced a collision of emotions.
A few years ago I baked a Red Velvet Cake for a Christmas party, but with less success. I had never baked a red cake before, and I think I got carried away with the red food coloring. I topped my round cake with thick, white chocolate frosting.
“Everybody! Eat my cake! I made it myself!”
I proudly positioned my cake on the dessert table so that, as people began to select a dessert, they would be tempted by my cake. I even sliced away a chunk of the cake so that people could see that this was no ordinary cake, this was a RED VELVET cake!
That was probably my mistake. The cake was red, but it was too red. It was the nauseating color of dark red blood pooling from a fresh, deep wound.
It did not look tempting. And it did not look Christmassy.
From a distance, the dessert table seemed to display a human head centerpiece suffering a fatal head wound, surrounded by festive plates of cookies and brownies.
As time went by, I watched from across the room as other desserts were selected for plates and my Red Velvet Cake was ignored.
My cake just sat there, bleeding and alone, until the end of the party when I had to take the entire thing home. No one had tried even a single bite.
Since then, out of childish bitterness, I have never tried to bake a Red Velvet anything, nor have I ever eaten someone else’s.
However, last night I indulged and, I have to admit, the Red Velvet cupcakes were yummy!
Just not as good as mine.