This is a gorgeous cake. Classic. Almost too beautiful to eat. But why would someone use red food coloring in a cake? Well, in the old days, they kind of chocolate they used turned a reddish color when baked, but I guess they don't make that kind of chocolate anymore and so they improvised with the food coloring. It's not totally a chocolate cake either anymore. But it's so good good good! Certainly good to look at. Serves 8.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or cake flour for a finer texture)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk
1 oz red food coloring
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp white vinegar
For the frosting:
8 oz softened cream cheese (add a half block if you need it)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift your flour and salt together, and set aside. I just use a regular strainer and dump the flour through it into a bowl, shaking it through, then I shake the salt through that too, and use a wire whisk to give it a quick mix. This is to introduce air into your flour and to make a finer cake, plus gets rid of clumps for easier blending.
Cream your shortening (that's just mashing/beating it enough to make it a creamy consistency), and add your eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add then the cocoa, food coloring, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix well.
Now add in the sifted flour and salt gradually, till everything is in there and mix on medium for about a minute or so, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula to blend it all in.
You take your vinegar, put it in a small bowl and add your baking soda. It's gonna fizz and pop a bit, just so you know. Pour that into your batter and mix for another minute. The consistency will change, becoming more light and airy.
Pour your batter into 3 8-inch round cake pans, sprayed with nonstick spray or greased with shortening, so the cake won't stick to the pan. A dusting of flour over the shortening is gonna be helpful too. Bake that for about 30 minutes, then stick a fork into it. If it doesn't come out clean, it's not done. Check in 10 minute increments thereafter until that fork comes out clean. When done, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then run a butter knife along the edges of the pan and invert onto a cooling rack. Let cool for about 3 hours.
For the frosting, mix the cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and coconut flakes till smooth. The smoother, the easier it is to spread.
To assemble, get one cake layer, put it on a plate, spread on an even layer of frosting, then add another cake layer, do it a second time and add the 3rd cake layer. Then cover the entire cake with frosting, over and around. It is a little tricky at first, but will get easier once you get the hang of it. You can even use a regular butter knife to frost your cake. Paper towels are handy.
This is the result.
When sliced this is it.
Here, have some.
About 16 points a slice. Respectable. So worth it though!