Thursday, September 10, 2009

Red Foods: An Expose

Red, and its derivatives purple and pink, are the stuff of little girl dreams. And, Belle’s dream is to incarnadine all that with which she comes in contact. Don’t believe me? Let’s ask Belle. (This interview contains elements that have been fictionalized b/c Belle’s mother has a valid poetic license.)

Mom: Dear Belle, what is your favorite color?
Belle: Red and pink and purple and orange.

Mom: But which one is your most favorite?
Belle: Red…and pink and purple and orange.

Mom: Why ?
Belle: What?

Mom: Remember when we ate this red cupcake? Was it good?
Belle: Yeah.

Mom: Why?
Belle: Because it is red.

Mom: Would it have been yummy if it wasn’t red?
Belle: It is red.

Mom: What about this cupcake? What part was yummy?
Belle: Yes. The red part was yummy.

Mom: How did you eat it? 
Belle: I licked my fingers.

Mom: And this cake?
Belle: Ohh, the pink cake.

Mom: What about this bread? Which one was most yummy?
Belle: The pink one.

Mom: Was the green yummy?
Belle: The pink one was yummy.

So for those of you who asked if the red velvet cake needed the red dye, apparently the two-year old votes yes. I was allergic to red dye as a child so I have never been a giant fan. But as red is in the name, it might be a better to pick a different kind of chocolate cake if you are dye abhorent. Since I only use it once in a great while, I figure whatever. Food stuffs can be a dye—vegan beet cake buttercream frosting on Cook & Eat's chocolate beet cake; red currant glaze; beet and tomato bread.

And, also if you asked how we made the red currant glaze, we splatted the berries in a mortar and pestle, strained that through a tea strainer, and then whisked in powdered sugar until the concoction was a thick paste. It was about 5 T of juice and 2-3 T of sugar, I believe. As to the beet and tomato bread, I will post them eventually.


lisaiscooking said...

I love the idea of using beets and currants for red coloring. I haven't tried it in red velvet cake, but I've been meaning to.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

EXCELLENT information! Thank you! And cute dialogue, haha :-D

Anonymous said...

Okay if I post the first part of the dialogue on my Tumblr? Too adorable not to share.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

This post is so cute.

Zoe said...

Sweet Maybelle!! I love red and pink foods too, they just look sweeter!

Heather S-G said...

Too Cute!! All of the red and pink food looks pretty nummy to me, too ;)

Anonymous said...

Aww, so cute! My daughter was all about pink up until recently; now that she is into Disney fairies, her color palette has expanded a bit and a favorite color is whatever the color of the fairy that she is pretending to be at the moment. The visual appeal of the food & colors are of course very significant. She actually has a close friend that is severely allergic to red dye.

Zoë said...

A wonderful exposé! Belle is adorable and well-opinionated and is very lucky to have a mother who can fulfill her red-pink-purple-orange fantasies. : ) Gorgeous.

Johanna GGG said...

very amusing post - and belle sounds just like kids I know - I loved purple not pink when I was little but I think all this baking would have delighted me then - and now!

~~louise~~ said...

Cute post MM.

My grandkids have also been known to consume by color. Tabi, all things pink. Noah is partial to brown.

grace said...

i like red- and pink-hued treats, but i much prefer when the coloring is natural! who wants ground up beetles in her food? :)

Reeni said...

This was a sweet post!

pam said...

I agree with Belle, foods in my favorite colors are always better!

Joanne said...

All of the red foods you featured look delicious! I adore red velvet cupcakes/cakes and that red currant glaze was gorgeous. It is definitely funny how little kids have predilections towards the most random things. You can never predict what they are going to like/dislike on a day-to-day basis.

In response to your comment, I think that I just used a bad recipe for the brownies. I also used homemade black beans instead of the ones in a can, so I think they were harder and didn't puree as well. You should make them - hopefully you will find a winner that we all can turn to.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Have you tried her on beetroot dip? It's very pink (and yummy).

Núria said...

Hola! I love the tale way of the post! It's simply delicious... both the dialog and the pictures :D. I think I agree with your little Belle!

FoodJunkie said...

Using naturally red foods for dye is just ingenious! I know you can't use beetroot in your red velvet cake. but for everything else it is good to know that it was not chemical dye. I hated unnaturally coloured foods as a kid and I still do, unless I know what they are made of. Your little one is so cute though and so lucky to have a baking obsessed mum!

Temperance said...

every one knows red tastes best, red M&Ms, red jello, red Kool-Aid, red apples, if your young enough red crayons....

Cate O'Malley said...

Sounds like she knows exactly what she wants - too cute!

Elizabeth said...

Ha!! I was just thinking about using up all the beets in the fridge (I keep buying them so we can have beet tops - j'adore beet tops!!) to make cake. I was thinking to just use our carrot cake recipe and use beets instead of carrots. But I thought I'd google to see if anyone had made beet cake. (Of course, the answer is yes.)

I love that your daughter likes food because it's red. I know a woman who didn't really care for the colour orange, simply because it WASN'T red.