In the Kitchen with Paige…
Did You Know…?
Paige Turco‘s specialty is baking oatmeal/chocolate-chip cookies!
Paige Turco’s Recipe for Romance
You don’t have to be a member of the secret service to find the way to your Valentine’s heart … the trick is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. Paige Turco has blown her cover as CIA operative Terri Lowell on The Agency by interrogating her friends for the perfect way to melt the heart. The answer is red velvet cake: red for the color, velvet for its silky texture. Turco’s recipe comes from the mother of Lucas Black, whom Turco met while working on the series American Gothic in 1995. “His mom is from Alabama and I have some Southern friends who told me it was the best red velvet cake they’ve ever had. You cut it open and it’s bright red.” There’s an element of mystery behind the dessert’s history. Some believe it was created in the South, but its true origin may have been at the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. If a cake is too big a commitment, Turco also suggests slipping chocolate into something smaller, like oatmeal-chocolate cookies. “I could never eat an oatmeal-raisin cookie … there’s no chocolate in it,” she laughs. But if you’ve decided to go all the way, bake red velvet in a heart- shaped pan and don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to say “I love you” with a piece of cake.
RED VELVET CAKE
1/2 cup / 125 mL butter or shortening, softened
1 1/2 cups / 375 mL granulated sugar
1 tsp / 5 mL vanilla
2 bottles / 56 mL red food coloring
2 1/4 cups / 550 mL cake and pastry flour
3 tbsp / 45 mL cocoa
1 tsp / 5 mL salt
1 tsp / 5 mL baking soda
1 tbsp / 15 mL white vinegar
1 cup / 250 mL buttermilk
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 pkg (250g) cream cheese
1/4 cup / 50 mL butter
2 tsp / 10 mL vanilla
3 cups / 750 mL icing sugar
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar; add eggs, vanilla and red food coloring, mixing well. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, salt and soda. In a third bowl, mix together vinegar and buttermilk. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture to egg mixture, mixing until well blended. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch (23-cm) cake pans and bake in a 350-degree F (180- degree C) oven for 30 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean.
For Valentine’s Day, fill heart-shaped pans 3/4 full; use any leftover batter for cupcakes. Let cakes cool in pans for 5 to 10
minutes before turning out on racks to cool completely. When cool, frost one layer with Cream Cheese Frosting, top with second layer of cake and cover with remaining frosting. Makes 12 servings.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Cream together cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually add icing sugar, beating until frosting is smooth and creamy. Makes enough to frost 2 layers.
TV GUIDE – February 8-14, 2003