Writing this post is giving me a lot of feels.
You know red velvet? That not-quite-vanilla, not-quite-chocolate cake flavor filled with red 40 and often topped with cream cheese frosting? That other pet poodle of the food blog world which can be and has been added to everything from brownies to blondies to cookies to cheesecakes to pies to ungodly cool whip-cream cheese-cake mix shitdips to heaven knows what else?
Right now, you probably know what’s coming. The inevitable cynicism-ridden holier-than-thou word vomit declaring my scorn for such a plebeian pseudo-flavor—and you would be right in thinking that, because for a long time I have deemed such food coloring-inspired baked goods to be beneath my sensibilities. I argued that it wasn’t a flavor so much as a color. I argued that there was good reason so many “red velvet”-flavored recipes called for cake mix: because only commercial manufacturers had access to the elusive and top-secret red velvet powder harvested in Madagascar that gave the cake its unique flavor, thus ensuring that amateurs like myself couldn’t replicate it outside of a store-bought mix. I believed in a conspiracy.
But one day, while I was perusing Pinterest, I stumbled across a mug of thick, creamy, luscious red velvet hot chocolate. It was love at first sight.
There is only one other hot chocolate recipe on this blog (and a pretty mediocre one at that), but do not doubt Baby June’s love of hot chocolate. That magical beverage is what causes me to gain a hundred pounds and my wallet to run dry in the colder seasons—you know, since you can’t really stay away from Dunkin Donuts’ hot cocoa selection when winter rolls around. And don’t even get me started on Starbucks. That little green lady loves it when you spend five bucks on sixteen ounces of sugar.
|Haha FUCK YOU. source|
Needless to say, I have never passed up the opportunity to try a new flavor of hot chocolate. I even tried that red velvet latte at Dunkin Donuts once (and as expected, it tasted like liquid sugar).
|No, I wasn't kidding. This is how we roll in America. source|
I didn’t end up making that recipe I saw a while back, but it did put a spark in my mind. How could I capture the magical flavor of the Malagasy red velvet bean using the supplies in my own pantry? How to make a beverage that tastes like cake in a glass?
Well, we all know that red velvet is somewhat chocolaty and somewhat vanilla-y, not too strong either way; so it was a simple enough decision to use a white hot chocolate recipe (given that white chocolate mostly tastes like vanilla anyway). I then added a little bit of cocoa powder and a shit-ton of red food coloring to finish it off.
And you know what? It ain’t half bad. Pretty damn good actually.
|Even though it kinda looks like a murder scene.|
I wouldn’t say it tastes like liquid cake, per se, but it does capture the “red velvet” flavor pretty well. The texture is nice and velvety thanks to the coconut milk, and even more so if you add a dollop of coconut whipped cream as I did.
Now, if you really wanted it to taste like cake, you could stir in some cake crumbs or whatever. But I’m just speculating. Don’t take my word for it.
Here’s the recipe.
Red velvet white hot chocolate
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
244 grams • nondairy milk • 1 cup
240 grams • full-fat coconut milk • 1 cup
113 grams • nondairy white chocolate, chopped • 4 ounces
5 grams • cocoa powder • 1 tablespoon
4 grams • red food coloring • 1 teaspoon
4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon
Combine nondairy milk, coconut milk, chopped white chocolate, and cocoa powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer—do NOT boil—and cook until the white chocolate has melted and ingredients are well-combined. Let cool for a minute after removing from heat, then stir in vanilla and red food coloring. Adjust the amount of food coloring to your taste. Serve with coconut whipped cream. Try not to drink the whole batch at once.
|Notice how the presidential signature mug makes me look well-educated and worldly.|
Wait. So you wanna know why else this post is giving me the feels?
Because it’s hot chocolate. Which means it’s hot. Which means it is not a cool, refreshing beverage for those steamy summer days when you could be stark naked and sweating and you have really awkward sandal tans and sunburns behind your ears. Not so.
This is the beginning of winter, people. Hide yo kids, because I know I’m going to.
Unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, in which case you can ignore the three preceding paragraphs.