Betty was my buddy. I don’t care what anyone says, I still believe there was a real Betty Crocker (okay, maybe not – she was actually the brainchild of a home economist named Marjorie Husted who developed Betty into the iconic home-helper for General Mills). But I don’t care. Betty was the pal who hung out in my kitchen all through my college years – at least in the pages of my now grease-stained, ripped, dog-eared, duct-taped Betty Crocker Cookbook. That thing made me a rock star with the boys! Jan’s kitchen was the best place ever for my hungry guy pals. I owe a lot of it to Betty, especially the bread pudding recipe that you can’t find online these days. I guess through the years, General Mills, Marjorie Husted, or whoever changed up the recipe, perhaps to make it simpler. But none are quite as tasty as the Deluxe Bread Pudding on page 188. Yes, I still remember what page it’s on, after all these years. I’ve added an extra egg and a few minor changes here and there – like using a blender – but the basic recipe is right here. Betty would be so proud of me, and she’d be thrilled that I’m passing it along to you. I’ve included a very simple Brandy Sauce to go with it.
Is it one of the most Googled recipes? At last check, there were 563,000 sites for Red Velvet Cake, with it’s dramatic, deep burgundy layers of chocolate decadence. That’s a lot of places to search for the signature sweet that originated in the 1920’s at America’s grand hotel of luxury and elegance, the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.
But you can quit clicking, because we have the original right here.
It’s not the version that’s loaded with tons of red food coloring and very little flavor (you’ll find plenty of those in your search). This is the authentic and luscious Red Velvet Cake right from the Waldorf-Astoria Cookbook, given to us by the hotel’s executive chef, John Doherty (who is, by the way, the youngest chef ever to head the hotel’s three restaurants and exquisite room service, long known as the Waldorf-Astoria’s crown jewels).
But Chef Doherty has been at the helm for more than 20 years now, and has said that despite the attempts around the globe to improve this classic recipe (with little success, red velvet cake aficionados tell him), the hotel continues to serve it in it’s pure form. Chef, we love this cake. Here’s to the next 100 years of Rescuing Red Velvet!