This was my first attempt on the red velvet, and I shouldn't have tried this for a present on the first try. It is not forgiving at all. I did increase the sugar by 1/2 cup and only put in 1 oz of red food coloring as the reviews suggested, and I used dutch-processed cocoa powder (I knew that the color wouldn't turn out right, but I didn't have the regular kind). The batter had a funny odor before baking (probably due to the vinegar), and while it went away after baking, the result didn't smell much better. The smell, along with the cocoa ribbons all over the cakes, reminded me of cheap dessert-scented candles. Although the recipe says to bake the cakes for 30 minutes, my batch took a little longer, with one of the cakes getting baked at 40 minutes and the other somewhere between 46 and 48. The latter was over-baked as I took it out of the oven at a 50-minute mark and it showed: an inch-thick dry, tough ring. Both of the cakes did have a thin crust on top. I tasted a broken bit of the crust, and the cake was flavourless. Just saccharine. I am now frantically searching for a quick cake recipe as a replacement.
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This was my first attempt on the red velvet, and I shouldn't have tried this for a present on...