I tried making a Red Velvet cake which turned out so dry -- that one called for 1/2 c. Crisco -- I made half a recipe with the Crisco and half a recipe with butter -- they tasted almost exactly the same -- like cardboard.
(I had not used Crisco for years. I had forgotten how much I detest it. I think I will toss the rest of the can out, but not sure how to do it since it may be really bad for the environment to toss it in the trash.... How do I get rid of it? Burn it?) (Anyway, I found out that butter worked just as well as the Crisco did).
Now, my friend from Guam gave me a recipe for red wedding cake... almost identical ingredients but it calls for 1 1/2 c. of vegetable oil and self-raising flour. I'm about to try it, but I don't have self-raising flour. On the internet I read that you can make your own by placing 1 1/2 t. baking powder and 1/2 t. salt in a cup and spooning in enough flour to fill the cup. Level it off and mix it up in a bowl or sift it before use. Makes 1 cup. HOWEVER: all the experiences I read about were from people making fritters, corn bread, pancakes and things like that. No one had used this in a cake recipe. Does anyone have any experience with this?
The third substitution concerning this cake: The recipe calls for two 1 ounce bottles of red food color -- these run $4.50 each at Safeway near our house (2 ounces total at $9) ... really expensive. I can get red food color paste for $1.50 an ounce at Walmart, Michaels, or a cakery (which is far-- but they have the same paste). I was thinking that the paste is probably more concentrated and I may only need 1 ounce of the paste and mix it with 1 ounce of water to make 2 ounces of liquid. Has anyone had any experience with substitution of paste for liquid? Do I use half as much (1 ounce and 1 ounce of water) or the same amount (2 ounces)?
I really appreciate any answers I can get on this.