It's always an exciting day when a new magazine comes in the mail, and I probably look forward to Southern Living the most. So when I checked the mail and spied the new issue, I was already excited. But then I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the cover. Red. Velvet. Berry. Cobbler. For real. Smith and Caroline were both napping, otherwise I would have dragged them to the grocery store and bought everything I needed right then and there.
I used to be one of those poor, misguided people who doesn't like red velvet cake. I thought it just tasted like a chocolate cake that needed more chocolate. I guess it turns out that I never had a good one - because one day it all changed for me when I tried a REAL red velvet cake. It's slightly chocolatey, yes. But with less sugary sweetness, and a subtle tang from the buttermilk. So the slightly chocolatey flavor just enhances the buttermilk. And the buttermilk enhances the chocolate. It's a symbiotic relationship at its best. And it's so fun to "red velvet-ize" other desserts: brownies, cheesecake, oreos... the works.
Never in a million years would I have thought to red velvet-ize cobbler though. But why not? Red velvet goes really well with sweet berries, and look how pretty it is! Any combination of berries can be used - I used raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Strawberries or cherries would work really well too, I think. It takes about 5 minutes to prep for the oven, and then an excruciating hour to smell it cooking, but it's well worth the wait. I served this in little mason jars, but I think it would be super adorable to actually cook individual servings in mason jars. How fun would that be for a Fourth of July party? However you choose to serve it though, ice cream is not optional. Vanilla was great, but if you are feeling super ambitious, cheesecake ice cream would be a killer combination with the cobbler. Happy Fourth!
Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler
Southern Living, July 2012
serves 6 to 8
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
- pinch of salt
- 6 cups assorted fresh berries
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbs red food coloring
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 11x7 inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt. Toss in the berries and gently mix to combine. Spoon into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
With an electric mixer beat the butter at medium speed until fluffily, Add the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar in a slow steady stream, continuing to beat until it's well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the red food coloring and vanilla and mix until just combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
In a liquid measuring cup that measures at least 1 1/2 cups, combine the buttermilk, vinegar, and baking soda and stir to combine. It will bubble and rise (yay, science!).
Beginning and ending with the flour, alternate mixing the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until just combine, then spread the batter over the berries.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving.