Sunday, March 10, 2013

Red Velvet Horse

Early Graves is a band from San Francisco that combines the best elements of a lot of stuff. They're Hardcore, Punk, Grind, and kinda Thrashy, with a sprinkle of Swedish Death Metal on top. I don't know if one genre can adequately sum them up, but I do know this: They're awesome, and I love them.
I liked Goner a lot, but I really, really love Red Horse. I must have listened to that album at least 80 times on repeat when I first got it. It made elbowing my way onto the subway in the morning, a whole lot more enjoyable.

They finished recording Red Horse two years to the day that their original vocalist Makh Daniels was killed in a car accident while on tour. The song "Pure Hell" is named after a back patch that Makh wore. It's about living your life to the fullest and giving everything you've got. Which is exactly why they didn't dissolve the band after Makh's death. As devastating as it is to walk away from an accident, when your close friend and brother wasn't so lucky, quitting and giving up doesn't honor anyone.
Keep living. Keep fighting.

These cakes were inspired by the title track off Red Horse. As a further tribute to Early Graves, I suggest using Ghirardelli chocolate. Like its fellow Bay Area exports, Ghirardelli is fucking sweeeet!

Early Graves: Red Velvet Horse

Makes 30

 Metal Constituents:
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 4 tablespoons Ghirardelli cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 oz red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
For the frosting:
  • 2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco López)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Mini Ghirardelli chocolate chips 
  • red sanding sugar
 Merciless Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with baking cups, and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together sugar and oil until combined.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Mix in food coloring and vanilla.
  6. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk.
  7. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam up- fun!)
  8. Add mixture to the batter, and continue to mix for about 10 seconds.
  9. Fill each baking cup about two-thirds full.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  11. Allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. To make the frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth.
  13. Add powdered sugar, cream of coconut, and both extracts. 
  14. Beat until light and fluffy.
  15. Pipe frosting onto completely cooled cupcakes.
  16. Top with mini chocolate chips and red sanding sugar
  17. Red Velvet Horse is coming through.
Here's the official video for "Red Horse." Enjoy!

Also, if you're ever in Chicago, use this toilet at Ultra Lounge (it's the coolest one in the city):

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