I used semi sweet chocolate because it's all I had in the pantry at the time, but next time I'm going to use milk chocolate (so that's what I've included in the recipe). I think the semi sweet was a bit strong, but some of my girlfriends who enjoyed them with me at our monthly "Girl Game Night" said that they liked the semi-sweet and thought milk chocolate would be a bit too sweet. So you can use what you like, but I think I'd probably use milk chocolate next time.
I always thought red velvet was just chocolate cake with food coloring, but I was informed this past week from my girlfriend who's wedding cake was red velvet and her baker told her that red velvet is supposed to be a milk chocolate cake. With this recipe you just make a paste with cocoa and red food coloring, but I suppose adding the milk would make it "milk chocolate" right?! haha!
Red Velvet Cake
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder
2 - 3 ounces red food coloring (depending on how dark you'd like it)
2 1/2 cups cake and pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, eggs and sugar.
In a seperate small bowl mix together the food coloring and cocoa, making a red paste. Add the paste to the shortening mixture and mix well.
Sift together the flour and salt, and add it to the shortening mixture alternately with the buttermilk in three additions. Add the vanilla extract, then fold in the baking soda and vinegar. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan and bake for about 30 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Let the cake cool in the fridge for about 30 - 45 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups icing sugar
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Beat together the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Add the heavy cream and mix until well blended.
Keep in the fridge until you're ready to assemble your cake balls.
After the cake has cooled completely, crumble it into a large bowl and pour the cream cheese mixture over it. Use your hands to work the cream cheese icing and cake together until cake is completely moistened and the icing is no longer noticable.
Pop this into the fridge for about another 20 minutes to make it easier to handle and will keep it's shape better.
Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper and when cake mixture has chilled, begin rolling it into about 2 inch balls and place it on the parchment spacing as close as you can, but still giving you room to work with them as you begin coating them in chocolate.
3 cups of milk (or white if you prefer) chocolate dipping wafers
2 tbsp of shortening
Melt the chocolate dipping wafers 1 1/2 cups at a time in a glass bowl overtop of a pot of gently boiling water (over medium heat). I just sit my glass bowl right into the pot making sure it's not touching the water. Add in 1 tbsp of shortening to the 1 1/2 cups of wafers to keep the mixture smooth.
Using a fork dip each ball into the mixture and cover completely with chocolate, put back onto the cookie sheet.
Once all your balls are coated you can sprinkle them with candy sprinkles if you like, and then place them into the fridge to cool and set.
Store these in the fridge.