Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour the cake pans.
Combine the sifted flour and salt in a bowl.
Pour the cocoa powder into a small bowl, add the red food coloring,
and whisk until smooth.
You can use the juice from one 15-oz. can
of beets in place of the food coloring.
Cream the butter and sugar
In a large bowl, beat one stick of butter and sugar by hand or with
a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs, one at
Switch your mixer speed to low and add the flour a few tablespoons at
a time. Alternate mixing flour with adding the buttermilk, vanilla extract,
and dyed cocoa paste. Mix the ingredients until all the batter is the
same red color, but do not overbeat.
in the vinegar
In a small bowl, stir the baking soda into the vinegar, and then fold
it into the batter with a wooden spoon.
Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake until a toothpick
comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes;
then invert the layers onto a rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting by beating the cream cheese with one stick of butter
until creamy. Beat in 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Gradually beat in the
powdered sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Apply a crumb coating
When the cake has cooled, place the first layer on your cake plate or
stand, spread frosting on top with a spatula, add the next layer, frost
the top of that, and so on. Once youíve added the final cake layer,
spread a thin coating of frosting over the entire cake to contain crumbs,
and then refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
Finish frosting the cake by spreading the frosting on top and on the
sides. Decorate the top with pecan halves if you like.