Today's question comes from Elaine Samuel and she askes me, "I love to make a Red Velvet Cake for my family. We all love it and it is just so pretty. The recipe calls for a full bottle of RED FOOD COLOUR. It bothers me to add all that food colouring to the cake. Is there a more organic ingredient to use? Thanks for your help with this." Elaine, the fact of the matter is, the reason that red velvet cake is red is because of the food colouring - without it you have a plain old chocolate cake. The origins of this cake are iffy, it might have come about before Dutch processing of choclate when an acid like buttermilk, which is usually found in this cake, would react with the cocoa and create a reddish colour. The cake now has food colouring added for a deeper red colour. Some recipes don't call for cocoa at all, but I think the more traditional ones do. You could try to use beets as a colouring agent, as a very fine beet puree might work to colour the batter. I would add it in with the liqiuids to the batter, but use judiciously because you wouldn't want a predominant beet flavour. My other suggestion is to use a food colouring paste instead of a liquid. You will use less and get a deeper colour. You can find paste food colours at cake decorating stores or you can buy it online. Feel free to ask me any of your food-related questions, just leave a comment on any post in the Foodie-file. I answer one question a week. You will find a lot more answers to cooking questions under the Foodies Ask category of the Foodie-file.