Valentine’s Day is not a major holiday for me. But I just had to hoot when I went to the Publix last week and found a new and unique Valentine’s Day “treat.” Bingles.
What? Bingles? I had never heard of them and I am well-versed in the processed snack food arena. So I did some research on the internet. Now, I would like someone to prove me wrong here but it appears that Bingles are made by an outfit called Blue Bird Bakeries and that company apparently is owned by Walmart! Walmart has infiltrated my Publix!
Bingles are, of course, a complete rip-off of Twinkies but I was intrigued with the idea of Red Velvet Cake being used in this tubular application. And I will tell you right now that I tried the Bingles before I knew they were manufactured by Walmart. They are terrible. There is no resemblance between a Bingle and a Twinkie.
I am a devotee of Red Velvet Cake. It was years before I realized that Red Velvet Cake is just chocolate cake with red food coloring. We in the South love food coloring. It’s not only what makes Red Velvet Cake red. It’s also what makes the cream cheese for cucumber sandwiches green. But whereas cocoa is the fourth ingredient listed in any Red Velvet Cake recipe, it is the fifteenth ingredient in a Bingle.
In my research to discover the origins of Bingles, I came across a thread of messages on a food website from people purportedly desperate to find Bingles in their area. It went on and on. I believe that is a sham thread that Walmart forced its greeters to write so they could keep their jobs.
At any rate, here’s what real Red Velvet Cake looks like. And it should always be topped with cream cheese frosting. Since I am now completely offended by the Walmart Bingles, I felt the need to post a recipe for real Red Velvet Cake. This one is from Paula Deen, who would probably never eat a Bingle even if it was slathered with melted butter. Here’s the link to her recipe. And here’s the recipe, if you just don’t want to bother with one more click.
Red Velvet Cake
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup melted marshmallows
1 box confectioners’ sugar (1 pound)
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well. Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture. Pour batter into 3 (8-inch) round greased and floured pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.
Blend cream cheese and butter together in a mixing bowl. Add marshmallows and sugar and blend. Fold in coconut and nuts. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cooled cake.