Preparation / Directions:
Cake; Preheat the oven to 350 °. In a large bowl, with an electric beater on medium speed, beat the shortening, sugar, and eggs for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and continue beating until well mixed. Gradually add the buttermilk, vanilla, and vinegar, beating for 2 to 3 minutes, until thoroughly combined. With a spoon, stir in the food coloring until thoroughly mixed. Spoon the batter evenly into three 8 inch round cake pans that have been coated with nonstick baking spray and lightly floured. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter and frost the top. Place another layer over the first and frost the top. Place the remaining layer over that and frost the top and sides. Cover loosely and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Frosting; In a midium sized bowl, with an electric beater on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla. Increase the speed to high and beat for 1 to 2 more minutes, until the frosting is smooth. Stir in the pecans until thoroughly mixed. Use immediately, or cover and chill until ready to use, allowing the frosting to soften before using.
Note: Make sure to use only a thin layer of this when you frost the cake. That way, you'll be able to see the red color of the cake under the frost