Cake 9: Red Velvet Cheesecake

The red velvet cheesecake was my most ambitious cake adventure yet. The baking itself was not intimidating, as I have made both cheesecakes and red velvet desserts before. The part that was most challenging for me was the assembly of the red velvet cheesecake as it requires cutting into layers and multiple days of baking and chilling and some decoration and so on. I got a few new baking arsenal supplies this week from Wilton – cooling racks, a frosting spatula, frosting decorating kit and parchment paper. This is the perfect opportunity to put all of them to good use. (“What is red velvet cake?” you ask? It’s just red cake. Seriously.)

New York Cheesecake Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 8-ounce packages of softened cream cheese
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 0.25 cups cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 0.5 cup heavy cream

New York Cheesecake Recipe Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place another cake pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven. Wrap the bottom of two 9-inch round springform pans with aluminum foil, and fold the excess up over the edges to keep excess cake batter from spilling into your nice, clean oven. (I only have one springform pan, so I mixed and baked one half of the cheesecake per night.) Spray the bottom and sides. In a large bowl, mix room temperature cream cheese for a few minutes until it is smooth. Add the sugar and cornstarch and beat again until smooth. Add the vanilla, eggs and egg whites (two at a time) and beat the mixture until it is creamy. Slowly add the heavy cream and beat just until the lumps are gone and the filling is light and fluffy. Pour the batter split evenly into the two pans and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes Do not open and close the pan, as that could cause cracks. Just eyeball it through the oven door to see if it’s done – it should be puffy around the edges and the center should be a little gelatinous. Cool on a wire rack at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Run a knife around the edges, then refrigerate the cheesecake overnight – at least eight hours. Before releasing the springform pan sides, run a knife around it again. Peel the foil away from the cheesecake layers and prepare to layer with your red velvet cake!

Red Velvet Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 0.75 cup buttermilk
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 0.75 teaspoon baking soda
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1.25 cups sugar
  • 0.75 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring

Red Velvet Cake Recipe Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round baking pan. In a small bowl, whisk together your buttermilk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, blend flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In another bowl (or I used my handy KitchenAid wedding present from the best husband ever) cream the sugar and oil together. Add each egg, one at a time and whisk it in completely. Add the vinegar and food coloring. Mix in half the dry ingredient combo, then half the liquid ingredient combo. Scrape the bowl, then repeat with the last half of both the dry and liquid ingredient mixtures. Blend until batter is smooth and not lumpy. Pour the red velvet cake batter into your greased round baking pans Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until your toothpick comes out dry when inserted at a center point. Cool the cakes for about 15 minutes, loosen, then remove them from the pans to cool completely. When the cake is completely cooled, use a cake leveler (or unflavored floss, or whatever) to slice the cake as evenly as possible into two layers. Freeze the two cake layers overnight.

Buttercream Frosting Recipe Ingredients

  • 0.5 cup shortening
  • 0.5 cup room temperature butter
  • 2 tablespoons marshmallow fluff
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2.5 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water (or as much as you need to get the right texture)

Buttercream Frosting Recipe Directions

Cream together the shortening, butter and marshmallow fluff, then add the vanilla extract and beat it until it is light and fluffy Add the powdered sugar about a half cup at a time. Add the water just a little bit at a time until the frosting is super-spreadable and smooth, not lumpy.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Assembly & Decoration Instructions

Place one of the red velvet cake layers on your serving dish. Spread a small dab of frosting on the layer. Add one of the cheesecake layers. Spread a small dab of frosting on the layer. Repeat with the next red velvet cake and cheesecake layer. Chill the cake. Take about 1 cup of the buttercream frosting and put it in a decorator’s bag with a decorative tip, and set aside. Using the rest of the frosting, ice the red velvet cheesecake and smooth the top and sides. Go slowly so you don’t tear up your beautiful cake and get red crumbs and whatnot in your beautiful frosting job. Once this is done, use your decorator’s bag to add a border, flowers, whatever you want Make it pretty, because you worked damn hard to get it this far and you want it to be go-o-orgeous and make people say “wow.”

(And they damn well better. This cake is a beast to make!)

Chill till it’s serve time, yo.

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