Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Meet a little thing called perfection...
...Red Velvet Cheesecake.
A few weeks ago I found this dream come true recipe from Southern Living magazine. It was almost as if a genie in a bottle granted me a wish to combine two of my most favorite desserts: the beloved Red Velvet Cake with the rich and famous Cheesecake. The result? Read on to see.
My first thought when I saw that Red Velvet Cheesecake even existed was that it was probably just plain cheesecake with a little red food coloring added in. Boy was I wrong. This is the real deal. The recipe combines classic ingredients from each dessert. Here’s the recipe from Southern Living with a few adaptations:
Red Velvet Cheesecake
1 ½ cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sour cream
½ cup whole buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
2 1oz bottles red food coloring
After making a trip to the grocery store, I had already run into a road block. Chocolate graham cracker crumbs? I guess not. I could not find these anywhere. Well, I couldn’t find them in the 2 stores I looked. So I moved on and bought chocolate sandwich cookies (aka Oreos) and scraped out the middle to get the base for my crust.
After that small issue, I was on my way.
Mix together the cookie crumbs, melted butter and 1 tablespoon sugar into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan to create the crust. I used the bottom of a drinking glass to make sure it was even.
Beat cream cheese and 1 ½ cups sugar together in a Kitchen Aid mixer for 1 minute. Ok, it doesn’t have to be a Kitchen Aid, but if you haven’t made the switch, you’re missing out. It will change your life.
Add eggs and next 6 ingredients. Mix on low until combined. You'll end up with a velvety smooth beautifully red mixture.
Pour batter into crust. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300° and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. My cheesecake took about 20 extra minutes for the center to set.
Turn the oven off. Let the cheesecake stand in the oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Here's what came out of my oven.
Cover and chill 8 hours.
The recipe tops off the cheesecake with a traditional cream cheese frosting. But beware – without frosting the cake was already incredibly rich with the perfect combination of sweet and tart. Personally, I think this cheesecake can stand alone without anything on top. The choice is yours! And really...you can’t make a bad decision here.
Try this! You and yours will love it, I promise.