Thursday, February 2, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Everybody deserves to have at least one person in their life that they can totally depend on.  Know, without a doubt, that this person has only your best interests at heart.  A person that you can trust to love and like you even when you have revealed the worst part of yourself.  Someone that makes you smile and just thinking of them not being there brings tears to your eyes.  I am so very blessed to have such a person in my life.  My sister Debbie.

Debbie loves cheesecake and I try and make her one on her birthday.  I decided to make her one recently just to let her know I love her and appreciate her.  Red is her favorite color and her favorite flavor.  She loves anything strawberry, cherry, or red velvet.  Anything red so Red Velvet Cheesecake is the perfect dessert for her.

This recipe was pretty easy as far as cheesecakes go.  Just make a simple crust and pour the filling over.  The recipe has you adding chocolate and red food coloring to a portion of the batter to create the swirl but you could easily increase the quantities of both and create a lovely solid red cheesecake.  The red velvet swirl had a light chocolate flavor and paired well with the deeper chocolate flavor of the crust.  Not the best cheesecake I've made, but still delicious.

Speaking of cheesecake crust, I love the chocolate wafer cookies most recipes call for but they can be difficult to find and expensive so I usually just use chocolate animal crackers of chocolate Teddy Grahams.  Great for snacking as you bake!  

I wish the top hadn't cracked and really do prefer to cook cheesecakes in a bain marie.  I recently read that over beating your batter can cause the cheesecake to rise and then crack as it deflates.  I think that may have been part of the issue here because I mixed the batter according to the directions and felt like it was way too long. 

Obviously this would be a lovely cheesecake to serve for someone special on Valentine's Day. It would be especially cute made as minis.  Heart shaped, even better.  

This one is for you Debbie!  I love you!

Red Velvet Cheesecake
Food Network Magazine

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate cookies (about 28 cookies)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt

For the cheesecake:
4 8-ounces packages of cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon red food coloring

Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the cookie crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Press into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Make the filling: Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth, 3-4 minutes. Add the flour, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Transfer 2 cups of the batter to a small bowl. Stir in the cocoa powder and red food coloring. Pour the red batter into the crust, then pour white batter on top. Using a spoon, pull some of the red batter up from the bottom of the cake and swirl. Bake until the edges are set and the center is still wobbly, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Turn off the oven but keep the cake inside to cool, about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake (don't remove the springform pan) and set on rack to cool. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before slicing.

Cook's Notes: I pulled my cake out of the oven after about an hour.  I would also suggest only beating the batter until it is smooth and combined, about 1-2 minutes.  
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  1. It looks fabulous!! What a great idea!

  2. Mmmmm. what a great dessert for Valentine's Day!

  3. Mmmmm. what a great dessert for Valentine's Day!

  4. Ohhhhh Candy! This is just beautiful! I prefer bain maries, too. But when my cheesecakes crack (and they still taste good!)....I just cover it with whipped cream! Glad that you and Debbie have each other...and how nice of you to make her this gorgeous and delicious cake! : )

  5. Cracks or no cracks, that's one delicious looking cheesecake!

  6. I would be eating this so quickly, I wouldn't even notice the cracks! YUM!


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