Monday, February 20, 2012

Red Velvet Wonderfulness

Janet here: I have never met a cheesecake I didn't like. The creaminess, the cream cheese taste, the complete decadence — it is one of my favorite indulgences.

I am also a major fan of red velvet cupcakes (which I would just like to register a moment of complaint about here that at Rachel's wedding celebration in our backyard we had both red velvet cupcakes AND cheesecake cupcakes and I did not get a single one. Apparently our guests share my tastes.). Anyway given the combination of cheesecake and red velvet tastiness in this picture I saw in the February Food Network Magazine, it is no surprise I ripped this recipe out of the magazine immediately.

I probably should have done this post last week before Valentine's Day, based on the obvious red factor here. But while I made the cheesecake before VD, I went with something healthy instead. As you can tell, I didn't quite master the whole completely red thing (sometime between the last time I played with food coloring with my kids and now, food coloring has become a gel, which I didn't know exactly how to handle). I also think I need to practice the "pulling up" of the red velvet part of the cheesecake, which would also make it more red. Now practicing that is something I can get behind. :)

Red Velvet Cheesecake

ingredients for the crust

1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate cookies (the recipe calls for chocolate wafers; I couldn't find them so I used Oreos, which worked just fine)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
pinch salt

ingredients for filling
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon red food coloring

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cookie crumbs, the melted butter, sugar and salt in a bowl. The press into the bottom and a little up the side of a spring-form pan. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool

To make the filling reduce the oven to 325 degrees. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in a mixer about five minutes. Add the lour and then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Transfer two cups of the batter to a bowl. Stir in the cocoa powder and food coloring. The pour the red batter into the crust. Pour the white patter on top and using a spoon, pull up some of the red batter from the bottom and swirl. Be careful not to pull up any crust.

Bake until the edges are set but the center is wobbly, about one hour, 20 minutes.
Turn off the oven but keep the cake inside for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan (don't remove the spring-form side). Then transfer to a rack and let cool. Refrigerate at least four hours before slicing.

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