We recently had a birthday in our family, the big 15! She loves cheesecake and red velvet cake so when I saw this, I was happy she wanted it. I made this in 3 days, different stages (I didn't want to be rushed) so keep that in mind if you decide to make one too. For mine, I decided to do a cream cheese frosting, decorated as roses, something new for me, any little spaces I filled in with a flower dollop. This went over so well, family raved about it, AND some had seconds!! No, I couldn't have any, but that's ok my birthday is next and I WILL have cake. :)
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake
Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking Yield: 11-13 pieces
32 chocolate cream sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs
5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
3/4 cups heavy cream
10 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
1 ounce red food coloring
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Note on scheduling: This cake is easily separated into two days of preparation, and can be prepared ahead of time. On day one, prepare the red velvet cake, cool it, and freeze it. On day two, prepare the cheesecake. You can then assemble and decorate right away, or leave this for day three.
Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and the sides of an 9-inch round cake pan (I used my springform pan) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides to make it easier to lift the cake out of the pan when it’s done. Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. Make a paste of the cocoa and coloring and add to the shortening mixture. Add salt and vanilla. Add buttermilk alternately with the flour, beginning and ending with flour. Mix vinegar and soda right before using and add to mixture by folding in. Pour batter into the cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely, cover in wax paper, and freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.
Make the cheesecake:
To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet. Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides).
Make the ganache:
Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour 1 – 1.5 cups of the ganache over the bottom of the crust. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve the remaining ganache for garnishing if desired; cover and let stand at room temperature for later decorating.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended. Beat in the flour. Add in the vanilla and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.
Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust. Place the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool at least 3 hours, until completely chilled and set (it’ll sink as it cools).
Assemble the cheesecake:
Carefully remove the cheesecake from the springform. Transfer the cake to a serving platter. . Then place your red velvet cake layer on top of cheesecake (right side up). If for some reason you seem that your cake layer will stick up beyond your crust, you can use a long serrated knife to reduce its width (freezing it first makes it easier to cut). Decorate top of cake as desired. (I used a double batch of cream cheese frosting in roses).
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