11 February 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake

This is a remodelled version of a cheesecake that didn't go to plan back in 2012, and this time the results were still a little unexpected (concave sponge and not realising I had bought white chocolate instead of dark until I opened the packet at home being the main issues), but I see a vast improvement from the original. The concave sponge was used to enhance the cake by filling it with ganache. Assuming that your sponge does not inexplicably cave like mine, you can still create this effect by hollowing out the cooled sponge yourself.

The idea for this cake was brought to my attention by an old friend, who showed me a link to a red velvet cheesecake by Elissa from 17 and Baking. I loved the idea, but when I read through the recipe I didn't like the idea of making everything separately and then assembling it at the end; I wanted something that would be seamlessly joined together.

Until the past few weeks, I didn't know much about red velvet cake and as far as I could tell it was just a normal sponge that had been dyed red. Wrong! Red velvet cake contains an ingredient that would not normally be found in your average red cake: vinegar.

The recipe also list buttermilk as an ingredient, but I haven't the faintest idea what it is, exactly. I have heard its name many times throughout my lifetime, probably starting with when the farmer's wife washed the pig in Charlotte's Web (cartoon version) and ending with the recipe I used to make the red velvet cake (from Xanthe Milton's Eat Me!). I can neither get my head around buttermilk, nor understand the point in it, so I just used plain milk instead. I've probably broken some cardinal sin of making red velvet cake, but my cake, my rules. I rarely manage to follow a recipe to a tee anyway: I also ignored the cheesecake recipe included in the link, and used my recipe for the New York Cheesecake instead.

You may also have noticed that I changed the banner/title on the blog, using a photo of the top of the triple chocolate tray bake to make it more fancy - I've been cruising round a lot of food blogs and many of them have their own picture in the title, or just below it, and I noted how much more professional it looked so decided to do the same! I played around with the rainbow cake too, but the tray bake picture had the right amount of light and dark to blend into the rest of the design.

Half of last week's Triple Chocolate Traybake disappeared on the day I made it because everyone was hungover and the boys had friends over to watch the (never ending) football. I loved the chocolate chunks; they definitely made the cake. The Tiramisu was delicious and I couldn't keep myself from eating it, but miraculously there is still a small portion left that will no doubt disappear by the end of the weekend. I cannot stress enough the importance of making that Tiramisu. It is amazing!

I know it was a long time ago now, but you may remember the healthy brownies that I made at the start of January for the We Should Cocoa Challenge. Well, you can now view my post alongside all of the other entries at Chocolate Teapot - if you want to eat chocolate but are on a diet, look no further!


  • 140g Self Raising Flour
  • 100g Butter
  • ~100ml Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate Of Soda
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 125g Caster Sugar
  • Red Gel Food Colouring
  • 2 Eggs
  • 300g Caster Sugar
  • ~700g Cream Cheese
  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Ganache (the white chocolate was accidental; dark chocolate would also work well here):
  • 200g White Chocolate (100g if sponge not concave)
  • 200mL Double Cream
  • Red Gel Food Colouring (to decorate)

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan and line a springform tin with baking parchment.
  • Cheesecake: putting all of the ingredients in a bowl and stirring until smooth and well combined. Bake in the oven for 1hr 15 mins.
  • Sponge: Five minutes before the cheesecake is due to come out of the oven, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
  • Add red gel food colouring, stirring between additions, until the desired colour is reached.
  • Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into the batter, then fold in until well combined.
  • Fold in the vinegar and flavouring, followed by enough milk to give a soft dropping consistency.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and smooth the cake batter over the top. Return to the oven and bake for 22 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and open the door, but leave the cheesecake to cool completely before putting in the fridge for a few hours (ideally overnight).
  • Turn the cake out onto a plate and peel off any baking parchment that's stuck to it. 
  • Make the ganache by melting the chocolate and double cream together over a low heat until fully combined. Allow to cool and thicken slightly before spreading over the cake.
  • Create the decorative red effect in the ganache by dipping a toothpick/cocktail stick into some red gel food colouring, then swirling it around in the ganache. I did this before my ganache had completely spread over the cake.

If you need any more information on how to bake, visit The Basics. Don't forget that you can find out how to make this cake a bit healthier by looking at Healthy(ish) Baking.

I reckon this cake would be suitable for Valentine's day, whether you are eating at a table for one or for two. You could do what Dom at Belleau Kitchen did and stab your cake, pretending it's someone who screwed you over. If that's your thing.

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I'm adding this to Supergolden Bakes' (Feb 2015) Cook Blog Share link up.

[The photos and contents of this post were updated on 04/02/2015]

1 comment:

  1. It's definitely the season for Red Velvet... this looks very pretty
    Buttermilk has acids in it help the bakes rise. It also makes for moist bakes. You can substitute with milk curdles with lemon juice or vinegar instead. #CookBlogShare


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