Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Red Velvet Cheesecake

When time came for our Bible study Christmas party I wanted something festive and delicious for our dessert.  Several of the girls had told me that Red Velvet cake is their favorite dessert, and of course they all love cheesecake, so this was a perfect fit!  Once again, I made myself search my cookbook collection for a recipe before going to the internet and found a perfect one in the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook from 2008. 

It cracked me up--my cheesecake cracked like a face!  I thought about decorating it with the topping around the edges so it looked like Santa Claus...

This was really good--the only thing I would change is the topping--it was too sweet for my taste, more of a cream cheese American buttercream.  I would definitely choose a sour cream based topping next time.

Red Velvet Cheesecake
from Southern Living Christmas Cookbook

1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
2 (1 oz) bottles red food coloring

1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Optional Garnish: colored sparkling sugars

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-in. springform pan.

Beat 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese & 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an elextred mixer 1 minute.  Add eggs & next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined.  Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 325 F. for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300 F, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm.  Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake.  Turn oven off.  Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes.  Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.  Cover & chill 8 hours. 

Beat 1 (3 oz) package cream cheese & 1/4 cup butter at medium speed w/an electric mixer until smoooth; gradually add powered sugar & vanilla, beating until smooth.  Spread evenly over top of cheesecake.  Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.  Yield 8-10 servings.

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