Birthdays are one of my very favorite things. I love socially acceptable excuses to do special things for my friends and family. As for my own birthday (today, if you haven't already guessed), it is unconditionally my favorite day of the year. Happy, happy, happy December 18th!
This Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake is certainly worthy of any celebration, especially a birthday. It's pretty ridiculous, really. An entire white chocolate cheesecake, decadent enough on its own, sandwiched by 2 fat layers of red velvet cake, all held together with cream cheese frosting.
Make this the night before you plan to serve it, an overnight rest in the refrigerator does a world of good. Also, if you're new to cake-baking, I recommend reading up on the merits of applying a crumb coat. You'll definitely want to do that with this bright red baby. Happy birthday, everyone!
This photo is by my friend Jon. Thanks Jon!
Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from Judy In Her Natural Habitat: The Kitchen
Red Velvet Cake
Originally from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp red gel-paste food coloring
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp distilled white vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix in food color and vanilla.
3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisk well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam), add mixture to the batter and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.
4. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper or spray generously with nonstick baking spray. Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Allow to cool before removing the cake from the pan. Cool completely before assembling cake.
White Chocolate Cheesecake
Originally from the Williams Sonoma Baking Cookbook
2 oz white chocolate, chopped
16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (2 packages)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the white chocolate and set aside to cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar and mix slowly until smooth. On low speed, mix in the flour. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula. Add one egg at a time and mix until smooth. Scrape down again. Mix in the vanilla and cream until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the melted white chocolate until incorporated.
3. Pour the batter into a parchment paper-lined (or generously sprayed with nonstick baking spray) 9-inch springform pan. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the center is set when you shake the pan slightly. Allow to cool before removing from the pan. Allow to cool completely before assembling with the red velvet cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
24 oz cream cheese (3 packages), at room temperature
3 sticks of butter, at room temperature
3 tsp vanilla
3 cups of powdered sugar, plus more to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well combined.