We are big fans of the Cheesecake Factory’s lovely array of cheesecakes. I’m pretty partial to their Godiva chocolate cheesecake; my husband usually went for the plain cheesecake with the fresh glazed strawberries on top. Then the Cheesecake Factory came out with Red Velvet Cheesecake which combined two of his favorite desserts.
I had thought it would be fun to make him one, and when I saw that the Brown Eyed Baker (if you don’t already read it, her blog is great) gave a stab at it, I decided to do it myself. I chose to use my own cheesecake recipe, because I’m confident in the outcome I have with it, and I also chose to use a red velvet cake mix since I was already a little short on time. Also my husband will only eat canned cream cheese frosting, so that’s what I used.
Cheesecake can be a little intimidating, but I have some tips that will make it much easier for you.
New York-Style Cheesecake
4 pkgs (8oz each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 C sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 C milk
1 C sour cream, at room temperature
1 T vanilla
1/4 C flour
- Preheat oven to 350. Place a roaster or other container large enough to hold the cheesecake in the oven while pre-heating.
- Generously spray a 9″ springform pan with baking spray (or use butter and a little flour). Wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil, with the foil at least half-way up the sides (this will help keep out leaks from the water bath).
- In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and the sugar just until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon, blend in the milk, and then add the eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated after each egg (about 30 seconds).
- Add the milk, sour cream, vanilla, and flour and blend until smooth. Don’t over-mix.
- Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan.
- Fill a kettle or pot with water and bring to a boil. Place the cheesecake in the roaster pan and pour the boiling water into the roaster, about an inch deep.
- Bake for 60 minutes; do not open the oven door during this time.
- When the cheesecake is done baking, do not open the oven door. Turn the oven off, and leave the cheesecake – undisturbed – in the oven for at least 2 more hours.
- Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely (another 1-2 hours), and then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours (I try to do it overnight).
For the red velvet cake, you can use a boxed mix or your favorite red velvet cake mix. Bake the mix in two 8″ round pans, and then allow the cake to cool completely (2-4 hours). For the cream cheese frosting you can use canned, or your favorite recipe.
To assemble the Red Velvet Cheesecake:
- Use a cake leveler to trim each of the cakes and remove the domes. Place one layer of cake on your cake platter or disposable cake board.
- Cover the first layer of cake with a thin coating of frosting; it acts as glue to hold the layers together.
- Use the cake leveler to cut the cheesecake in half horizontally. If you don’t have a cake leveler, you could also try a long, serrated knife. To avoid breakage, you may want to use a cake lifter to move the cheesecake layers.
- Place one cheesecake layer on top of the first frosted cake layer. Use a sharp knife that you keep clean and hot (run it under hot water every few seconds) to shave the edges of the cheesecake down to match the cake.
- Cover the cheesecake with a thin coating of frosting.
- Repeat the above process with the final layers of cake and cheesecake.
- Frost the entire cake with the cream cheese frosting. I ran out of time, but it would look lovely if you decorate around the edges with a scallop or star border.
I promise it’s worth the effort! It makes an especially nice dessert for a special occasion, like Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, Christmas, etc.