Anyway, for my husband's birthday this weekend, I thought I would try to recreate the Red Velvet Cheesecake that my friend ordered. I also thought I would try making a vanilla and chocolate checkered cake using an insert that looks like a bullseye - you pour the chocolate and vanilla batters in alternating circles and remove the insert before baking. When you make 2 cakes like that, you can layer them together and when you slice into the cake it should look like a checkerboard.
Neither of those plans worked out for me, but let me give you the recipes first and then I'll explain the dilema and how I resolved it.
"THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY" ORIGINAL CHEESECAKE RECIPE (this can be found all over the internet)
4 pkg. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sour cream
Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and sour cream and continue mixing. Add eggs and beat just until blended. Pour into a 9" springform pan (I put parchment paper on the bottom so it doesn't stick, and you should put tinfoil around the outside to keep water out, but I forgot.) Place in a large roasting pan and pour in enough water to cover at least 1" of the springform pan. Bake at 475 F for 12 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F for about 1 hour. Remove springform pan from the roaster and let it cool for a few hours. To remove from the pan, gently go around the edges with a knife and then release the spring.
RED VELVET CAKE (slightly adapated from this recipe)
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 tbsp. red food colouring
3 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Beat butter and sugar, then make a paste of the food dye, cocoa, and salt and mix it into the butter mixture. Beat in remaining wet ingredients, then mix in dry ingredients just until combined. Pour into two greased 8" round pans and bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.
BLACK MAGIC CHOCOLATE CAKE
JILL'S WHITE CAKE (my sister's formerly-top-secret recipe, but now that she's an ultrasound technician instead of a wedding cake chef, I'm hoping she won't mind that I'm sharing it.)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
Beat sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla together. Combine dry ingredients, and add half of it to the wet mixture. Mix together, then add milk and continue mixing, and then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into an 8" round pan and bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes.
Now that you've got the recipes, let's see where my problems arose:
- My cheesecake pan is 9" and my cake pan is 8". So the red velvet cake and the cheesecake were two different sizes.
- The red velvet cake wasn't very red. It wasn't going to look very striking against the white cheesecake.
- I can't ice a cake to save my life, so I knew if I somehow managed to put the two cakes together, I would make a horrible mess when I tried to ice it.
- When I attempted to use the insert to make the checkered cakes, the batter kept leaking out the bottom so there was no way the cakes would really look checkered, so I just ended up making one chocolate and one white cake.
In between each layer I put cream cheese icing (1 pkg. spreadable cream cheese, about 2 c. icing sugar, and vanilla. Beat it together until it looks/tastes right. Add more icing sugar if necessary.)
Since my icing skills are less than spectacular, my sister the chef suggested using chocolate ganache instead. The ganache is 1 1/2 c. whipping cream heated till almost boiling and poured over 2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips. Lay the cake on a small plate and place it on a cooling rack over top of the sink. Slowly pour the ganache over top and let it drip down the sides to cover the entire cake. Let it cool and harden before serving.
|(Check out my new backsplash!)|
|Triple Layered Cake with cream cheese icing and chocolate ganache|
|Cheesecake with chocolate ganache|