Thursday, February 12, 2009

Luxe Red Velvet Cheesecake

Do you dream in chocolate? If you do, good for you. I happen to dream in chocolate, caramel and cheesecake. Smooth, velvety cheesecake. I can't think of anything better as a sweet treat for DH and I during Valentine's week.

Before I get to that though, have you noticed how every talk show this week is featuring these "surprise proposals"? It's annoying and endearing at the same time. Annoying because this kind of thing always looks a little fake to me, especially when the guy delivers his lines in that rehearsed, monotonous voice. It would probably be better if they did it off-camera. But it's still endearing because the woman always (repeat, always) bursts into genuine tears of joy. Or is she upset that he got an ugly ring and now she's stuck with it?! Can't even say "no" because she's on TV! Hmmm, you men are pretty crafty.

The funniest proposals are the ones where the guy sneaks the ring into her food, and she literally has to spit it out. Oh that's romantic. Mush-and-saliva-covered jewellery is so attractive. I know it would be a real problem if DH had proposed to me that way. Especially if he had hidden the ring in a slice of this Red Velvet Cheesecake (with an Oreo crust no less!). The way I dig into this thing, there is no way I'd even know there was a ring inside. Only the X-ray would show me, once I got rushed to the hospital. Then of course, there's the morning after ... ugh, this train of thought is going down a terrible road. Best to stop now!
Back to this cheesecake. My hat's off to Peabody for inspiring me to finally make this. That woman is a master with all things baked. Her photographs and recipes are designed to knock you off any ridiculous diet you may be on (so diabetics, beware!). Annie over at Annie Eats also made this cheesecake, and for this version I used her clever switcheroos in the ingredients - that Oreo crust is genius.

Luxurious Red Velvet Cheesecake (adapted from the blog Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and Annie Eats)

For the Crust:
1 ½ cups Oreo cookie crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
1 TBSP granulated sugar

For the Filling:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup sour cream
½ cup whole buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
2 (1 oz) bottles red food coloring
For the Topping:
4oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325F.

Planting soil? Nope - Oreo cookie crumbs!

2. Stir together cookie crumbs (if you're making the crumbs at home from whole Oreo cookies, there's no need to remove the cream filling), melted butter and 1 TBSP sugar; press mixture onto bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (it's fine if you have an 8-inch pan or a 10-inch one).

3. Bake the crust for 8 mins, then take it out and leave to cool.

4. In a blender, add eggs, unsweetened cocoa, sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla extract, vinegar, cream cheese, and sugar. Mix until fully combined. I had to do mine in two batches, because my blender just couldn't contain all that filling.

5. Pour the mixed batter into a large bowl and add the food coloring. Mix well with an electric beater.
Oops, look what I just did! How silly of me!

6. Pour batter into prepared pan woth crust. Put it on a baking sheet (very important, in case you get any leaks!). Bake at 325F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300F, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm.
Look, she's smiling at me! You madam, are F-I-N-E!

7. Turn oven off, prop open the oven door a little bit, and let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 more minutes. Then cover and chill for 8 hours.

8. For the topping: Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Remove cheesecake from refrigerator and spread topping evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform.
Oggle your supernaturally gorgeous creation for a while, then cut yourself a nice big honkin' slice and dig in!
Verdict: That color, OH that color! Retina-searing awesomness! It drives me mad! I love it, and I really love the flavor of this cheesecake. Usually, it's the filling that's the star of the show, but this time, the winning flavors came from that insanely delicious Oreo crust, and that devious frosting. The buttermilk gives it an additional tanginess, while the cocoa powder counters it by its mellowing effect. I might even add an another tbsp of it next time. In case you're curious, DH pronounced that he "really liked it" but didn't "love" it. Funny how he still managed to finish the entire big slice I cut up for him though. Like I said ... men ... crafty little creatures.

Looks like a blood bath!


Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never seen a red velvet cheesecake - it looks too good to be true! Love the prep picture with a heart :)

NKP said...

I have never had red velvet cake or red velvet cheesecake - looks so striking! Perfect for Valentine's Day.

Anonymous said...

OH MY!!! Muneeba...this cheesecake just looks DIVINE!!! Even a Homer impression cant do it justice! Ive never wanted anything more in my life than this cheesecake, which is just beckoning me through my computer screen...!!
Gosh darn it....Im just going to have to spend V day with you! Save me a slice...Im getting in my will take me 8 hrs..but I will MAKE it!!! Sorry Mun's DH, gotta make room for one more...!!

Pepper said...

We gave this post an OM NOM Nomination!

Unknown said...

*wipes up drool* Oh my gosh thanks for making this now I know what to make for Valentines Day!

Muneeba said...

Thks for the nomination Salt and Pepper!
Amna, you better hurry, this cheesecake is disappearing fast! It would be SO much fun to share this with another cheesecake lover!
Natashya & 5 Star Foodie - I'm glad I could introduce this wicked little piece of deliciousness to you. You may never forgive me for it though!
O great Mistress of Cakes, do let me know how this cheesecake turned out for you - would love your feedback.

Anonymous said...

This cake is utterly gorgeous! I'll bet it tastes as good as it looks. Wow and I am not that big of a cheesecake fan, but I would share this with lover or friend on V Day! And marriage proposals? I still like mine the best!

Anonymous said...

I still cant stop staring at has me mesmerized!! I keep coming back to your blog just to look at it..such a thing of beauty!

Anonymous said...

This is a cheesecake that will stop traffic. Whoa, the color is just so vivid. I've never seen Red Velvet done cheesecake-style. Way to go!

Rico said...

Just beautiful really is ,,,looks so delish and colourful, so moist...I want it now

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. God. That creation would stop traffic - fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, bright red color!

Anonymous said...

That look awesome! From one Long Island Foodie to another!

Anonymous said...

I noticed that you copied much of the version I adapted and typed out myself on my blog, but did not give me any credit (using Oreos, halving the topping, etc. etc.). I would appreciate a link, or you typing up your own version. Thanks.

oneordinaryday said...

I love the close-up shot. What a great picture - it makes me want to bake one right now!

Muneeba said...

Annie, I feel like such an IDIOT! Of course you should get credit for those changes in the recipe! Have amended my post. I should really make better notes about my sources when I take down a recipe - I'm learning as I go along. Your version of Peabody's cheesecake is really great, so thks for reminding me to put your name to it. I did make changes to the method though - used a blender, pre-baked the crust etc.

Laura said...

What a great twist on a classic!!

Anonymous said...

just found you on accident and so gonna make this soon. oh my this sounds and looks so awesome!
Thank you!

Mary Ellen said...

I am on a search for Oreo cookie crumbs - where or where did you find them? I read a post on chowhound that said they were discontinued!!

Muneeba said...

Mary Ellen, I made my own Oreo crumbs ... just took a bunch of oreo cookies and blitzed them in the food processor till I got the amount I needed.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the land of the free!
You have the right to free speech as long as you speak English.
best regards, Greg

Danielle said...

The color looks amazing! But the oreo cookies kind of confuses me.. does it make it taste weird or does it make it taste amazing?