Red Velvet Cheesecake

Servings: 3 servings

This delicious dessert combines two favorites: rich, creamy cheesecake and red velvet cake. A ganache layer and optional toppings add elegant complexity.


Ingredients


Directions

RED VELVET CAKE: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and the sides of a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides to make it easier to lift the cake out of the pan when it’s done. Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. Make a paste of the cocoa and coloring and add to the shortening mixture. Add salt and vanilla. Add buttermilk alternately with the flour, beginning and ending with flour. Mix vinegar and soda right before using and add to mixture by folding in. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely, cover in wax paper, and freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. CRUST: Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter a 9 inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet. Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides). GANACHE: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the ganache over the bottom of the crust. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve the remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature for later decorating. FILLING: Preheat the oven to 350˚F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended. Beat in the flour. Add in the vanilla and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust. Place the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 3 hours, until set. It will sink as it cools. Decorative Toppings (Optional): Whip room temperature ganache to create a fluffy texture perfect for piping. Reserve a small amount for assembling the layers. In a separate bowl, mix together cream cheese, butter, and confectioners sugar to make a small amount of cream cheese frosting for decorating. Assemble the Cheesecake: Wrap a warm towel around the outside of the springform pan to help loosen the crust from the sides. Carefully remove the springform. Transfer the cheesecake to a serving platter. Spread a thin layer of ganache on the cheesecake. Place the red velvet cake layer on top of cheesecake layer. If the cake layer will sticks up beyond the crust, trim it with a long serrated knife. Freeze, if needed, for easier cutting. Decorate top of cake with optional drizzled white chocolate, piped cream cheese frosting, whipped ganache, and strawberries, if desired. This cake can be prepared ahead of time. On the first day, prepare the red velvet cake, cool it, and freeze it. On the second day, prepare the cheesecake. You can then assemble and decorate right away, or leave this for a third day.