I never understood the appeal of this coloured cake. I thought, it's cake with food colour - why is everyone going crazy over it? But then I tasted it. Soft, moist, and full of flavour that goes so well with cream cheese icing. And fine, I admit; I even began to love the fact that it was this deep, rich red because if it were any other colour, it wouldn't be as beautiful.
This is the fourth time I've tried a red velvet cake recipe out, and this one from Judy in Her Natural Habitat is a real keeper. Check out her amazing site. Her red velvet cake looks absolutely gorgeous.
I made the triple layer cake (like she has on her blog but not as beautiful) a few weeks ago, but I was too lazy to trim and flatten the cake layers - so my cake was a huge white dome that wouldn't fit into my cake container. Though it was seriously delicious! Rich and decadent; a proper dessert. But my family and I are not cheesecake fans. Even so, this cake was only not enjoyed by a couple of very anti-cheesecake family members. Last week, I asked Moby what to bake this time and he wanted this cake again. I hesitated, because some people really dislike all kinds of cheesecake. So he had this amazing idea - make red velvet cupcakes, and fill them with a tiny amount of the cheesecake since most of us (less fussy bunch;) enjoy the cake in its glorious entirety.
This is now my absolute favourite cupcake! The only problem is; you want to be able to hold a cupcake and eat it with your hand. But the cake itself is so soft that with the added coring and then filling with a firm cheesecake, it is just too delicate to not eat with a fork or spoon.
(edit) Assembly: This is up to you. If making it into a triple layer cake, flatten the tops of the two red velvet cake layers by trimming the domes off. Frost the top of the first layer before placing the cheesecake layer on it. Lightly frost the cheesecake layer before placing the second red velvet layer. Cover the top and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Make pretty! Or you can do the cupcake version I tried here. I purchased a cupcake plunger (to core and fill cupcakes) from my favourite baking store - Bake-A-Ton.
Using a cupcake plunger to cut out cheesecake circles.
Filling the cored cupcakes with cheesecake and then covering with cupcake guts! ;)
:D The Leaning Chapeau-Wearing Cupcake.
You can use the cupcake inners to decorate I suppose. Mine just looks weird.
Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake with Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from this recipe.
Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
With an electric mixer on med-high speed, whisk together 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.
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.
Line two 9 inch spring form pans with baking paper. Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If making cupcakes, line muffin pans with cupcake liners and bake for 18-23 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Allow to cool before removing the cake from the pan. Allow to cool completely before assembling with the cheesecake.
White Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from the Williams Sonoma Baking Cookbook
60 g good quality white chocolate, chopped [I used a whole cup; remember - not a massive cheesecake fan]
2 packages/500g plain cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cream [Used 100 ml to make up for my extra chocolate]
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Carefully melt the white chocolate and set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, using an electronic mixer, beat the cream cheese on low until creamy. Add sugar and beat slowly until smooth. On low speed, mix in the flour. Beat the eggs in one at a time on low, scraping the sides of the bowl down. Mix in the vanilla and cream with a rubber spatula till mixture is smooth. Stir in the melted white chocolate until incorporated.
Pour batter into a lined 9 inch spring form pan. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the centre is set when you shake the pan slightly (Mine still wobbled slightly, but set while cooling in its pan on the wire rack). Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and assembling.
Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 package/250g cream cheese, at room temperature
2-3 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package/250g mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Cream butter with the whisk attachment of an electric or hand mixer. Add cream cheese and beat till combined. Sift in icing sugar a cup at a time and beat, testing the sweetness. Beat in the vanilla.
Using a spatula, add in a bit of mascarpone cheese, and fold in trying to incorporate it into the icing mixture. If you beat mascarpone cheese, it can curdle. Keep doing this a little at a time until all the mascarpone is combined. I kind of flatten heaped tablespoons of mascarpone with my spatula against the bowl, scrape it into the icing and then fold it in.
You could use the usual cream cheese frosting, which is also delicious, but I prefer the mascarpone version - it's frothier, fluffier, creamier! I ♥ this frosting.
* I forgot to mention - store these lovelies in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It tastes perfect when chilled. So give it several hours to sit in the fridge first. I know it's difficult not to gobble them up straight away, but, patience! You will be rewarded ;)