The one thing about having a blog is that it teaches you things. Alot of things. In the past several days, I’ve been sifting through food blogs, one after the other. Yesterday, I found a blog written by a 17 year old, whose maturity speaks through her words. She has a writing style unparalleled to most food bloggers and reading her stories is like being swept away back to the days when I was 17. If I could write half as well as she does, I’d consider myself a worthy writer. From Elissa, I learned that while glossy photographs can appeal to readers, it’s the writing that captures the hearts of fans. Her blog is 17 and baking if you’re wondering.
The second thing that my blog has taught me is the art of patience; patience in writing a post, patience in waiting for people to discover your blog, but most importantly, patience in baking. I used to rush through recipes- where it called to sift twice, I’d sift once. Where it’d say to beat until smooth, I’d beat until half-smooth. In other words, my baking attempts were all half-baked.
So, I sat by my laptop and sifted all purpose flour not five, but six times to make cake flour. I took out the cream cheese at 8am, 6 hours before I started baking to make sure I’d have the cream cheese at room temperature. Last but not least, I mustered all the strength within me to mix, mix, and mix. Do you know how tiring it is to make a cake and a cheesecake by hand? I figured that if women made cakes for centuries without electric mixers, I sure as hell could too.
Thus, it was a wonderful feeling when this cake came out and didn’t collapse (okay fine, the cheesecake cracked on the side, but after you layer and frost it, no one could tell)! This was my first layered cake and while it wasn’t a 10 out of 10, I’d say it turned out pretty decent, delectable actually! The aim was to replicate Stefanie’s Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake from the Cheesecake Factory. The red velvet could have been more moist, but since I halved the amount of sugar and oil, that might have contributed to it. But all in all, it’s still a great cake and I’d imagine a crowd pleaser (uh, what cake with a cheesecake smack in the middle layer wouldn’t be?!)
Surprisingly, no one had the Cheesecake Factory’s recipe anywhere online, but Judy merged the famous red velvet from Martha Stewart’s cupcake book and a white chocolate cheesecake from William Sonoma. Since I didn’t have any white chocolate, I used William Sonoma’s Vanilla Bean Cheesecake recipe. The cheesecake turned out beautifully and the sugar that I cut out from the red velvet cake part definitely wasn’t missed.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart and William Sonoma
Red Velvet Ingredients:
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour sifted
- 2 tbsp unsweetened coca powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sugar (original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups)
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil (original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp red gel-paste food color
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp distilled white vinegar
If you don’t have cake flour, Joy the Baker gives a wonderful step by step guide on how to make cake flour. It’s what I did.
Bake in a 350 oven for 30-35 minutes until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool before removing the cake from the pan and assembling with the cheesecake.
But, before you bake the red velvet, save a bit of gas and bake it with the cheesecake!
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Ingredients:
- 2 packages of cream cheese (16 oz) at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of sugar (original recipe calls for 1 cup)
- 2 large eggs at room temperature (original recipe calls for 3)
- 2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of cream
(Original recipe also calls for juice of 1 lemon, strained and 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise)
Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. You don’t need to use a water bath because even if the cheesecake cracks, it’s being layered inside the red velvet so… yeah. But cover the cheesecake with another cake tin or with a pot cover to insulate the cheesecake. Bake the cheesecake until cheesecake jiggles very slightly when the pan is gently shaken. If the center looks soupy, re-cover and continue to bake for a few more minutes. William Sonoma says to bake for 40-45 minutes, but I got away with 35 minutes.
After, chill on the counter for an hour and then chill in the refrigerator. Cheesecake must be completely cool before you assemble it with the red velvet!
Meanwhile… this would be a great time to make the frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- 1 package cream cheese (8 oz) at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered cugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
(By the time, I was so tired of taking pictures. Sorry.)
All you need to do is mix the three until they’re smooth. While I got away with using just 1 package, if you like your cake to be overflowing with a thick layer of frosting, I suggest you to use two packages. But given that this cake already uses THREE packages of cream cheese, I decided to be a bit more conscious of all that fat. After all, cream cheese is by definition 33% milkfat. OUCH.
When frosting, you should make a crumb free layer first by taking a bit of the frosting and diluting it with milk. But since I had neither milk nor extra frosting to spare, I omitted that step and look what happened. Pink freckles on my frosting!!