Mini Red Velvet CheesecakeRed velvet, red velvet, red velvet! Yep, we all know red velvet is "in" with all the haute bakery couture these days. Actually, when I think back, red velvet has been pretty popular for at least 5 years now, AT LEAST. I mean, it has always been apart of the deep south dessert family but, it has now become a "trendy" thing spreading world wide. Do you think the fad is dying down though? I am not so good at predicting these things but, I do know I am seeing it everywhere and more than ever. People are still oooohing, ahhhhhing, and drooling when the words redddd vvvvelvet slips from their lips."What cupcake should I get? Chocolate or Vanilla......oooooohhhhh, they have redddd vvvvelvettt!. THAT'S WHAT I AM GETTING! It's perfect."
Trendy cupcakeries, cafes, fine restaurants, and sweet bakery shops are featuring this rich, vibrant, red dessert in all forms. New York City's, Magnolia Bakery has a red velvet cheesecake, cupcake, AND cake slice that they serve.
Just a little side note/tangent: Magnolia Bakery has been credited for starting the cupcake craze, if you didn't already know this, and has just opened a shop in Los Angeles on 3rd and Orlando Avenue, a block away from where I work! AND, actually, just a block away from the well-established and beloved Joan's on Third *which I LOOOOVE* and strongly recommend you go and check out if you haven't. They have all kinds of delicious food, and sweets. Anyway, Magnolia Bakery opened up at the beginning of August for about 5 days and then had to close down temporarily because they didn't have all the proper licensing or something. I hope they open back up soon.
Getting back to Red Velvet, Yoplait has a RV flavor...
I am also seeing A LOT of red velvet cake versions of other up-and-coming tends like "whoopi pies"/"moon pies" and cake/cheesecake pops.
And of course, it goes without saying, there are tons of red velvet cupcakes. I mean, you are pretty much not a cupcake shop if you do not have a red velvet creation. What crazy red velvet stuff have you seen?
I have do not see a lot of ice cream, sorbet, or gelato RV flavors though. Wouldn't a gelato be beautiful! Sean and I have been on a gelato kick lately. My favorite is the pure white lemon gelatos but, watermelon is pretty good. And I just tried a chocolate gelato this weekend that was out of this world.
I guess that's enough for now. I will bring more Red velvet soon. I am working on a healthy red velvet cake recipe and I really want to try making an ice cream flavor.
Out of the oven and chilled
Chocolatey Crust:1 1/4 cup oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
-Toss in 2-3 whole cookies with filling and then the rest of them, scrape the filling off and toss in the food processor or blender. Blend until you have fine crumbs.
-Whisk in 1/4 cup melted butter. It will seem like you should add more butter but, don't because it may result in your crust being harder and more compact which is harder to cut through with a fork.
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
-Cream top two ingredients until creamy and fluffified.
-Add in eggs one at a time, beating lightly.
2 eggs, room temp
-Add in all the remaining below ingredients and mix well but be careful not to over-beat for the egg's sake.
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
2-3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 cup real buttermilk (It makes it a difference but if you really need to sub it-let milk sit with 2 tbs lemon juice of distilled white vinegar for about 7 mins)
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
1/2 a 1oz bottle of Wilton's red gel food coloring or 1 bottle of liquid food coloring. I used gel and the gel taste came through in an after-taste in the cake. Not really bad just enough for me not to use it next time.
-Scrape sides of bowl and bottom and mix or a couple more seconds.
-Pour batter evenly in the 6 ramekins.
-Bake at 325 for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 and bake for 30 minutes (for minis) and about and hour or slightly longer for a 9".
-To test for doneness, shake the pan gently-the very center of the cake should jiggle just slightly. If your cheesecake is done, turn off the oven and let sit for another 25 minutes to prevent cracks and imperfections due to temperature-change shocks.
-Then take out of oven and carefully remove from the water bath. Pour out the water from the pan and place the cheesecakes back in the empty pan lined with foil.
-Let cool to room temp.
-Then chill in fridge at least 8 hours.
-Carefully remove from ramekins or springform pan.
Note on using ramekins:
This is the first time I used ramekins for cheesecake. I wasn't sure if I would be able to get them out alive after baking. I buttered them first, and placed a strip of parchment paper sticking out on each side(as you see in my picture above). Then I place a circle of buttered parchment paper in bottom on top of the parchment strip. Once the cheesecake was completely chilled, I carefully pulled them out by the parchment strips. This worked quite well. My only complaint is that the parchment strips prevented from a perfect circle shape for the cheesecake. Other than that, it's much more cost efficient to make mini cheesecakes Vs. buying mini springforms at Sur La Table for $5.95 each.
CHEESECAKE TIPS THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
To prevent cracking in the cheesecake bake it like creme brulee: Boil a medium pot of water. Protect the bottom of your cheesecake pan with two layers of aluminum foil. Then place in a larger square baking dish. Set the square baking dish on the oven rack slightly pulled out. Slowly pour your boiled water into the square baking dish until the water level is half way on the outside of the cheesecake pan. Then lightly place a piece of aluminum foil over the square pan and gently slide in your oven rack and close the oven door.
You can also avoid cracking by running a knife between the pan and the cake when you take it out of the oven. This loosens the cake from the edges so that it can shrink slightly as it cools without cracking and pulling from the sides.
How to cut a Cheesecake:
Dip a sharp knife into a tall glass of very hot water for a few seconds. Wipe the knife dry with a towel. Then make he first cut all the way down and out (pulling knife towards you. Repeat dipping the knife into hot water and wiping it frequently for every cut. This technique will result in very clean, crisp slices.
I'll leave you with another Buddy portrait. :)