Storm the Cassoulet

Red Velvet Cheesecake

FOHOSC09

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whole buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Method:

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Beat 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.

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Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

14 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons cool unsalted butter, cut into chunks (see Cake-Baking Tips)

2 large eggs, at room temperature (see Cake-Baking Tips), separated

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 ounce red food coloring, (see Ingredient note) (optional)

1 cup nonfat buttermilk

12 ounces soft light cream cheese

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 ounce chocolate, grated, for garnish (optional)

METHOD:

To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.

Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks one at a time, then vanilla and food coloring (if using) until smooth.

Beat in half the buttermilk on low speed until smooth, then half the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the remaining buttermilk. Beat in the remaining flour mixture just until combined.

Clean and dry beaters. Beat egg whites in a clean medium bowl at high speed until soft peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter until just incorporated, using long, even strokes. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading to the edges. Gently rap the pans against the counter once or twice to settle the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert the layers onto the rack, remove the pans and let cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes more.

To prepare frosting & assemble cake: Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Place one cake layer top-side down on a serving plate; cover with half the frosting, spreading just to the edges. Set the second layer on top, top-side down. Spread the remaining frosting on the top only. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if desired.

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Strawberry Hearts

strawberry

Ingredients:

Ready-made pie curst

Cream cheese

Diced strawberries

Sugar

Method:

Cut the pie crust with a heart shaped cookie cutter.  Fill with cream cheese, diced strawberries and a little sugar!

Bake 350 for 15-18 minutes.

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