Red Velvet Cheesecake-Vanilla Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cakes, Desserts

red-velvet-cheesecake-vanilla-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting-arriba

Adapted from Southern Living December 2016

Another Christmas, full of love, laughter and fun, has come and gone but not without my making a delicious dessert for our Christmas Eve dinner. This year choosing a dessert proved quite difficult. I had several suggestions but no one agreed on any single dessert. Though simple, I had thought of making a red velvet cake because it seemed like a Christmas-y dessert. However some thought that wasn’t very dessert-y, that it was more appropriate for an afternoon tea. I went with my mother and sister-in-law to the supermarket and the former offered if I wanted to get a Southern Living magazine. I accepted and started looking through the marvelous cakes once I got home. The decision was pretty unanimous in the end.

Cheesecake Layers

Ingredients:

  • 4½ 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 4½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 1-ounce bottles liquid red food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F (162.8C) . Line the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round pans with aluminum foil and allow 2 to 3 inches to extend over the sides. Lightly grease the foil.
  2. Beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until completely combined, about one minute.
  3. Add the eggs, sour cream, buttermilk, cocoa, red food coloring, vanilla and vinegar, beating on low speed until fully combined (do not overbeat).
  4. Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven at 325F for ten minutes. Reduce the heat to 300F (148.9C) and continue baking until center is slightly jiggly, about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake layers stand in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the cheesecake layers from the oven and cool in the pans for 1 hour. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.

red-velvet-cheesecake-vanilla-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting

Vanilla Cake Layer

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (4 ounces, 113 grams)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F (162.8C). Grease one 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter with a stand mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy, about five minutes.
  3. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Beat the egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the batter. Gradually fold in remaining egg whites.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 33 to 36 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 32-ounce package of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy, about five minutes.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating on low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.

red-velvet-cheesecake-vanilla-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting-cortado

Assembling the Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 red velvet cheesecake layers (recipe above)
  • 1 vanilla cake layer (recipe above)
  • Cream cheese frosting (recipe above)

Directions:

  1. Lift the cheesecake layers from their pans, using the foil sides as handles.
  2. Place 1 cheesecake layer, bottom side up, on a cake plate. Place the vanilla cake layer on top of the cheesecake layer. Top the vanilla cake layer with the remaining cheesecake layer, bottom side up.
  3. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting over the top and sides of the cake to seal in crumbs and chill the cake for 20 minutes.
  4. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

 

Comments: This cake was a big success. The combination of red velvet cocoa, light vanilla cake and sweet cream cheese frosting was just right. I also garnished the cake with white chocolate curls. What I did was soften a white chocolate baking bar by heating it in the microwave at 50% power for 10-15 seconds. I then used a vegetable peeler to shave the chocolate and make the curls. I also sprinkled some gold sugar to give the cake a touch of color. Like all cake recipes, you get a lot of frosting when following the instructions but having more is better than having less and some people may prefer more frosting than others. Here are some general baking tips that may prove useful to you. While I was making the cheesecake layers, I ran out of sour cream. When I had looked at the package to see how much it had, I converted tablespoons to cups incorrectly and ended up buying less sour cream than I needed. However, I did have plain Greek yogurt in my fridge; plain yogurt is a good substitute for sour cream. I also did not buy buttermilk to make this cake; instead I measured 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and then added milk to it to create the ¾ cups I needed.

red-velvet-cheesecake-vanilla-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting-pedazo

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Chocotorta

Desserts

 (Torta de Chocolinas)

Chocotorta, pedazo

This is a very typical Argentine dessert made out of 100% deliciousness. Admittedly, it is a very simple, quick, no-bake dessert. Nonetheless, it is heaven…layers of chocolate cookies and creamy dulce de leche…In one Word: Yum. Unfortunately, it may be somewhat hard to find the ingredients in other countries. However, any store that sells Argentine products will most likely have them.

Ingredients:

  • 48 Chocolina cookies (2 170-gram packets)
  • 250 g sour cream
  • 250 g dulce de leche
  • ½ cup milk, more if needed

Chocotorta

Directions:

  1. Mix together the sour cream and dulce de leche in a bowl.
  2. Pour the milk into a bowl. Dip the Chocolinas, one by one, in the milk and place on the bottom of an 8×8-inch square baking dish. You should be able to fit 12 cookies.
  3. With a spatula, spread a layer of the dulce de leche mixture over the cookies.
  4. Top with 12 more soaked cookies.
  5. Repeat this procedure until you have 4 layers of cookies and 4 layers of the dulce de leche mixture. Refrigerate.
  6. To serve, cut rectangular pieces by following the shape of the cookie.

 

Comments: Like I said before, very easy. This may quite possibly be one of my favorite desserts. It’s perfect for the summer, but you don’t need an excuse to eat it year-round. My favorite brand of dulce de leche is La Salamandra. Unfortunately, they have recently stopped producing it. Other well-known brands are San Ignacio, Havanna, La Serenísima and Verónica. A very common brand is La Lechera but it is really bad and NOT ARGENTINE. I beg of you, if possible, use the real thing.

Chocotorta, pedazo 2

Chocolate and Cookie Layer Delight

Desserts

Pasteles de galletas y chocolate 3

Adapted and Translated from Semana Magazine

Every time I looked through my mom’s binder of cut-out recipes, I came across this delicious-looking dessert. I promised myself I would make it one day. Finally, some friends invited us over and I had to make dessert. They liked chocolate and I wanted to make something fresh. This was perfect. I give you a decadent dessert for the chocolate-lover’s soul.

Ingredients:

  • 125 g butter
  • 150 g chocolate
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 1 cup milk
  • 48 (about 372 g) Biscoff cookies or other rectangular, plain cookies of your choice

Chocolate topping:

  • 113+ g chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions:

  1. Line a 13×9 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the chocolate on top of the butter in a microwavable bowl and melt together according to the directions on the chocolate wrapper. Mix in 3 tablespoons of sugar and the egg yolks one by one. Beat the 3 egg whites until stiff, shiny peaks form. Gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
  3. Mix together the milk and the rest of the sugar. Apply a layer of the chocolate mixture to the bottom of the pan and then top with a layer of cookies. Soak the cookies in the milk before adding to the pan. Continue with the rest of the chocolate mixture and cookies. I got 3 layers of each. In each cookie layer, I put 2 rows of 8 cookies. The final layer should consist of cookies.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Melt the remaining 113 g of chocolate and the tablespoon of butter in the microwave according to the chocolate wrapper. Spread the chocolate over the dessert and make a wavy design with a fork.

 

Comments: At first, I was a bit hesitant about using Biscoff cookies because they have a pretty distinct flavor. However, their taste blended nicely with the chocolate. Depending on which cookies you use, you may need more or less (the original recipe calls for 200 g of cookies). Had I been in Argentina, I would have used galletitas Lincoln. In Spain, I would have used galletas Chiquilín. If you want to present your dessert on a nicer tray, you can lift it out of the baking pan with the parchment paper and then peel off the paper while sliding the dessert onto the tray. I recommend that you make this dessert the day before so that that the cookies and chocolate blend together. Remember to keep refrigerated!

Pasteles de galletas y chocolate

Layering the chocolate and cookies

Mi pastelito