Well, I've been talking about this one for a while on Twitter. There have been a few cheesecake ideas floating around in my noodle for a bit, but none of them have been enticing as a red velvet cheesecake. I mean, come on.
My main worry here is that with the Oreo crust and cream cheese frosting, this would end up being far too rich. Those worries proved to be valid, as it turns out, as this thing has no regard for human life whatsoever. You will get a rampaging sugar high from this, there's no two ways about it. I've been mulling over how I'd tweak the recipe in the future - maybe a mascarpone frosting instead? - but I haven't come to any decision yet. In the end, this is a very, very good cheesecake that should be consumed with extreme moderation. I think it goes well with any holiday dinner, but give yourself at least an hour after eating before you dig in. I post the recipe below. Use at your own risk.
Red Velvet Cheesecake
Adapted from the recipe at recipegirl.com
17 regular-sized oreo cookies, crushed finely (I use a rolling pin and a Ziplock bag - works wonders without having to get out the food processor)
¼ cup butter, melted
1 tbsp granulated sugar
3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp cocoa
1 cup sour cream
½ cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
2 1-oz bottles red food coloring
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Stir together oreo crumbs, melted butter, and 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare water bath: Fill large roasting pan (big enough for springform pan to fit into) with about 1 inch of water. Place in oven and allow to preheat along with the oven.
Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add eggs and remaining cheesecake ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
Place the pan in the oven above the water bath. Note: Some recipes call for sealing the pan with foil and placing in the water bath itself. This is a great way to cook a cheesecake, but is also a bit more difficult. I choose to just cook with the water below the cheesecake in the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°F. Bake for an additional 75 minutes or until the center is firm via a toothpick test. Mine took about an additional 30 minutes of cooking before it was properly set, so be patient. Remove from the oven and let sit for 30 minutes before placing it in the fridge to cool further. I prefer to wait until the cheesecake is fully chilled before removing it from the pan.
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly on top of cheesecake. Garnish, if desired.
This recipe ended up making about twice as much frosting as I chose to use, so you could safely cut that in half. I'd also recommend using unsweetened cocoa instead of the cocoa/chocolate powder I used, but that was all I could find in the area.
This was a great cheesecake, if a little more work than usual. Not sure if it's my absolute favorite, but with a little tweaking, it might grow to be. I still have 3/4 of the cheesecake left if anyone wants to come try it.