Hello Everyone! I just want to start off by saying that I AM FINALLY DONE WITH MY DEGREE! Well, more like I am free from formal classes FOREVER for my Bachelor of Design degree! I’m still not entirely free as I still have my internship to complete until mid-Fenruary next year. This just means that I will have more time to spend in the kitchen, cooking up meals and experimenting with recipes. It will also give me more time write up these recipes for my blog, which makes me happy! So to keep this blog up to date on a regular basis, I have decided to run an upload schedule every Tuesday & Thursday nights. Tuesday posts will feature Muffin Making Monday recipes every two weeks, while Thursdays will predominantly be for other recipes and reviews.
Yesterday was Muffin Making Monday, but I will save that recipe for Thursday’s blog post as today will be a special one. For those of you who don’t know me personally, my birthday was 2 days ago. I celebrated my 23rd with my closest friends from uni, from primary/highschool friends from Brunei, and old/new housemates. On the Saturday I hosted a high tea & water balloon party just at the lodge – cheese & deli platters, quiches, salads, sangria, scones, and tea! Oh and of course, how could I fail to mention Red Velvet Cheesecake? Despite that everything went well, we probably spent close to 4/5 hours making water balloons that only lasted less than two minutes. Barely any of us got wet, well, I was soaking because I took a bucket of water to the head and got sprayed with the hose after stupidly approaching Marissa to genuinely lend her my slippers because ‘her feet hurt’.
On Sunday, which was my actual birthday, I celebrated with more friends at the Potting Shed at the Grounds of Alexandria. We had drinks, lots of food, and always room for some self-saucing chocolate pudding! Afterwards, we roamed around the grounds, looking at more food stalls and the on-going markets. We visited Kevin Bacon (the pig) as well and apparently it was also his birthday weekend! After the Grounds, Zargham, Jialing, and I went to the Ritz Cinema Randwick to watch Interstellar – 10/10! Brilliance is all I can say. Yvonne then join us afterwards for dinner in Kingsford and that was basically the end of a perfectly sunny spring/summery birthday weekend.
Though the weekend was perfect, can’t say the same for the week that led up to it. I had a photography assignment due the Monday of that week. Pretty much all the photographing was done – it was coming up with a bloody concept that took forever – but in the end, I got there and was able to convince my tutor for my choices. On Thursday afternoon, I decided to get a start on making my Red Velvet Cheesecake, basically just the sponge so that I would have it ready and cooled to layer with the cheesecake the next day. On the night before my celebration at home, I had a 2000w essay that needed finishing. I also had work that morning so it was indeed a stressful day/night. Once I was done and over with that essay, I submitted it online at 11:57pm and contemplated on whether I should start my Red Velvet Cheesecake or do it early morning. Knowing that I would probably end up sleeping in until very late, I decided to make my cheesecake right after submitting. And so I did. I probably started at around 12:30am and didn’t finish until an hour later (considering I had to be quiet as to not disturb my the other tenants in the house). Placed it in the fridge and went to bed happy that the cheesecake was done and setting (kind of) overnight in the fridge. The next day, Jo Yee helped me make the frosting while Jialing frosted and decorated the cake while I was busy preparing all the other foods, setting up, and lending my face to Daniel to make me pretty (not that I wasn’t pretty to begin with). But enough babble, as I’m pretty sure Vidhya has read enough to last her until Thursday, let’s get on with the recipe!
The original recipe can be found on Jamie Oliver’s Foodtube that features Eric Lanlard & Donal Skehan. I stumbled across this video on Youtube about 2 months ago and bookmarked it for I instantly knew that this was the cake I wanted to make for my birthday.
PREP TIME 30 MINS* | COOKING TIME 35-40 MINS | SERVES 8-10
*Add extra 4 hours (or overnight) for chilling and assembling
For the red velvet cake mix (double quantities if you want to make a 2-layer cake)
- 185g butter, at room temperature, plus extra melted, to grease
- 125ml buttermilk
- 2 large free range eggs
- 2/3 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 cup self-raising flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp red food colouring
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
For the cheesecake filling
- 300ml double cream, whipped
- 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp hot water
- 1 & 1/2 tsp gelatine powder
For the cheesecake frosting
- 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 60g butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare cake tin by slightly greasing the bottom and sides, and adding a piece of baking paper at the bottom of the tin.
- Red Velvet Cake Mix: Sift the baking soda, cocoa powder, plain flour, self-raising flour into a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Meanwhile in a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar using an electric handheld mixer. Mix until pale and creamy. Add the eggs and beat on slow speed, making sure that it’s all blended in. Add the flour mixture into egg mixture and gently fold it in. Finally, add in the buttermilk and red food colouring. Mix together. Transfer the mixture to your prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool down for about 20 minutes. Trim the tops of the sponge cake, saving the trimmings to decorate with later.
- Cheesecake Filling: Combine the cream cheese and caster sugar using a handheld electric mixer until it is nice and smooth. Add in the lemon juice and combine further. In a small bowl, add the gelatine powder to the hot water and mix through until it is well dissolved. Straight away add the gelatine mix to the cream cheese mix and combine. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix until well combined.
- Assembling: Line a springform cake tin with cling film. Take one layer of the red velvet sponge and gently press down. Add about a quarter of the cheesecake filling to the tin, pushing it all the way to the sides to get a nice edge. Add the second layer of sponge, again pressing down gently, and add the remaining cheesecake filling. Fold in the cling film to give it a nice smooth edge, and place in the fridge to fully set (minimum 4 hours, but preferably overnight so that it is nice a firm).
- Cream Cheese Frosting: Smooth the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla together using an electric handheld mixer. Fold in the icing sugar, and then use the mixer again to beat it until it is light and fluffy.
- Assembly & Decoration: Gently remove the cake from the springform and place the cake on a plate. With a palette knife, push the icing on top of and around the edges of the cake to make a nice thin layer of frosting. To bring some colour back to it, take your sponge trimmings and crumble it on the top and edges of your cake. Lightly dust some icing sugar on the top of the crumbs and it is ready to serve!
– Ally xx