Welcome to Monday Mixup! Today, contemporary romance author Christina Sinisi shares with us the recipe to a special, delicious dessert that happens to be a favorite of one of her main characters from her Christmas novella, Christmas Confusion: Red Velvet Cheesecake.
In Christmas Confusion, neither character can cook quite this well—this recipe takes a bit of work. However, Nick brings red velvet cake to Tiffany as an apology instead of flowers. Christmas Confusion is a second chance romance, and even though they had been apart for years, Nick remembers her favorite cake, favorite flower, and just her in a way no one else ever understood.
Now, in real life, this is a recipe I save for special occasions—it’s time consuming and absolutely delicious—enjoy and Merry Christmas!
Lincoln’s Red Velvet Cheesecake
For the cheesecake:
1 ¼ Pounds bar cream cheese (20 oz.), room temperature
¾ cups sugar
½ t. finely grated lemon zest, plus ½ T. fresh lemon juice
¼ t coarse salt
2 large eggs
½ cup sour cream
For the cake:
2 ½ c. cake flour
1 ½ c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
1 T. cocoa powder
1 t. salt
1 ½ c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 T. (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. white distilled vinegar
For the frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. butter, softened
1 ½ t. vanilla extract
3 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 bar white or dark chocolate (optional for decoration), I used Ghirardelli
For the cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Set a kettle of water to boil. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.
Cut parchment paper in a circle and line the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform. Bake until just set in center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes. Run a pairing knife around edge; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight, then wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9” round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each on a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely then level.
For the frosting:
Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes.
Place bottom layer on cake stand. Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom, then peel off parchment paper. Place cheesecake layer on top of the bottom layer of the red velvet cake. If the cheesecake is wider than the cake, and it is necessary to trim it, wait approximately 10 minutes for the cheesecake to soften, then trim it with a knife. Place top layer of cake on top of the cheesecake, and coat with a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting to act as the crumb coat. Be careful not to get any red velvet crumbs in the bowl of frosting! Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, then frost with as much of the remaining frosting as necessary. Top with shaved white chocolate and/or shaved dark chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
(This cake doesn’t have to stay in the fridge until immediately before serving, so don’t worry if you have a 30-minute lapse between the refrigerator and serving.)
About Christina Sinisi
A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christina Sinisi writes stories about families, both the broken and blessed. Her works include a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and the American Title IV Contest where she appeared in the top ten in the Romantic Times magazine. By day, she is a psychology professor and lives in the LowCountry of South Carolina with her husband and two children and loves a good cooking challenge. Please visit her at Christina Sinisi-Author on Facebook and www.christinasinisi.com.
Books by Christina Sinisi