Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red Velvet Cheesecake makes a perfectly, decadent chocolate cheesecake for Valentine’s Day!

1 lb. milk chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup butter

1- 9 oz. package chocolate wafer cookies

1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces

1 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup melted butter

4-(8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened

1-8 oz. container dairy sour cream

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup buttermilk

1-1 oz. bottle red food coloring ( 2 Tbsp.)

4 eggs

2 egg yolks

In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate and 1/2 cup butter over low heat, transfer to a bowl and cool completely.

Place wafer cookies, chocolate pieces, almonds and brown sugar in a large food processor. Cover and process until finely ground. Add 1/2 cup melted butter and process until well combined. Transfer crumbs to a 10 x 3 inch spring form pan with a removable bottom. Press crumbs onto bottom and up the sides of pan, leaving a 1/2 inch space at the top of pan. Set aside.

For filling: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cooled chocolate mixture, cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, buttermilk and red food coloring with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks all at once. Beat on low just to combine.

Pour filling into crust-lined spring form pan. Place spring form pan in a shallow baking pan on the oven rack.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until 2 inches of outside edge appear set when gently jiggled. Remove from oven.

Cool cheesecake in pan for 15 minutes. Loosen cheesecake from sides of pans.

Cool 30 more minutes. Remove sides of pan. Cool 1 hour, cover and chill 4 hours.

Garnish with chocolate leaves and fresh raspberries if desired.

Makes 20 servings

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