V-Day Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Hearts

 Valentines Day is just around the corner and what’s better than a cheesy treat? I’m thinking something along the lines of red velvet. So this year I decided on making a red velvet cream cheese swirl cake. While I was grabbing my rectangular baking pan I felt that cutting them into squares were not exciting nor valentiney enough...and then I rummaged through Mrs.M’s cookie cutter drawer and found one shaped like my heart. Perfect!

If you love the combination of sweet, salty, tangy, creamy and chocolatey...this is without a doubt a winner. Trust me on this one! It’s moist, tender, and not too sweet! And I added vanilla seeds just because I love seeing the black specks on the cheese layer!

But before we go through the recipe.. thought I'd share my kitchenaid catastrophe with all of you...

in house mechanic...he can now add kitchenaid pro into his resume
I bought this 3 weeks ago from craigslist and I must be honest...it was a pretty good deal. And after just using it once, I tried to run it again and all I hear is a jammed motor...then I thought perhaps that's why the deal was so darn good. Fortunately I found this professional mechanic we call T who started digging around. In his surprise and soon after mine...this kitchenaid had about 1 quart of extra grease globbed all over and around the motor...but that wasn't the culprit...it turns out that the worm gear rotor broke in two!  Thankfully its a cheap and easy gear to find... I'll be more wary of my craigslist purchases from now on...

greasy and broken worm gear

imagine a mound of grease in there...

Fortunately the kitchenaid wasn't needed for this recipe...but be my guest if you'd like to use one.
Red velvet layer
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 C sugar
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 t salt
1 T (or more) red food coloring
2 t vinegar
4 eggs
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour

Cheesecake layer

2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour an 9x13 baking pan, and set aside. Add melted butter to a large bowl then add the following ingredients, in this order, stirring after each addition: sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring and vinegar. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and then stir into the cocoa mixture. Fold in the flour just until combined. (Don’t overmix!) Set aside at least 1/2 cup of the batter for the top; pour the rest of the batter in the baking pan, spreading evenly across the bottom.
For the cheesecake layer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in the pan, then plop spoonfuls of the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese. Drag the tip of a knife through the red velvet and the cream cheese to create swirls. Bake for 30 minutes or just until the center of the cheesecake part is set. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. Remove from pan and cut with cookie cutter! or leave them as squares.


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