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Red velvet cheesecake louise lennox pic by harry weir
Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke
Recipes

Red velvet, white chocolate and pomegranate cheesecake

An American-inspired recipe from Louise Lennox.

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Serving: 12
Time: More than an hour
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients

For the red velvet cake:

  • 280g plain flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 120g butter, melted
  • 240ml buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons red food colouring
  • 1 teaspoon bread soda
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 500g ricotta cheese
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 lemons, zest only
  • 1 large egg
  • 200ml double cream
  • 100g white chocolate, cut into small chunks

For the white chocolate frosting:

  • 500g white chocolate bars, grated
  • 550ml double cream
  • 1 pomegranate

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC/gas mark 3. Line and grease 2 x 25cm cake tins.
  2. To make the cake, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder together.
  3. Mix the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and food colouring together. Combine the two mixes together and fold until everything is well incorporated. Mix the bread soda with the vinegar and add to the mix.
  4. Divide between the two cake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cakes are ready. To check, put a cocktail stick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cakes are cooked. Leave to cool in the tins for ten minutes and unmould onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely. Then cut off the very top of each cake to make it even and to reveal the gorgeous red coloured sponge.
  5. To make the cheesecake filling, drain the ricotta cheese to remove any excess liquid. Whisk the ricotta, sugar, cornflour and lemon zest until smooth. Beat in the egg, and pour in the cream slowly, whisking all the time. Fold in the white chocolate chunks.
  6. Line the same tin that the red velvet cake was baked in with baking paper around the sides and the bottom. Place one of the cakes on the bottom, then spoon half of the cheesecake mixture on top. Next, place the remaining cake sponge on top and the rest of the cheesecake mixture. Place a sheet of baking paper and a layer of tin foil over the top to prevent the cake from drying out. Leave in the fridge for a few hours to set.
  7. For the frosting, chop 400g of the chocolate into small pieces and put into a bowl. Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Leave to stand for a few minutes, then whisk until all the chocolate is melted. When completely cold, cover and place in the fridge overnight.
  8. Grate 100g white chocolate.
  9. Whip the frosting until thick. Spread a thin layer around the sides of the cake and roll in the grated white chocolate. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle with the remaining white chocolate frosting. Pipe all over the top of the cake. Cut open the pomegranate and sprinkle the seeds all over the white chocolate frosting. Place in the fridge until ready to eat.

Recipe credit: Louise Lennox

Photography credit: Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke

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Tips

If you don’t have the red food colouring, you can leave it out as it only adds colour and will not affect the flavour. Use desiccated coconut instead of grated white chocolate around the sides of the cake.