Since I took liberties with Donna Hay's recipe, I want to capture those changes here.
Red Velvet Cheesecake
Line your springform pan with a parchment circle. I sprayed the springform bottom with Pam to help the parchment adhere.
I took a shortcut with the crust and bought an Oreo crust from the baking aisle, but poured the crumbs into an 8" springform pan and pressed it into the bottom and sides.
1-1/2 8 oz. pkgs. Cream cheese
1-1/4 Cups Ricotta cheese
3/4 Cup Sugar
1-1/2 tsp Vanilla
150g Good quality dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
Red food coloring paste (You decide how red you want it.)
Dutch-process Cocoa for dusting (Trader Joe's)
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. In large mixing bowl or food processor, beat together cream cheese, ricotta, and sugar for 2-3 minutes until smooth--often scraping sides of bowl.
3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat a further minute.
4. Add cooled, melted chocolate and food coloring until well-combined.
5. Pour over Oreo cookie crust.
6. Place a shallow pan of water on lower oven shelf (keeps cheesecake from cracking).
7. Bake in center of oven for about 1 hour, keeping watch. You want the cheesecake to look solid, with about a half-dollar center spot still appearing wet.
8. Cool completely, then refrigerate 4 hours or overnight until well-chilled.
9. Dust with Dutch-process Cocoa before serving.
Years ago, I first visited Santa Fe with my sister JA. Luckily we did two brilliant things--we took a walking tour of the historic area and we took a class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Then, I visited with my friend LL and took a Southwest breakfast class which included a recipe for fresh fruit with a Tequila syrup--a simple syrup with Tequila added. I've now simplified that and cut a few calories by using 3 parts Agave syrup to 1 part Tequila. Just a splash really perks up and glazes the fresh fruit.