As far as food bloggers go, I’m not terribly good at following seasonal themes. Easter and Christmas aren’t a problem since we seem to get an increasingly advanced notice for those holidays every year, so remembering to come up with a few themed recipes is easy. Unfortunately, the minor occasions like Valentine’s Day and Halloween often escape my attention until the very last minute.
So here we are again: a few days before Valentine’s Day and I’m only just posting something sweet, red and overflowing with loving gesture. It’s not that I’m unromantic but I guess seasonal events that aren’t super relevant to me kinda go over my head. Ramadan, Chinese New Year, Groundhog Day… I’m sure there’s an opportunity to celebrate or commemorate something every single day but I sadly don’t have the time :(
Why didn’t I just let this Valentine’s Day slip? Well if it’s meant to be a day to let those dear to you know that you love them then how can I not participate? I’m of the firm belief every day should be a celebration of loved ones but much in the same way I lap up Mother’s Day (every day should be Mother’s Day right?), it is nice to have that one day to really nail the point and score some delicious chocolates or what have you :)
It wasn’t hard to come up with a nice Valentine’s Day treat for this year. Tenina’s latest cookbook (Keeping It Simple – review coming soon!) is full of great recipes and it’s so far helped me out a lot with easy but impressive desserts. One recipe I’d been keen to try was a brownie style cake, with a kick of balsamic vinegar and a cheesecake swirl through it. I’ll try the original another time but I adapted the recipe for a red velvet treat.
I must say that this cake came out outstandingly moist (Tenina said it would be, so of course!). The cheesecake swirl gives a subtle tang but the main star was definitely the rich, moist red velvet. It was a hit with my family so we’re all feeling the love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Red Velvet Brownie Cake with Cheesecake Swirl
90g caster sugar
250g cream cheese (I used light cream cheese with no issues)
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g plain flour
150g caster sugar
250g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp red food colouring (natural if required)
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1 tbsp of white vinegar
220g cold water
80g vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
To Make: Pre-heat oven to 180C (160C fan-forced) and fill a dish (larger than the cake pan you wish to use) with water (about half-way) and place it in the oven. Place first five ingredients into the TMX and blitz together on Speed 6 for 10 seconds. Scrape down and blitz again for another 10 seconds. Transfer cheesecake mixture to another bowl and set aside. Place remaining ingredients into the TMX bowl and blitz on Speed 6 for 30 seconds until well combined. Scrape down and repeat the blitz. Pour cake mixture into a greased cake pan (30 x 20cm recommended) to half height, then pour the cheesecake mixture in the centre. Swirl the two mixtures together using a skewer or a spoon, scooping from the bottom. Do not overdo this! If your cake pan isn’t big then you’ll end up with surplus of both mixtures which can be made into cupcakes. Place cake pan into the baking dish filled with water and bake for 25 minutes or when set in the centre (cake won’t wobble and metal skewer will come out clean). Remove from oven and allow the cake to cool completely before transferring to a rack or plate.