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Red Velvet Cheesecake

Chef Joe Burns is “big into sweet potatoes, yams, cheesecakes, and bread puddings.”
Chef Joe Burns is “big into sweet potatoes, yams, cheesecakes, and bread puddings.”
Place

Waters Fine Foods & Cafe

1122 Morena Boulevard, San Diego

I got into baking because I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing. In culinary school, we had to choose either the savory or pastry track. It seemed like everyone chose savory so I chose pastry. At first I didn’t like it. I wanted to cook more, but I had already put the time in and I didn’t want to start all over again. I stuck with it, even though I was one of the only guys in the group.

Once I graduated, baking grew on me. I started to see the artistry in the craft and all of the amazing things you can do with pastry. As a dessert chef, you create the final impression a person has of the restaurant. I don’t bake much at home unless it’s someone’s birthday or Thanksgiving. Right now, at home, I’m really into lentils and white beans. I love to grill up some pork chops and I’m a fan of heirloom tomatoes.

I grew up in the South and my desserts still have a “down South” cooking vibe. I love making pies, candies, and crêpes. I’m big into sweet potatoes, yams, cheesecakes, and bread puddings. One of my favorite things to make now is a red velvet cheesecake because the color is so red and rich. You can make them into individual frozen cheesecakes on a stick and dip them into chocolate. You don’t expect the color to be so red and gorgeous.

Of course, living in San Diego, people aren’t as into buttercream as they are in the South. I’ve had to adapt. Luckily, the produce in San Diego is so lovely. You can make peach or cherry tarts with toasted almonds and it tastes amazing. You don’t even need sugar. I get a lot of requests for gluten-free and sugar-free and I have to get creative to make desserts without flour or sugar. But, like with most things, if you have an open mind, you can do almost anything.

INGREDIENTS

Makes one 10˝ cheesecake

Crust

  • 3 cups finely crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 pounds room-temp cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar

Ganache

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  •  18 oz semisweet chocolate (chopped into small pieces)

HOW TO DO IT

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. Place mixture in a 10-inch spring form cake pan and pat down. Spray the sides of the pan with a non-stick coating.

Place cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in a bowl and cream until smooth and there are no lumps. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add in the food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Mix until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan, leaving about 3/4 of an inch between the top of the pan and the cake batter. Bake in oven at 275 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until the center has become semi firm to the touch. Cooking time will vary depending on your oven. If the edges begin to burn, cover with foil. Once the cake has come out of the oven and cooled down, unmold it. I finish the cake by coating it in a dark-chocolate ganache.

Heat heavy cream to scalding. Pour over chocolate and stir with a spoon until smooth. Place cake on cooling rack and pour the ganache over it. Smooth off any extra ganache with an offset spatula 

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Chef Joe Burns is “big into sweet potatoes, yams, cheesecakes, and bread puddings.”
Chef Joe Burns is “big into sweet potatoes, yams, cheesecakes, and bread puddings.”
Place

Waters Fine Foods & Cafe

1122 Morena Boulevard, San Diego

I got into baking because I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing. In culinary school, we had to choose either the savory or pastry track. It seemed like everyone chose savory so I chose pastry. At first I didn’t like it. I wanted to cook more, but I had already put the time in and I didn’t want to start all over again. I stuck with it, even though I was one of the only guys in the group.

Once I graduated, baking grew on me. I started to see the artistry in the craft and all of the amazing things you can do with pastry. As a dessert chef, you create the final impression a person has of the restaurant. I don’t bake much at home unless it’s someone’s birthday or Thanksgiving. Right now, at home, I’m really into lentils and white beans. I love to grill up some pork chops and I’m a fan of heirloom tomatoes.

I grew up in the South and my desserts still have a “down South” cooking vibe. I love making pies, candies, and crêpes. I’m big into sweet potatoes, yams, cheesecakes, and bread puddings. One of my favorite things to make now is a red velvet cheesecake because the color is so red and rich. You can make them into individual frozen cheesecakes on a stick and dip them into chocolate. You don’t expect the color to be so red and gorgeous.

Of course, living in San Diego, people aren’t as into buttercream as they are in the South. I’ve had to adapt. Luckily, the produce in San Diego is so lovely. You can make peach or cherry tarts with toasted almonds and it tastes amazing. You don’t even need sugar. I get a lot of requests for gluten-free and sugar-free and I have to get creative to make desserts without flour or sugar. But, like with most things, if you have an open mind, you can do almost anything.

INGREDIENTS

Makes one 10˝ cheesecake

Crust

  • 3 cups finely crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Cheesecake

  • 1 1/2 pounds room-temp cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar

Ganache

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  •  18 oz semisweet chocolate (chopped into small pieces)

HOW TO DO IT

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. Place mixture in a 10-inch spring form cake pan and pat down. Spray the sides of the pan with a non-stick coating.

Place cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in a bowl and cream until smooth and there are no lumps. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add in the food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar. Mix until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan, leaving about 3/4 of an inch between the top of the pan and the cake batter. Bake in oven at 275 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until the center has become semi firm to the touch. Cooking time will vary depending on your oven. If the edges begin to burn, cover with foil. Once the cake has come out of the oven and cooled down, unmold it. I finish the cake by coating it in a dark-chocolate ganache.

Heat heavy cream to scalding. Pour over chocolate and stir with a spoon until smooth. Place cake on cooling rack and pour the ganache over it. Smooth off any extra ganache with an offset spatula 

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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