Edit ~ This post was originally started with the intention of posting on the week honoring the somewhat eclectic palate of my 2-year old. However, life got in the way and I missed the day that it was to be posted. I put the entry on ice for a few days, deciding to bust it out during a really special occasion…
And that happened today! The Disney Chef reached 100 followers on Facebook! Woo-hoo! I’m so happy, and lucky, to have such an eager and active group of followers who have been fooled into thinking I’m a better-then-average cook. As promised, to celebrate, here’s that long lost special recipe!
I have an admission to make… When I thought about doing this blog, the very first thing that came to mind as one that I just had to try at home was the tie dye cheesecake from Pop Century’s food court. Ever since the first time I had it during a trip in January 2012, I just fell in love with everything about it. The colors are so funky, the cheesecake itself was incredibly light and airy, and a crust of red velvet cake? Whomever dreamed that one up deserves an award.
In truth, the Pop Century food court was, I think, just about the best counter service at a resort in Disney World. I have so many great memories of being in the parks until closing, hopping the bus after a long and inevitably amazing day to one (or more) of the parks, arriving back at the resort to the bustling food court and snagging one of these guys before sliding off to a table, to the room, or to a lounge chair next to a pool to unwind.
Is it sad that I would spend more than a couple moments looking at the slices that were there and trying to find the one I thought was the prettiest? This recipe is somewhat involved, creates a lot of dishes, and can be somewhat intimidating to folks like me who don’t bake a lot of their cheesecakes. But the payoff is so worth it, and there are a few tricks to help you along the way.
The biggest tip to remember is to start with all of the ingredients for the cheesecake at room temperature, even the eggs. This cheesecake is thick and hearty and if the ingredients are cold, the cheesecake will not cook all the way through and it will not set in the middle. The tradeoff in this is that your cheesecake is especially prone to expanding and subsequently cracking in the center, especially for those who have ovens where it may run a little hot or a little cold.
While a cracked cheesecake tastes the same, and an over expanded cheesecake is still edible (though your oven will pay the price). You should have seen me checking this cheesecake over and over as I forgot this little issue… To prevent this, make sure you keep a little expanding room by not over-filling your pan. Also be sure to not overmix the cheesecake filling… The more you mix, the more it expands.
Should you find yourself with a cake that has expanded to new heights, open the oven door a crack and leave it open for about 5 minutes before shutting it again. When you cake has cooked through both the hour of active heat in the oven and the hour setting in the oven, remove it from the oven and allow it to sit for about 3 minutes, then using a small knife, run it along the edge of the cake, between the pan and cake.
By freeing it from the side of the pan, the expanded cake should be able to contract or shrink back down without splitting (the splits are sometimes caused by the cake clinging to the pan and, as the cake contracts, it doesn’t unstick from the pan, causing the cracks).
The nice thing is, if it cracks, no big deal. The tie-dye effect does well to camouflage any boo boos. If you cut the cake into slices before serving, chances are it will go unnoticed anyway. And speaking of slicing, make sure you use a large knife, stick it in point first along the edge, then push the knife down to make your cuts. Sticking the knife in and pulling it through, like a pizza slicer, will muddy the tie-dye. Also wipe your knife between each slice for the cleanest cuts.
My last note on the recipe… This recipe says it only makes one cake, but between the amount of cake that is made vs how much is used, and by the amount of cheesecake there is, I think you can quite easily make two 9-inch cakes. If you want only one with a super large section of cheesecake (like I did), there will still be both extra cake and cheesecake mix…
What you do with it is up to you. I made another cake, this time with more cake and less cheesecake so it was like a frosting. Very delish as well. But who didn’t think it wouldn’t be?
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As is served at Pop Century Resort
Prepare the red velvet cake mix as directed in a greased pan. Pour 1/3 of batter into a 9 inch spring form pan and bake at temperature directed on the package. Note: cooking time may be reduced significantly.
Cake will be done when the surface is spongy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When cake is done, run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen and allow to cool.
Reduce heat to 325.
Using ingredients at room temperature, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy on low. Add sugar, a little at a time, and beat until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add flour, vanilla, lemon juice, and sour cream and mix only until incorporated.
Divide batter into 6 bowls and using food coloring (either paste or powder if possible), and color one of each red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Drop large spoonfuls of colored batter over the red velvet cake in the spring form pan, leaving 3/4 inch of space (at least) between the top of the batter and the top of the pan. Using a toothpick, slightly swirl the batter to create a “tie-dye” effect.
Place in the middle of the top rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cake will not be set completely at the end of the first baking process. After the baking time has finished, prop open the oven door and leave the cake in warmed oven for an additional hour. After the hour has passed, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature, about an hour, before refrigerating for at least 12, but ideally 24, hours.
To serve, run a knife around the edge of the cake and pan several times before removing the sides of the springform pan. Slice and serve.
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