Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

July 21, 2009 at 12:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Harhai Wedding 003-1

One night after a late movie, Matt and I were trying to decide where to eat.  I suggested “cheap” and “fast” but somehow we ended up at the Cheesecake Factory, which, while neither cheap nor fast, was delicious.  And after dinner, Matt gushed about the wonderful Vanilla Bean Cheesecake.  I can honestly say I probably would have worked my way through just about every cheesecake on the menu before I ended up ordering this, but he has never pointed me in the wrong direction before – and he was right again, it was very good.

Harhai Wedding 007

I wanted to surprise him and make this cheesecake, but it turns out, it was pretty difficult to find a recipe.  But I did, and it is posted below.  I think it is a pretty good replica.  A word of advice though – vanilla beans can be pretty pricey at your everyday grocery store, but I actually found them to be much cheaper at Whole Foods – shocking, right?  But whatever works!

Because this cheesecake has two layers, it is a little time consuming to make.  As I left my apartment to deliver the finished product, I thought to myself, “I hope he likes this cheesecake, but I hope he doesn’t love it” (so I wouldn’t have to go through this process again!) but turns out, he loved it.  And I’ll be happy to make it again – someday 🙂

Harhai Wedding 006-1
White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Crust:
2-1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. melted butter
4 T. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Filling:
3 (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 T. lemon juice
vanilla beans from 1 pod
1/2 t. vanilla extract

White chocolate mousse topping:
1 c. whipping cream
3 T. powdered sugar
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. white chocolate backing squares
vanilla beans from one pod

Spray a spring form pan and set on a large baking sheet.  I used a 9 inch pan.  For crust, combine the crumbs, sugar, butter and vanilla. Press onto bottom and sides of pan with the back of a large spoon.  Do not bake.

For the filling, beat the cream cheese in a an electric mixer until smooth. Add in the sugar and beat until it’s soft and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for at least a minute after each addition. Add the rest of the ingredients until well incorporated.

Pour filling into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Shut the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an hour. Stick a wooden spoon handle in the oven door to keep it slightly propped open. After an hour, remove it to cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate.

When the cake is completely cooled, it’s time for the mousse topping.
Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar, and beat a few more minutes until stiff peaks form. Set this bowl aside. Melt the white chocolate squares. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the innards of the vanilla bean to the melted chocolate and add this mixture to the cream and beat until smooth. Fold in the whipping cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Spread on the cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

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