Vanilla Bean Cheesecake & Winners Announced
If you follow my blog, you may remember that I have a thing for cheesecake. It’ s textural thing for me. The thick and creamy filling and crunchy, buttery crust is just a magical combination. Since I was announcing the givewaway winners in this post, I wanted to provide you with another recipe that utilizes vanilla beans.
I made an orange version of this cheesecake back in April for the Daring Bakers Challenge and the results were absolutely delicious. This recipe uses heavy cream in the cheesecake base which imparts a fluffier texture than my other recipe that uses sour cream. The added Beanilla vanilla bean takes the cheesecake into the realm of pure foodie bliss due to it’s amazing taste, aroma and gorgeous black flecks.
If you are looking for an amazing cheesecake, look no further and give this one a try! I topped this with a homemade blueberry sauce.
Congratulations, Smitten Sugar & Megan!!!! I want to personally thank Beanilla for providing this awesome giveaway and also thanks to each and every one of you for entering and tweeting! I was so impressed with all of your recipes and comments that I am going to try a few out and post them on my blog. If I choose your recipe recommendation, I will send you 5 Beanilla Vanilla Beans, so stay tuned for the recipes!
Remember, even if you didn’t win, you can still save 10% at Beanilla’s website by entering the code “bakingaddiction” at checkout. Check out the site, I am certain you will be surprised how affordable these amazing beans are in comparison to grocery store beans!
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
For the Crust
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
3 tablespoons / 24 g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used Beanilla Vanilla Paste)
For the Cheesecake
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tablespoon liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (Gas Mark 4 /180°C). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, and alcohol (if used) and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
When I make cheesecakes I always try to use a waterbath; however, I have had issues with water seeping into my foil wrapped pan. This seepage has really pissed me off on a couple of occasions, so I decided to remedy the issue by placing the foil wrapped cheesecake pan in an oven bag before placing it into the water. I have also used crock pot liners and they worked just as well. I also let the cheesecake completely cool in the oven, this really seems to help with the cracks - in fact I have not gotten a crack since.
adapted from Abby’s Infamous Cheesecake