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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vanilla Bean Cheese Cake

The saga of Mr. Flip Flop requesting cheesecake for his birthday continues.  This year, he requested a simple vanilla cheesecake.  Drat...I so like experimenting.  HOWEVER, since I am on a vanilla bean paste kick (still) I decided to modify our family's favorite basic recipe and eliminate the chocolate and supplement the vanilla extract with some vanilla bean paste.  So, with these few tweaks...here's the "new" recipe!

Happy Birthday dearest husband...you bring tremendous joy and love into my life... I look forward to growing old together (which, obviously, is drawing closer and closer LOL!!!)  Hope you enjoy your cake!


VANILLA BEAN CHEESECAKE
Adapted from Marble Cheesecake Recipe 
Austin American-Statesman, 1974

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons quality vanilla bean paste
4 eggs
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup sugar with hand whisk in a mixing bowl.  Break up any lumps.  Add melted butter and mix until all crumbs moistened.  Press in bottom and 1 3/4 inches up the side of a 9-inch spring form pan (I usually wrap the spring form pan in foil on the outside before making the crust...just to ensure there is no butter leakage).  I prefer to press the crust using a flat-bottomed metal 1-cup measure.  Works beautifully!  After crust prepared and in pan, set aside and begin filling.

In bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, 1 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, with mixer on low just until blended.  Add cream and continue beating on low speed just until blended.  You don't want to put a lot of air in it at this point.

Pour mixture into prepared crust and allow to sit a minute or two.  I run a sharp knife through to pop any bubbles, taking care not to touch the bottom of the crust.

Place on rack in middle of oven and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the center appears nearly set when gently shaken.  Remove from oven and let sit on a cooling rack for 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, very gently run a sharp knife around the edges and then release the spring to loosen the sides of the pan. 
Yay...sides released and nothing stuck!

Cool 30 more minutes on rack, then oh so carefully, remove the sides of the pan to avoid getting crumbs on the cheesecake. 

 
I leave mine on the base...I have NEVER successfully removed a cheesecake from the bottom of the spring pan....I don't care how many YouTube videos I watch!  Chill cake several hours.  Makes 16 servings (well, not in this house...more like 10 LOL!!!)


There is a note on the original recipe that the top of this cheesecake typically cracks during cooling.  I kept my fingers crossed that this wouldn't happen...and it didn't!  I have a 75% crack rate (I don't really measure...but that sounds about right) for cheesecakes.  I noticed this one does have some bubbles that surfaced in the middle though...and my crust went a little higher than usual (I don't measure that either).  Like I always say...it is what it is!


Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!StumbleUpon

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