Now that I have 1/2 pound of vanilla beans, I'm just searching for recipes that will make use of them as the main flavor. I found this vanilla bean cheesecake recipe on allrecipes. It has vanilla bean seeds in the crust as well as the cheesecake. Their recipe calls for a vanilla sandwich cookie crust but I went with a traditional graham cracker crust - other than that, I followed their recipe. It's a wonderfully delicious and dense cheesecake. Not fluffy or light at all. Even though I put the seeds of 2 whole vanilla beans into the batter, the telltale black specks are not very evident. Not sure why. I also used my vanilla sugar that I had made last week (I ground up a few whole vanilla beans with many cups of granulated sugar and let it sit for a few days till the sugar was really vanilla infused). But even without a whole lotta black specks, this cheesecake was so wonderful. I topped mine with seedless Fran's pure raspberry sauce. Perfect. I had made this cheesecake late last night and I had to wait until this morning to unmold it. Even though it was 10:00 in the morning, I had to slice a piece so I could take photos in the beautiful morning light. And since I had to slice a piece and put raspberry sauce on it AND THEN I had to take a bite for photography purposes.. well, let's just say I kept on eating it! It turned out to be my breakfast. I enjoyed every single bite of it.
Hmmm... what next for my lovely fragrant vanilla beans???
Notice how the sides of my cheesecake are higher than the center? I'm not sure what causes that. Any thoughts? It didn't effect (affect??) the texture but it makes for a less than pretty presentation.
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
1 (18 ounce) package vanilla sandwich
cookies (such as Oreo Golden Original
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
|1.||Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and lightly butter a 10 inch springform pan.|
|2.||Place the sandwich cookies into a plastic bag, and crush with a rolling pin. Pour the crumbs into a bowl, and mix with the scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean. Drizzle the crumbs with melted butter and stir to combine. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan, and set aside.|
|3.||Place the softened cream cheese and sugar into the work bowl of an electric mixer, and beat for about 3 minutes on Medium speed, until the mixture is smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next one. Add the scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans, the vanilla extract, sour cream, and heavy cream, and beat on Medium-High speed for about 1 minute, until the mixture is blended and smooth.|
|4.||Pour the mixture into the cookie crumb crust, leaving about 2 inches of space from the top of the pan for the cake to expand as it bakes.|
|5.||Place a baking dish onto the bottom rack of the preheated oven, and fill it halfway with boiling water. Place the cheesecake onto the middle rack, above the pan of boiling water, and bake until a small knife inserted into the middle of the cheesecake comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.|
|6.||Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool down inside the oven for 1 hour. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.|