Sunday, April 18, 2010

White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

I found this cheesecake recipe on one of my favorite blogs.
It's originally from the Ray's Boathouse cookbook. Ray's Boathouse is a wonderful restaurant on Shilshoe Bay in Seattle It's been there for decades and serves incredible Northwest cuisine and offers the most beautiful view of the bay.
Ms. Humble's cheesecake did not include vanilla bean though and she topped it with a homemade caramel sauce. I would have loved the caramel sauce but no one else in my family would have eaten caramel sauce so I went with my other favorite: raspberry sauce.
I think this may now be my favorite cheesecake recipe. It set up so perfectly. It's not super creamy but it's not dry & crumbly like either. It does not really taste like white chocolate but then again, the flavor of white chocolate is basically vanilla so that's what it tastes like. Along with the vanilla extract in the recipe, I added a fresh vanilla bean. I love the flavor of vanilla beans and I like the little black specks.
I have one concern about my cheesecake. Not just this one, but all of them I have made and I want to know if anyone else experiences this. The graham cracker crust tastes slightly metallic. I thought it was my previous well worn springform pan that caused the metallic flavor but I just recently bought a brand new high quality springform pan (non stick) and I can still taste a slight metallic flavor in the crust. My husband suggested running a strip of parchment around the inside. Has anyone else experienced this problem? My cheesecake is definitely edible but the metallic flavor is noticable - a little bit anyway. Suggestions?
But I highly recommend this recipe. It could be topped with just about anything and be delicious. The raspberry was delightful but the caramel looked so rich and smooth. Maybe I will pull out a jar of my caramel ice cream topping in the fridge and drizzle some of that on.

Just unmolded it. So far so good. There was one small chunk of the crust that fell out of the side of the cheesecake but I did not photograph that defect! Other side.

No cracks in the top after baking but there were a few bubbles on top and it turned a deep golden brown.

It sliced neatly and came off the springform pan bottom perfectly. No sticking!

I always look forward to the end of my photo shoot because I know I will get to enjoy the subject!

White Chocolate Cheesecake

found at
adapted from
Ray's Boathouse: Seafood Secrets of the Pacific Northwest


10 ounces graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cheesecake Filling
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt

boiling water

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and press into the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the side of a 10 inch spring form pan.

Bake for 10 minutes and then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Reduce the heat to 325°F and prepare the cheesecake batter.

Place the chopped white chocolate into a heat safe bowl and set aside. Bring the 1/2 cup of cream to a simmer over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate, jiggle the bowl to submerge it and allow to stand for one minute. Stir the chocolate gently until melted completely.

In your mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth and lump free. Add the sugar and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

On medium speed, slowly add the white chocolate ganache. Once combined you can add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until each egg is incorporated. Once you've added all the eggs, mix in the vanilla and salt and pour into your prepared pan.

Set the pan onto a couple large sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan to waterproof.

Set the cheesecake into a large roasting pan and then place in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, filling to about one inch (no higher than the lowest edge of aluminum foil). Allow to bake at 325°F for one hour then reduce heat and bake at 300°F for an additional 60-90 minutes until the center is just set.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool chill for at least 4 hours before serving.


Blasé said...

What I would have done to get some of that Cheesecake!

Ms. Humble said...

Beautiful cheesecake! Mmmm vanilla...

I wish I had a vanilla bean to toss into the batter.

Costco stopped carrying vanilla beans recently so I'm experiencing a easily obtainable bean drought (the mummified beans at the grocery store don't count). I have ONE bean left, one that I'm saving for baking emergencies until I can find a new source.

I think I'm going to order the same package you got off Amazon soon. It looks like a terrific deal.

• friX • said...

It looks perfect ! Yummie =)

maegan said...

You are my savior!! My grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary is coming up next month and my grams was just talking about how much she just loved the cheesecake at Ray's Boathouse in Seattle (and how nothing since has compared)!! She and my grandpa used to go there every year on their anniversary (they are HUGE seafood lovers) but now that they live in SoCal, they don't have that option, I can now bring this dessert to them!! Thanks so much; you are now my hero :)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps trying a different biscuit for your base might help with the funny flavour. I use Arnott's Nice biscuits and they have a tiny bit of coconut in them with sugar on top. They make a very yummy base.

Alise said...

This white chocolate cheesecake looks great! Do you have any suggestions for sugar free cheesecake? I do not want to use sugar substitute either. What do you think is the sugar role for this dish? Is it to sweeten it or it plays more important role than that?

Heidi said...


Wow....sugar free cheesecake huh? I'm the wrong person to ask about anything sugar free or low fat. I'm like Paula Deen - the more butter, fat & sugar - the BETTER! And I can't be sure about how big of role that sugar plays in the structure of the cheesecake but I can imagine that it would be an crucial ingredient. Baking has a lot of chemistry involved and each ingredient plays a different role and sugar is such a big part of the foundation. My guess is you'd have to find a whole other recipe that is meant to be baked sugar free. I don't see how it can be done without artificial sweetener but who knows, maybe someone can be creative and come up with something. I'm sorry Alise, I am of no help whatsoever in making a sugar free suggestion. Let me know what you find!


Lee said...

Can't wait to try your recipe! Thanks for posting it:) I recently purchased a springform pan from Pampered chef that has a glass bottom. I think others may have noticed that graham cracker crust absorbs the taste and this was a solution. Now, off to hunt for vanilla beans:)

Isla Bee said...

Did you ever find the source of the metallic taste?

Heidi said...

I can't say that I pin pointed the source of the metallic flavor but I use a toally different brand of cheesecake pan now and I have had no metallic flavor any longer. The new pan that I use is an aluminum Fat Daddio pan. It does not have a non stick finish but that has not created any problems. So I'm not sure if it was the previous non stick surface that was creating the metallic flavor but it kind of seems that way. I'm VERY happy with my new Fat Daddio cheesecake pan. In fact, that is now the brand I exclusively use for my cake pans as well.