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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

It's been quite a while, readers! I recently went to New York for a wedding that I was a bridesmaid in-- and that I provided a cheesecake for. It was a bit stressful making sure the cheesecake made it from Virginia to New York all in one piece and unscathed. But it made it there OK, and the hotel staff was very helpful! So the wedding cake was already included in the catering (phew!) so all I had to do was make a special cheesecake for the bridal party (the bride and groom are not fans of cake).

The bride, Dvon, loves the vanilla bean cheesecake from a certain restaurant named after a certain weekday. So after a little research, I discovered that the cheesecake is actually from a foundry, or factory, per se, that creates these confections. After even more research, I was able to find a copycat recipe that had rave reviews. The recipe is as follows (I doubled it so I could have enough to make a 10" cheesecake with a bit left over for an extra little 6" cheesecake! :))

The Crust:
  • 1 1/2 c crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c melted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
The Filling:
  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1c sugar
  • 2 Tbsp softened butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped 
First, crush the graham crackers. (a wine bottle and thick zipper bag comes in handy here)

Mix in sugar, then add egg yolk and vanilla. Then stir in melted butter.
Line a springform pan with non-stick foil, and press the cracker mixture into the pan.
Bake at 375 for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool!

Then combine cream cheese, sour cream, corn starch, and sugar and mix well until sugar is dissolved.
Scrape the vanilla bean...

Then add the "caviar", butter and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and do not overmix!
Mmmm be-speckled with vanilla goodness
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 1 hour! At this point, I had wrapped it several times over and popped it into the freezer. Then I moved it to a refrigerator the night before it was to be consumed, so it could thaw out.

As the finishing touch, I added a layer of French Vanilla Cool-Whip ( I would have made some whipped cream from scratch, but I didn't lug my Kitchenaid with me to New York). Then I added some purple roses and silver leaves (those were the colors of the wedding) and topped it off with some shaved white chocolate. And at Dvon's request, I added white chocolate-dipped strawberries around the edge.
That's the only picture I have of this cheesecake. I'm sure there were other pictures taken at the actual wedding.

I was so happy to find that the cheesecake was a hit! I thought it would be pretty tough to please New Yorkers since they are probably used to amazing New York cheesecake, but they loved mine! And I managed to snag a piece, and it actually was pretty awesome, if I don't say so myself! :)

Congratulations, Dvon and Brian!

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