Are you looking for a new signature dessert that combines overwhelming flavor and satisfaction with elegant simplicity? Look no further! This vanilla bean cheesecake is exactly that.
The crust is simple: just crushed graham crackers and melted butter. Nothing crazy. Where the real magic happens, though, is the cheesecake itself, starring the beautiful, Grade A Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla.
That fragrance is important to heighten the flavor experience. As gentle as vanilla is, inherently, Java Sister’s Bourbon Madagascar vanilla beans are creamy, floral, and robust in their vanilla-ness. That’s why they work so well with a dairy forward dessert like cheesecake.
Our friend Laura has whipped up this exceptional dessert recipe and, like everything she does, it is beautiful and delicious. We can't wait to share it with you! Read Laura's wonderful but simple recipe below--and be sure to check her page for more culinary tips and inspiration!
Use the Best Vanilla in your Cheesecake
This Java Sisters Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is uncluttered, elegant, and pure.
You start by creaming good quality, room temperature, full-fat cream cheese. Come on! If you’re making this cheesecake, prepare for decadence in its simplest form. We’re not on a diet today, okay?
Then, we’ll use pure cane sugar, farm fresh eggs, and sweetened condensed milk. Seriously, continue on your ethical sourcing kick and get really good ingredients across the board. You’ll be able to taste the difference. It goes from “hey, that’s pretty good” to “OMG that’s incredible!”
How to Cut and Seed a Vanilla Bean
Now, for the piece de resistance. We need to incorporate our vanilla bean seeds. To do this, take a sharp paring knife and draw it down the center from stem to tip. Then, using the back of your knife’s blade scrape the interiors to extract all the “vanilla caviar.”
1 whole vanilla bean is the equivalent of 1 Tablespoon of pure vanilla extract. It’s quite potent in its raw form. We don’t want to overdo it, or it will taste like very expensive artisanal soap… which is nice, but not in a cheesecake.
And whatever you do, do NOT throw away the seed pod. Instead, put it into a jar with 8 oz of good vodka or bourbon. As you use your vanilla beans, continue to store your “used” vanilla bean pods here.
Once you’ve got at least 5 in there, wait about a week, and you have a high-quality vanilla extract to use for your baking. It’s the best way to really get the most out of your beans.
The Rules of Making a Perfect Cheesecake
We have our good quality ingredients and we’re raring to go, but first there are some rules to follow.
- If you keep it in the fridge, it must be brought to room temperature. The only exception is the heavy whipping cream, which will only whip properly if chilled. The rest of the ingredients must be roughly 72ºF to form a smooth, non-lumpy filling.
- Remove the air bubbles. It’s very important that you tap the pan very firmly on the counter to bring the bubbles to the top. If your filling looks very frothy after mixing, place it in the fridge for an hour before putting it in the pan.
- Do not open the oven. I mean it. Once the cake is in and your water is in the steaming pan, close the oven and do not open it until the timer goes off. You’ll bake it for 75 minutes, but then there is a 2 hour “steam period” where it will continue to bake and set. It’s crucial the oven stays closed.
- Chill your vanilla bean cheesecake before serving. Have you ever tried warm cheesecake? It’s not good eats. You definitely want to chill your cake for up to 8 hours (overnight) before serving it for the best result.
- Run a knife around the pan before removing it. This will ensure that the cake is free from the springform before you take it out. Nothing’s sadder than ripping a perfect cheesecake.
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Recipe
Using sustainable, ethical, cruelty-free vanilla beans, create the ultimate in luxurious, elegant desserts with this vanilla bean cheesecake.
PREP TIME -30 mins
COOK TIME - 3 hrs 15 mins
CHILL TIME - 8 hrs
SERVINGS 16 slices
*By “firmly tap,” I mean it should make a good loud bang. You really want to force those air bubbles to the surface. Do this repeatedly, a good 10 to 15 times to makes sure the majority of the bubbles rise and pop.
Many thanks to Laura who developed this perfect Vanilla Bean Cheesecake recipe for her little sister’s bridal shower in January of 2018 and shared it with us for special occasion, her husband's birthday.
Laura lives in Nashville, TN with her handy husband, adorable daughter, and smarty-pants cattle dog. She loves baking and can’t keep her kitchen clean. Oh well. Check out the full article the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake recipe on her blog.