Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Rick your request has been granted...Bon Appetit!
Extreme Vanilla Cheesecake
3 Tahitian vanilla beans. Open the pods and carefully scrape the vanilla seed pulp out. Trying to avoid scraping to hard to avoid getting a lot of the pod lining as it is fibrous. (A little bit is o.k. and unavoidable) put the empty pod of each vanilla bean back into its original bottle and fill up with sugar. Screw on the lids tightly. Next time you make this cheesecake you will have vanilla sugar to use!
32 oz cream cheese, thoroughly softened.
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (if possible use Vanilla Sugar)
4 eggs (at room temperature)
1 ½ cups of Sour Cream
2 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract (Tahitian vanilla extract if possible)
Line the bottom of a 9 ½ inch spring form pan with foil. Butter the foil and the sides of the pan. Wrap the bottom of the pan in 2 layers of heavy-duty foil.
Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Add the softened cream cheese to the vanilla seed pulp in the large bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer at low speed until the cream cheese is creamy and the vanilla is thoroughly distributed. Add the sugar and beat at medium low speed until everything is thoroughly creamy, scraping down the sides once or twice. If you like your cheesecake especially fluffy, you could beat at medium speed for a couple of minutes at this step, until the mixture just begins to stiffen a little.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well at low speed and scraping down the sides after each addition. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract, scraping again and beating well until uniform. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan in a large roasting pan and pour very, very hot water into the pan around it. (Baking the cheesecake in a water bath helps to keep the edges from drying out a d the top from cracking)
Bake the cheesecake for about one hour. To check it, tap gently on the top at the center; it should jiggle considerably, but not seem liquid.
When this stage is reached, turn off the oven, leave the door just slightly ajar, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 45 mins.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven, remove it from the water bath, remove the outer layers of foil, and cool on a wire rack until tepid. About one hour. Then refrigerate over night.
The next day remove cheesecake from the pan…
Run a thin knife around the outside edge of the cheesecake. Remove the side of the spring form pan, and put a layer of plastic wrap and a cookie sheet (or something similar that is flat on top of the cheesecake.) Invert the cheesecake. Remove the bottom of the pan and peel off the foil. Place your serving plate on the bottom of the cheesecake and invert again. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate. For best flavor and texture, you may set the cheesecake out for one hour prior to serving.
If you would like a chocolate top on your cheesecake you may add this next step after it has been refrigerated over night…
Chocolate Cheesecake Ganache
1 cup of heavy cream
2 tbsps butter
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
2/3 cup of sugar
Place cream, chocolate and butter in a small saucepan; heat till almost boiling.
Stir as it cooks,with a wire whisk to combine the chocolate into the cream.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and sugar, mix well.
Cool for 10 mins then beat lightly with a whisk until it starts to thicken, but is still pourable.
Pour the Ganache over the cheesecake smoothing as you go so you cover the entire cheesecake evenly.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.