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Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Monday, January 20, 2014

Recipe adopted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  [Recipe makes 12 to 16 slices].

After taking a trip to Penzeys quite a while ago, I've been trying to decide what to make with a few vanilla pods that I purchased.  I found this recipe a few days ago and immediately knew that my search was over.  Just read the title again and try not to smile; it's not possible.  You start off with a homemade crunchy graham cracker crust, top it with a rich layer of cheesecake lined with vanilla beans, add a layer of a white chocolate cream cheese mousse, and top it off with a light vanilla bean whipped cream.  I mean seriously...this recipe is perfect.  The textures of each layer play perfectly with each other and the addition of the whipped cream in the top two layers transforms what could have been an overly rich dessert into a light and refreshing slice of heaven.  Need I say more?

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:
6 ounces (~1 1/2 cups or ~11 whole sheets) graham crackers, finely crushed
1 3/4 ounces (~1/4 cup) sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake (bottom layer):
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons corn starch
7 ounces (~1 cup) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla bean seeds from one pod

White Chocolate Mousse (middle layer):
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces white chocolate baking squares, melted

Sweetened Whipped Cream (top layer):
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Vanilla bean seeds from one pod

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375° F.  In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Add the vanilla and melted butter and stir until uniform.  Transfer the crust to a 9-inch springform pan and press the mixture down on the bottom and about 1/2" up the sides.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350° F.  For the cheesecake layer, beat the cream cheese with the paddle of a stand mixer until soft.  Add 1/2 cup of the sour cream and mix.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat in the remaining sour cream.  Add the corn starch, sugar, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds and mix just until combined.  Transfer the batter to the spring form pan and spread around to form a uniform layer.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center jiggles slightly.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Once the bottom layer has cooled, begin making the mousse by beating the cream and vanilla with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer.  Whisk until soft peaks form.  Add the powdered sugar and whisk for an additional 30 seconds, or until the peaks get a little stiffer.  Use a rubber spatula to transfer this mixture to a medium bowl, and reserve.  Beat the cream cheese in the stand mixer bowl with a paddle attachment until soft.  Add the melted white chocolate and beat until fully incorporated.  Add one-third of the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and gently stir to combine.  Add the remaining whipped cream and fold in with a rubber spatula.  Spread this mixture over the cheesecake and let cool in the refrigerator.

For the final layer, beat the cream and powdered sugar with the whisk attachment of a stand mixer until soft peaks form.  Add the vanilla bean seeds and whisk for an additional 30 seconds, or until the peaks get a little stiffer.  Spread this mixture over the mousse layer and refrigerate 2 to 12 hours before serving.

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3 comments

  1. Can you help me remember that I'm mentally adding this to the list of things I want to eat when I'm back in the states this fall?

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  2. Wow this looks absolutely delicious....I'm gonna have to give these a go, love white chocolate and cheesecake...Thanks for sharing...

    Simon

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