I have made approximately 17 of these. It is my go to cheesecake, far better than the peanut butter cup cheesecake.
I don’t have any picture perfect shots of this cheesecake. You know, like perfectly crumbless slivers that belong on The Cheesecake Factory website. You’ll just have to take my word that this cheesecake is perfect. Vanilla-y and rich.
Before we begin, here are a few tips for this recipe:
1) Make sure you use a Ghiradelli White Chocolate Bar for the mousse. Don’t use Ghiradelli white chocolate chips or, heaven forbid, Tollhouse white chocolate chips. I realize that I sound like a total food snob right now; usually I hate it when people are like, “The finest quality chocolate is a must.” First of all, they are lying, and second, it alienates people who live in small towns. In the case of this cheesecake however, high quality chocolate is the only thing that works. I’ve tried every possible way of getting around it.
2) Lining your pan with aluminum makes everything in life easier. Well, mostly it just makes getting your cheesecake out of the pan easier.
3) These cheesecakes freeze really well. I made the twelve for the grad party over a 2 week span. You just have to let the cheesecake cool after it is fully baked, spread on the mousse and stick the whole pan in the freezer to firm up. After an hour or two, you can remove the cheesecake from its pan, leaving the aluminum on the bottom. Triple wrap with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to eat. Cutting the cheesecake while it is still partly frozen will make your slices clean, so feel free to remove the cheesecake from the freezer as close to serving time as you want.
4) The original recipe has whipped cream for the top. For the sake of time and presentation, I decided not to include it for the party, but it is phenom. We used a number of different fruit toppings instead, which made for a more colorful, fun presentation. (See my favorite cheesecake shot from the party below. Colorful. Fun.)
5) Another confession, I didn’t use vanilla beans. I just added an extra tablespoon or two of vanilla extract. I’ve made it both ways, and each is yummy. The flecks of vanilla bean are like that girl at the party who keeps giggling at some guy’s joke long after everyone else is done laughing–cute, but highly unnecessary.
Here is some nice sliced cake. If you look real close, you can see that heavenly layer of white chocolate mousse. Another bonus, because you spread the layer of mousse on top of the cake after it is baked, you don’t have to worry about cracks in your cheesecake!
I’m all about the word ‘bonus,’
White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Adapted from TGIF’s recipe which I found on Facebook.
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Crush the graham crackers. Mix in the sugar. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, then stir in the melted butter. Line a springform pan with non-stick foil. Press graham crackers into the pan. Bake at 375º for 8 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. Remove and let cool.
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
vanilla beans from one pod
Combine cream cheese, sour cream, corn starch and sugar, mix until sugar is dissolved. Add butter, vanilla and beans, blend until smooth. Don’t overmix.
Bake at 350F 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 1 hour.
WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE:
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
4 ounces white chocolate baking squares, melted
In a cold mixing bowl beat cream until soft peaks form. Gradually add powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Put this in a bowl in the fridge. Don’t wash your mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese in it, until fluffy. Add the white chocolate and beat until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream.
VANILLA BEAN WHIPPED CREAM:
1 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
Beans from one vanilla pod
In cold mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Gradually add powdered sugar and then vanilla beans, beating until stiff peaks form.
After the cheesecake has cooled spread the mousse evenly on top. Refrigerate for about an hour then spread the whipped cream on top. Refrigerate several hours before serving.