Posts Tagged 'graduation party'

I Got It Right: White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

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.

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.


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.

Pipe Dream #35: To Control The Weather

Remember when I asked you to pipe up and tell me your favorite cheesecake flavors because I was trying to plan for my sissy’s grad party?

Well, in the weeks before the party, I realized that making several flavors of cheesecake might be a bit much for my nerves. In order to avoid all the flutterings and spasms (name that movie), I decided to make one cheesecake. A white chocolate vanilla bean cheesecake, for which the recipe will follow in a few days. Also concerning my nerves, the weather was supposed to be crappy. I woke up, peeked outside the window, saw the sunlight and praised the Lord out loud. Amen for sun.

More on that later. Much more. In the meantime, please note the cuteness of cutenesses graduation sign that I made for Waynes. I think I might love it more than she does. I poured my soul and a pint of blood into making it. No kidding–I sliced my finger something awful. Word to the wise, don’t use razors to cut thick cardboard when you are super angry because your sister used all of your sour cream after you had been out to the grocery store for hours that day and had no patience to return so you could make twelve cheesecakes.

Whatever. I’m over it. Moving on…

My dear mother was the real mastermind behind the party. I was just there to facilitate things and ply people with third helpings of cheesecake.

She made several toppings for the cheesecake, the star of which was the strawberry rhubarb compote fresh from the garden. Rhubarb, the spice of life.

And there is the skinny minny herself, standing at “the shrine.” The shrine is our name for the obscenely decked out table that houses the sum of her life’s accomplishments. Girl is loaded. My mother was good enough to put my college graduation photo on the back corner of the table about halfway through the party. I will probably forever live in Waynes’ shadow.

P.S. That dress is a Calvin Klein silk that I got for three dollars at the Salvation Army. That place is a veritable trove.

There were drinks. Namely, coffee. Iced ou non.

To write love in her coffee ice cubes. We mixed in cream with coffee and then put in pre-frozen coffee cubes to keep it undiluted. We like our coffee strong he-ah.

There was also pop. I just like this shot. Hi Wades.

And here is what you have all been waiting for. Vanilla cheesecake with a graham cracker crust and a layer of white chocolate mousse. Ooh baby.

We had a bin filled with ice to store them on until they were nabbed. The quickness of the nabbing made the ice almost unnecessary.

I have titled this shot “Fulfillment.” This cheesecake is as it should be.

All in all, the grad party was a great success. Much love to my Auntie, without whom I never would have managed. Congratulations, sister! I am excited to see where your life leads. You can check out her blog at

May your life be filled with free grad party food,


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,944 other followers

Lane Cake

Chocolate Clementine Marquise

Spicy Chai Biscotti

Red Wine Pear Trifles

Coconut Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peach Cobbler

Clementine Ginger Tequila Sunrise

S’mores Cake with Malted PB Frosting

Lemon Mousse Crepe Cake

Strawberry Shortcake

Nectarine Brown Butter Upside Down Cake

Raspberry Espresso Fudge Cake

Cherry Clafoutis

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Banoffee Pie

Blueberry Bourbon Bread Pudding

Pink Sprinkle Cupcakes

Grapefruit Yogurt Loaf

No-Bake Nests

Butter Pecan Shortbread

Black Garlic Herb Bread

Pumpkin Chiffon Torte

Maple Pecan Brown Butter Cupcakes