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Friday, February 10, 2012

Creme Brulee Cheesecake

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Back in December sometime, one of Ryan's coworkers sent me an email, thanking me for whatever treat I'd pawned off on them that week. After her thanks, she asked if I had ever made creme brulee cheesecake before, slipping in an offer to be a taste-tester if I wanted to give that recipe a try! ;)
Creme Brulee cheesecake was not one of the dozen varieties I'd made for the Cheesecake Extravaganza and when I went in search of a well-tested recipe to try, I came up short. Instead, I decided to create my own version of creme brulee cheesecake...an interesting task considering I've yet to make creme brulee!
Ultimately, I made a standard New York Cheesecake recipe (recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook), added my own crust (vanilla wafer) and then topped it with a layer of sugar, which I torched/broiled to give it that "creme brulee" effect. The end result turned up better than I ever could have imagined. The cheesecake itself was perfectly creamy and I was amazed to find it did not crack one bit while baking. This will be my go-to "plain" or base cheesecake flavor. I loved the flavor of the vanilla wafer crust and the burnt sugar topping was perfectly reminiscent of the creme brulee's I've sampled in the past.
The cheesecake didn't just meet my standards--it was also well received by Ryan's co-workers. One went so far as to say it was the best thing I've made for them--a bold statement considering the number of treats I've baked them over the past two years or so. I hope you give this a try--I'd love to hear what others think of this creation!

Two Years Ago: Spaghetti Pie

Creme Brulee Cheesecake

-1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
-1 cup sugar
-2 tbsp all-purpose flour
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 eggs
-1 egg yolk
-1/4 cup milk
-3 tbsp sugar, for topping

1. Combine melted butter with vanilla wafer crumbs and press into a the bottom of a springform pan (9-inch). Place in refrigerator to firm up.
2. Beat cream cheese with sugar, flour, and vanilla until creamy, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add eggs and egg yolk all at once, beating on low just until combined. Stir in milk.
3. Pour filling into crust and place springform pan on a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 375F oven for 35-40 minutes, until center appears nearly set when shaken.
4. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle granulated sugar over the top of the cheesecake and use a kitchen torch (or place in the oven and broil, but watch carefully so that it doesn't burn and turn it if need be to heat evenly [note my burnt spot above!]) to torch cheesecake until crisp and lightly browned.