Thursday, June 12, 2014

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake: ADF Style Baby! =)

Cheesecakes are hard to master! A cheesecake is one of those desserts that are so rich and creamy! I remember my sister in law making cheesecakes with Oreo biscuits back when I was younger and fatter. Hahaha! I would get so addicted to them!

My hands got tired from rolling those thin mango slices for the cheesecake! =)

There are many important factors that I always consider when I make cheesecake:
  1. a good toasty graham cracker crust.
  2. a subtle hint of my favorite vanilla bean extract.
  3. a rich and firm yet creamy texture.
  4. a gentle sweetness at first taste and a lingering sour aftertaste that makes you smack your lips after every crumbly, creamy bite.

The basic graham cracker crust is the safe choice for a cheesecake!

Baking it in a water bath is essential to getting that smooth texture, along with minimizing the chance of getting cracks on the top!

The reason why cheesecakes often get cracks on top is because of two things:
  1. over whipping the batter,
  2. too much heat

Remember to prep all ingredients and separate them before you start!

So, a safe way to cajole the cheesecake into perfection is to prepare a water bath :) (bain-marie). I used to love the no-bake Oreo cheesecakes, as with every obsession, you learn to appreciate the complexity that happens in the simplicity of this dessert.

My sister in law is a purist so she likes it plain, simple, and tasty! It’s a nice approach for this since you want the real flavor of cheesecake to shine after all that effort of making it. This cake is not for the impatient. It takes about a day and a half to fully make the best tasting kind of cheesecake. But trust me, it’s worth it because it makes all the difference!

as you can see, we've decided to deconstruct your typical cheesecake.

As a kid, when something makes you feel really happy at that time, it sticks to you! You remember it even until later on.  I wanted to create something like that for myself again.  I would like to share with other people, that moment when I fell in love with cheesecake. Besides, at the heart of baking is to put a smile on people’s faces.  When they smile because they enjoyed the product that I made, then I know I have done my job right! =)  Nothing tastes better than the taste of childhood memory.

Remember to use recently boiled water for this bain-marie!

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Adapted from Alain Ducasse Foundation Cheesecake Recipe
Yield: 8-9" round cheesecake


  • 130 g graham cracker crumbs
  • 20 g sugar
  • 3 Tbs. butter, melted
Cheesecake Filling:
  • 24 oz. cream cheese (three 8-oz blocks)
  • 200 g sugar
  • 3 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 2 Tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • 95 g heavy cream
  • Vanilla bean seeds or 1 tsbp. Vanilla Bean Paste
Jellied Cream:
  • 200 g heavy cream
  • 25 g granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. powdered gelatin (add about 1 tbsp. of water)
  • Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste

To make the Cheesecake:

To make the crust:
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the mixture in the bottom of a springform pan (You can line yours with parchment paper). Bake the crust on 350F for about 10-15minutes until the crust is slightly brown. Let cool.
Pressing the fresh crumbs into the pan with your hands is best!
To make the cheesecake filling: combine the cream cheese, vanilla bean seeds or paste, and the sugar and mix with paddle attachment until soft and creamy. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, then add the heavy cream and flour. Pour onto the cooled (or slightly cooled) crust and bake in a bain-marie water bath for 3 hours at 194F (90C) or 1 ½ hours at 350F (180C), which should be preheated before. Be careful not to over bake it or else the surface may start to crack. Let cool, leave to sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. *Top with jellied cream if you like. Remove the cheesecake from the pan carefully by using a knife dipped in hot water then dried to slice around the sides. Do the same process of slicing the cake by dipping the knife in hot water and drying it up before slicing. Top cheesecake off with fresh seasonal fruits such as strawberries, mango, cherries or whichever fruits you may have available along with some strawberry sauce.
I love this vanilla-bean paste because those dots look so beautiful!
Cream cheese beaten 'til so smooth and creamy is essential!

Remember to get rid of all those lumps by scraping the sides!

Even out the top part after putting it in the springform pan!

*Options: The original recipe from ADF calls for jellied cream on top of the cheesecake. Normally this cheesecake has this to add more design and to hide any possible cracks that may have formed from baking. You can use this for the cheesecake, although you don’t have to. It’s like a panna cotta topping to add more intense vanilla flavor. It just makes it taste that much better although the toppings with fruit are just as good and fresh! =)
It could use a little bit of jellied cream or fresh fruits on top! =)

Focusing on topping it off with fresh fruits!

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