Monday, September 10, 2012

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake with That Skinny Chick Can Bake


Today is my birthday. Yes, Happy Birthday to me!  I have always loved birthdays. Mine and everyone else.  They should be celebrated to the fullest extent.  This week I am down right smitten that five fabulous bloggers have joined me in a week long cake celebration.

First up is Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake. Liz  posts marvelous recipes all of the time. No joke. I have yet to find one that is not appealing to me.  She is super sweet and is a member of all sorts of blogging clubs. I don't know how she can keep up with those and her husband, kids, and dog. She truly amazes me.  Lately I have been loving her tip of the day. The substitution ones are pure genius and should be in the back of the head for any great cook.  It is no wonder she was nominated for "Most Valuable Foodie" by Foodbuzz. Please welcome Liz with her Crème Brûlée Cheesecake.

Oh and let's just say I wouldn't mind that blow torch in the background for my birthday.



Life has been crazy the last couple months, but when sweet Emily asked me to guest post during her Cake Week, I couldn't resist. Like I really needed an excuse to bake something rich and decadent. Plus I love Emily's blog and am thrilled to be featured here!

My two sons moved of the house this summer...the oldest off to his own place and the youngest to college for his freshman year. My daughter, Katie, doesn't seem to be suffering with both her brothers out of the house. In fact, she was delighted knowing more of her dinner requests and desserts would be honored. I'd been wanting to combine two of her favorite sweets for years...cheesecake and crème brûlée . A quick Google search brought me to a Fine Cooking recipe, which I tweaked slightly and divided to make a half batch.



Hubby Bill, the self proclaimed chocoholic, loved this...it was perfectly smooth and creamy and the crunch of the crisp, caramelized sugar was the perfect textural contrast. I left one "un-brûléed" for Katie...of course, she loved having her own cheesecake! I punched up the vanilla flavor by using vanilla bean paste...my creme brulee always has specks of vanilla seeds, so I wanted this cheesecake to as well. You can easily substitute vanilla extract. If mascarpone cheese is hard to come by, a quick google search shows how to make your own using 1/4 cup whipping cream, 8 ounces of cream cheese and 2 1/2 tablespoons of sour cream. Now on to the process:

Putting my highly honed geometry skills to work, I figured that my two deep 5-inch springform pans would hold the approximately 5 cups of batter. Nah, I just took a measuring cup to check their volumes. Much easier than dealing with ╥...as I much prefer pie to pi. If you'd like to make a full 9-inch cheesecake, just double this recipe. Over the years (remember I am practically old enough to be Emily's mom), I have found a few tricks when it comes to making cheesecake.
  • Have eggs, cream cheese and mascarpone (or sour cream if using that) at room temperature to ensure a smooth batter
  • Use the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer to prevent excess air from being incorporated into the batter.
  • Do not over beat the eggs. Just mix until incorporated.
  • Bake in a water bath (bain marie) for even cooking and to prevent cracking
  • Remove the cheesecake when the middle is just slightly jiggly when lightly tapped...timing differs depending on your oven and pan size.

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake...adapted from Fine Cooking

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

12 ounces cream cheese (1 1/2 bricks), at room temperature
4 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste (may substitute vanilla extract)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1-2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)

Preheat the oven to 375º.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter till well combined. Pat half onto the bottom and about half way up the sides of each of two 5 x 2 1/2 inch round spring form pans. Or use whatever combination of smaller spring form pans that hold 5 cups of batter. Bake for 5-7 minutes till crust slightly darkens. Remove to rack and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300º.

Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, beat cream cheese, mascarpone, flour and salt till smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and continue mixing till smooth then add and mix in vanilla paste. Add eggs one at at time, mixing just until incorporated. Divide batter between the 2 spring form pans.

Bake for about 40 minutes or till most of cheesecake is set and only the middle is slightly jiggly when pan is tapped. Remove to rack and cool completely. Place in refrigerator and chill at least 8 hours. Carefully remove sides of spring form pans, then use an spatula to release cheesecakes from bottom of the pans onto serving plates.

To serve, sprinkle each with a scant 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar and use kitchen torch to melt the sugar.

Serves 6-8.

Thanks, Emily, for welcoming me to your blog today! I can't wait to see what deliciousness you have cooking for us this week.

Are you ready for dessert? Thanks Liz for the very decadent cake recipe. Mr. J says you can come over whenever you want for dinner. He will cook for you if you bring dessert.

13 comments:

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Emily! It's so fun to be your guest today! And I'm delighted to kick off your 5 days of cakes celebration :)

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  2. Happy birthday, Emily! I'd come over to celebrate with you anytime if Lizzy is baking the b'day cake!

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  3. Happy Birthday, Emily! I'd love to have Lizzy bake this for my birthday! :)

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  4. Happy birthday!!! You're definitely starting the week off right with this! Liz, this looks gorgeous. I love an excuse to break out the torch :)

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  5. Happy Birthday Emily!!! Hope you are having an amazing day!! And hope this weekend was a blast :)

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  6. Happy Birthday Emily! It's my first time here but had to stop by to see Lizzy's cake. It looks scrumptuous. Hope you liked it! I'll be back again.

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  7. Happy Birthday, Emily! Cheesecake and creme brulee are two of my most favorite things ever!

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  8. Happy birthday my friend - just saw this on Liz's site and thought it was perfect :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  9. Happy Birthday Emily!! Wishing you all the best today and the year to come. :) I can't think of a more perfect sweet treat to start off the day than Lizzy's cheesecake brulee. :)

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    1. PS... sorry if I'm a day late for your birthday... I guess my wishes are belated. The email notification only came this morning.

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  10. Hi Emily,

    Happy Birthday to you! This my first time visiting your blog and hope you don't mind if I wander around a bit. :) Liz is a great choice for a guest post because she always brings these wonderful baked dishes like this delicious and mouthwatering Creme Brulee Cheesecake, wow! Thank you ladies for sharing the post. :)

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    1. Thanks Ray! I am heading on over to check out your site too.

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