This Crème Brûlée Cheesecake is a delicious marriage of two of my favorite desserts: a vanilla, mascarpone cheesecake, and dreamy sugar-crusted crème brûlée. Homemade cheesecake is always a hit with my family, and this one was no exception!
Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
My youngest started college and my oldest moved to his own place. Katie doesn’t seem to be suffering too much with both her brothers out of the house. In fact, she was delighted that 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 for this Crème Brûlée Cheesecake, which I tweaked slightly and divided to make a half batch. Please pop over and visit my sweet friend, Emily, from Life on Food to see my hints for making this exquisite dessert.
Tips for Making Cheesecake
Hubby Bill, the self-proclaimed chocoholic, loved these mini Crème Brûlée Cheesecakes. They were perfectly smooth and creamy and the crunch of the crisp, caramelized sugar was the perfect textural contrast.
I left one “un-brûléed” for Katie and, of course, she loved having her own cheesecake! I punched up the vanilla flavor by using vanilla bean paste as 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 overbeat 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.
Used in This Recipe:
- 4 1/2-inch Mini Springform Pans, Set of 4 (I could not locate any 5 1/2-inch springform pans, but you could easily make three slightly smaller cheesecakes using these pans)
- Vanilla Bean Paste
- Bob’s Red Mill Coarse Turbinado Sugar
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 12 ounces cream cheese (1 1/2 packages), 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 halfway up the sides of each of two 5 x 2 1/2 inch round spring form pans. Or use whatever smaller spring form pans you have which could 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 until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and continue mixing till smooth then add and mix in vanilla paste. Add eggs one at a time, mixing just until incorporated. Divide batter between the 2 spring form pans.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or till most of the cheesecake is set and only the middle is slightly jiggly when the pan is tapped. Remove to rack and cool completely. Place in refrigerator and chill at least 8 hours. Carefully remove sides of springform pans, then use a spatula to release cheesecakes from the bottom of the pans onto serving plates.
- To serve, sprinkle each with a scant 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar and use a kitchen torch to melt the sugar.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 465Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 416mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 8g