This Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is the BEST cheesecake ever! You get four layers of utter deliciousness - graham cracker crust, rich tangy vanilla bean cheesecake, white chocolate mousse and a sweet fluffy whipped cream layer. You'll be savoring every last bit of it!
Ready in: 12hours25minutes
1 2/3cup (216g)crushed graham cracker crumbs (about 13 full sheets)
2Tbsp (30g)granulated sugar
6Tbsp (3 oz)unsalted butter,melted
3pkgs. (8 oz each)cream cheese,softened
1cup (210g)granulated sugar
Seeds of 2 Vanilla Beans*
3/4cup (180g)sour cream
1/3cup (80ml)heavy cream
7ozwhite chocolate,roughly chopped
1 1/2cups (355ml)heavy cream
6ozcream cheese,nearly at room temperature
1 1/2Tbsp (22g)granulated sugar
Seeds of 1 Vanilla Bean
Whipped cream topping
1 1/2Tbsp (22g)granulated sugar
Seeds of 1/2 Vanilla Bean(optional)
For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with a sheet of 18 by 18 heavy duty aluminum foil (make sure the foil has no holes, you don't want any water to leak in).
Add graham crackers and sugar to a mixing bowl and stir to combine, then pour in butter and mix with a fork until evenly moistened. Pour into prepared springform pan and press evenly into bottom. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
For the filling: Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Have a large roasting pan ready and boil about 4 quarts of water (you may not need all of it).
In a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer blend together cream cheese, sugar and seeds of 2 vanilla beans just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, mixing just until combined after each addition. Add sour cream and heavy cream and mix just until combined.
Tap bowl forcefully against countertop about 30 times to release any large air bubbles. Pour over cooled graham cracker crust and smooth into an even layer. Place cheesecake in roasting pan then place roasting pan in oven and carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.
Bake in preheated oven until cheesecake is set but still jiggly in the center, about 65 minutes, then leave in oven and leaved door closed and let rest 10 minutes. Then remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Tent with foil and chill in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
For the mousse: Melt white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl on 50% power in 30 second increments, stirring between intervals, until melted and smooth (or alternately melt in a double boiler). Set aside and let cool until just lukewarm.
In a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer whip heavy cream until soft peaks form then add sugar and whip until stiff peaks form (the cream should get to the point where it's starting to lose that wet sheen and it should become quite thick. Tap excess cream of beater blades), set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl whip cream cheese with seeds of vanilla bean until smooth. Mix in white chocolate (it may appear slightly gritty, that's fine). Add in half of the whipped cream mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until nearly combined, then add remaining half of the whipped cream mixture and fold until combined and no streaks remain.
Pour over cold cheesecake and spread into an even layer. Tent pan with foil then return to refrigerator and chill 1 1/2 hours.
For the whipped topping: In a mixing bowl whip heavy cream with seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean if using until soft peaks form. Add sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Run a knife around edges of cheesecake then spread whipped cream over mousse layer within 2 hours of serving.
To serve remove foil from pan, pull latch and remove springform pan ring. Garnish with raspberries and mint if desired, cut into slices.
*Vanilla beans have become so expensive so if desired you can use 1 tsp vanilla extract in the cheesecake filling, 1 tsp vanilla in the mousse and 1/2 tsp in the whipped cream topping in place of vanilla beans. For the holidays I recommend the splurge though.