I layered a bit of the caramel sauce onto the cheesecake
before baking. I recommend doing it!
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
1 (18 oz) package of vanilla sandwich cookies
1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise with seeds scraped out
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 vanilla beans, cut lengthwise with seeds scraped out
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly butter a 10 inch springform pan.
- Crush vanilla cookies into crumbs (you can pulse them in a blender or multitask by doing some anger management: put cookies in a sealed plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin). In a bowl, use your hands to combine the crumbs, vanilla bean seeds, and butter. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan and halfway up the sides.
- Use a standing or handheld electric mixer to beat cream cheese for 3 minutes until it's smooth. Beat in the sweetened condense milk, then the eggs one at a time. Be sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another. Add in the vanilla bean seeds, extracts, sour cream, and heavy cream. Beat on high for 1 minute.
- Pour the mixture onto the crust. Place cheesecake onto middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in there for another hour. Cover the cheesecake with a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Homemade Caramel Sauce
(I am pretty sure I wrote this down while I was watching Sunny Anderson on the Food Network.)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan or small skillet, combine sugar and water and put on medium heat. THIS IS WHEN YOU DON'T TOUCH IT! You get to just leave it alone--how glorious is that! You want to watch it closely, though, as well as open a window or turn on your fan. You're burning, or caramelizing, the sugar: it tends to smell a bit unpleasant at this stage.
- After about 5 minutes, the edges will turn golden brown. Pull off the heat and quickly whisk in the cream. Beware: it will froth up! Move your whisk very quickly to prevent a giant, hardened mess.
- Bring the mixture back to a boil. Stir for about 30 seconds. This helps homogenize the sauce and melt any hardened bits created when you added the cream.
- Pull off the heat. Add the extract. Allow the sauce to cool so it can thicken.
- Pour over a slice of the cheesecake.
Welcome to heaven, friends.
That's a hunka burnin love, right there.