Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cheesecake with a Cashew Crust and Passion Fruit Caramel

(I have to apologize for the bad photo, I took this cheesecake
to a BBQ before taking any pictures and only had this meager
paper plate to work with, plus I only have a point and shoot camera.)

I have been craving cheesecake and I know the richness of mascarpone would definitely put it over the top.  We've all had that slice of cheesecake that is just a little too tart. In fact, for the longest time I didn't even think I liked cheesecake after getting too many just that way. If you haven’t tried mascarpone cheese yet, try it, it’s amazing. It’s the same consistency of cream cheese, but tastes like fresh cream, it’s so rich, and no tartness, so I knew I wanted to include it in my next cheesecake. To add to that, I’ve decided that my new favorite frosting is Cupcake Project’s, Vanilla Bean Buttercream, it tastes like melted vanilla ice cream, and you really could just eat it right of the spoon. So I thought I’d try a Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, hoping for the same result. In searching for a recipe I happened upon a new blog that I now frequent, Spache the Spatula, I found this delicious recipe there, which she adapted from Epicurious. If you’d like to see a better photo of this cheesecake, head over to her blog, she has beautiful photography. This recipe is a re-print from her blog.

This cheesecake is amazing.  It's so creamy and smooth, and that little spice in the crust is just perfect.  I think this would be a great base for all cheesecakes.  The passion fruit caramel took a little longer to caramelize for me, but it was so worth it.  You can taste a hint of tartness from the topical fruit.  My mom, who was over while I was baking, enjoyed liking the bowl she thought it was so good.  Happy baking guys.

Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Cheesecake with a Cashew Crust and Passion Fruit Caramel



3/4 cup salted roasted cashews
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk


2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
2 8-ounce containers mascarpone cheese
1/2-1/3 cup crème fraiche
4 large eggs


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch diameter spring form pan with 2 3/4-inch sides with 2 layers of tin foil. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine the cashews and brown sugar and finely grind. Add in the flour, salt, ad spice and blend for about 5 seconds. Add in the butter, slowly, and blend until mixture is a coarse meal. Add in the egg yolk and pulse until moist clumps form.

Press the dough into the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan. Pierce the crust all over with a fork and bake for around 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool crust but maintain the oven temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and salt. Scrape in the seeds of the vanilla bean and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add in the mascarpone and crème fraiche and beat at low speed just until blended, scarping down the sides of the bowl. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition.

Place the spring form pan in a large roasting pan and fill with cheesecake filling. Place the roasting pan in the oven and fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to come about halfway up the sides of the spring form pan (it's much easier to fill it with water when it's already in the oven). Cover the top of the spring form pan with foil.

Bake for about 30 minutes, and then check of the cheesecake, lifting the foil. Re-cover and bake for another 30 minutes and then check on it again. Continue to do this until cake is loosely set but jiggles all over when the pan is gently shaken. (Mine cooked for about 2 hours total).

When done, remove the spring form pan from the water and set on a rack to cool for an hour. Refrigerate, uncovered until cold, at least 6 hours. (I made mine a day ahead and just kept it in the fridge.)

To serve, cut around the sides of the pan with a knife and then remove sides of pan. Decorate with passion fruit caramel. Cut into wedges and serve.

Passion Fruit Caramel


2 cups passion fruit juice (I could only find Goya brand in stores) 
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar


Bring the passion fruit juice to a simmer over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Cook for about 20 minutes, until reduced to about a 1/4 cup. Strain the reduced juice through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add the cream, stir, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the sugar and continue to cook, stirring almost constantly, until the sugar is lightly caramelized (about 5 minutes). Add in the juice/cream mixture and cook for about 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. Strain mixture through a fine sieve. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...