Mini Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes

by Shawnda on January 12, 2008

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Brownies

Tahitian Vanilla Cheesecake

I love cheesecake. It’s my favorite dessert that I never make at home. Ever. It just doesn’t make much sense to have that big of a dessert for two people. All that cream cheese baked into a single dish constantly tempting me with its sweet siren song from the fridge. I swoon at the very thought.

Enter the the mini cheesecake pan.

You know the kind – the tin with twelve single-serving cheesecake cups with the removable bottom. I have lusted after this pan for months. The servings aren’t too large (throwing three pounds of half-eaten cream cheese away is borderline sinful) and you can customize the flavor of each individual cake with one spoonful of an extra ingredient rather than baking 6 different desserts. The mini-dessert really might be the greatest invention ever.

Tahitian Vanilla

Mini Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes

Mini vanilla cheesecakes studded with vanilla bean flecks.

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 1 cup graham crackers (approximately 15 crackers), crushed
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter the bottoms and sides of the mini cheesecake pan (baking spray works well, too).
  2. Give the graham crackers a spin in the food processor until finely crushed. Add salt, sugar, and pulse a couple of times to mix. Stream in melted butter until a course crumb forms. Divide evenly among the 12 cups and press into the bottoms of the cheesecake pan. Place in oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 300.
  3. Add heavy cream to a small saucepan. Split and scrape the vanilla pod and add the pod halves and beans to the cream. Warm on low heat until steaming. Let cool to warm. On low speed, mix cream cheese until smooth (about 3 minutes). Increase speed to medium and add one egg at a time. Scrape down the bowl after each egg and mix completely. Pour cooled cream, vanilla, sugar, and salt and mix on medium for 2-3 minutes, until completely mixed.
  4. Spoon mixture into the prepared cheesecake pan, filling each cup to the top. Bake for 20-23 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack and then move to the fridge to chill for 2 hours. Remove the cheesecakes from the pan (my pan came with a short dowel to push the cakes up through the removable bottom) and serve.
  5. Notes: My pan came with a basic recipe for crust and "plain" filling. 1 cup of graham crackers makes way too much crust. The cheesecake crusts were quite thick and I hadn't even used all of the mixture. Next time, I'll reduce the crust recipe.

Notes

Yields: 12 servings

Estimated time: 3 hours

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