I have been planning to make a crème brûlée cheesecake for months now; first it was a random thought, then when I saw creme brulee doughnuts on Pinterest I felt encouraged to make the recipe happen but the final straw was seeing Masterchef US Season 4 Episode 5 where the contestants had to make a cheesecake for their elimination challenge. Often when I watch competitive cooking shows I think what would I do if I were competing and it was clear that the time had come for my creme brulee cheesecake concept transform into reality.
My favourite thing about creme brulee is the vanilla flavour of the custard and the sound of that first crunch which you crack the glistening surface with your spoon. The best thing about cheesecake is the crust that encapsulates the cake that is somehow creamy, fluffy but holds its own all at the same time. Combining these two desserts makes for one irresistable bite that would have judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich all weak at the knees.
The great thing about this dessert is that it can be made ahead of time so it is perfect for a dinner party so you can relieve some pressure by making this long before your guests arrive and focus on your other courses. Trust me this dessert will leave your guests in awe as your deliver a restaurant quality dessert.
Make your crust by giving the vanilla wafers a whiz in the food processor.
Make the filling of your cheesecake and go on, have a dip of your clean finger when no one is looking 😉
Once cheesecakes are baked it’s time for the blazing sugar.
Live, Love, Eat!
- 1.5 cups of vanilla wafers
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (plus more for greasing)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 packets of 8oz cream cheese
- 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup full fat milk
- 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Place the vanilla wafers in a food processor and blitz until they resemble fine breadcrumbs then add the softened butter and blitz again until combined and moist. Take four well-greased 6” ramekins and press the crumb mixture into each ramekin starting with the sides and finishing with the base to create a 1/4” crust. Pop in the oven for around 10 minutes or until slightly darker brown in colour then remove and leave on a rack to cool. Reduce oven heat to 300°F.
- Meanwhile place the cream cheese, milk, granulated sugar and vanilla extract or scrapings from the vanilla pod into a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer (or use your arm muscles and a spoon if they are sufficient). Work in the eggs one by one until fully incorporated – taking care not to overbeat. Using an ice cream scoop, add the cream cheese mixture into each crust pushing into the corners until each crust is three-quarters full. Bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes until each is firm to the touch but wobbles when gently shaken. Leave on a rack to cool.
- Finally, sprinkle enough brown sugar to make a thin even layer over each cheesecake (approximately 1.5 tablespoons of sugar for each cheesecake) and using a kitchen torch to melt the sugar until golden and bubbling. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, place under a hot grill until the sugar has melted. Allow the cheesecake to sit for at least five minutes before serving.
- If you are making these dessert ahead of time or you refrigerate your extras, always serve at room temperature.