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I’m back! And boy have I missed my fellow bakers and seeing their creations each month. Since this is the last month this year to participate I just had to make it happen. Here I am one Vanilla Cheesecake later. This month is a special month as well because we get to choose any recipe from any of the books we have baked from. Since this was my first year I could only choose from “World Class Cakes” by Rodger Pizey. But my oldest daughter turned 8 and so she got to pick out her birthday cake!
My Mother-in-law makes killer cheesecakes and they are a regular choice of birthday cake for her 10 children. Yes, my husband is the oldest of ten kids. Anyway, I always thought that was great as I enjoyed the cheesecakes of many days of birth throughout the years. However, I never thought I would be called on to do this tradition in my own house. Especially since I have never made a cheesecake. I have only admired the silky salty sweetness and enjoyed consuming it. But when your baby asks for a special cake you make that special cake. They are sweet anyway and always eat my cakes and tell me it was the best.
Baking it My Way
Much to my surprise the ingredients for Vanilla Cheesecake are simple and the method pretty straight forward. Of course none of my fellow bakers will be surprised that I switched up a couple of things in the original recipe. Rouge as per usual I am.
So right to my substitutions. I regularly buy raw sugar so it is darker in color and the crystals are quite large. I knew there was no way that those crystals would dissolve well into the batter. But I also have used up all my caster sugar. And lets be honest the stores a couple days before Christmas are less than savory. But powdered sugar was on hand and it mixes well so into the cream cheese it went. Shrug.
Now the other day I was watching a YouTube cook bake Vanilla Soda Pop Cookies. And I almost died when he said to use Imitation Vanilla because it gives us that “fake vanilla taste” that we all love. Ugh, no. Do people really think that?
Well, I am in direct conflict with his statement. Since being in Martinique a French Caribbean island I had some fresh vanilla pods on hand and killer great vanilla extract. Because this was a celebratory cake and vanilla is in the name of the cake I wasn’t going to skimp. I went for both scraping the pods and using the extract. Might I add the decadence of good vanilla is the best smell. I could just use it for perfume! You will note my cake is darker in color than that in the book due to using real vanilla in copious amounts. Because vanilla is delightful and in my opinion far from boring.
And finally we went with fresh raspberries instead of blueberry compote for the fruit topping since it is my daughter’s favorite berry. But overall we stuck to the recipe and only had minor changes!
Cake Opinion Column
Now for my personal review and opinion of Vanilla Cheesecake from “World Class Cakes.” The baking and making was surprisingly super simple. I love simple and straight forward. Also, it looked and smelled wonderful throughout. My kids say it could have been sweeter although, I was a fan of the lightly sweetened. Texturally it came out exceptionally smooth and not too thick. In my book this was a winner for a basic no-frills cheesecake. Try it out and let me know what you think!
- 5 Tbs Butter
- 3.5 oz Graham Crackers
- 2-2/3 Cup Whole Cream Cheese
- 1 Vanilla Bean, Split/Scraped
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
- ⅓ Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Egg
- Fresh Raspberries to Garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 275* F grease a 6 inch springform pan.
- Melt butter and pour over crushed graham crackers to make a crust.
- Form crust in the bottom of the pan.
- In a bowl whip the cream cheese.
- Mix the sugar and the vanilla together. Mix into the cream cheese.
- Finally add the sour cream and egg and mix together gently.
- Pour the batter over the graham crust.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until set.
- Cool for 20 minutes and then chill completely in the fridge overnight.
- Garnish with raspberries (optional).
The Cake Slice Bakers
To see the other Cake Slice Baker’s bakes scroll down below and look at their pretty pictures and deliciousness. We are baking from Roger Pizey’s “World Class Cakes,” which is also linked on the side bar for more info. Furthermore, if you’re a blogger and would like to join The Cake Slice Bakers, (posting is always the 20th of each month) you can request to join our group on Facebook. In addition to the other options, if you just love cakes, follow our Pinterest board to see all of the great cakes we bake!