Friday, April 20, 2012

Creme Brulee Cheesecake

Why choose between crème brûlée and cheesecake when you can combine them into one decadent dessert? The crackly burnt sugar topping provides a wonderful textural contrast to the creamy filling. 
Have the best of both worlds when you make this fabulous cheesecake.  I have served this for special occasions.  People think you have fussed over dessert, but it is a very easy cheesecake to make.  It will become one of your most requested recipes.  Why serve creme brulee when you can have your cake and eat it too?

8 oz. vanilla wafers, finely crushed (2 cups of crumbs) 
3 Tbs. granulated sugar 
7 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted 
3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature 
8 oz. mascarpone 
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour 
Table salt 
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar 
1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract 
4 large eggs, at room temperature 
2 Tbs. granulated sugar 

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the vanilla wafer crumbs and 3 Tbs. granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.

Add the vanilla and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.

TIPFor best results with cheesecakes I wrap the spring-form pan in foil and water bath it as it bakes.  You can sit it in a cookie sheet pan filled with water, but not enough to overflow when you set cheesecake in pan.  The steam from the water bath keeps the cheesecake from cracking.

Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month (see make-ahead tip, below).

Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan and run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust of the cheesecake. Carefully slide the cake onto a flat serving plate. Sprinkle the 2 Tbs. granulated sugar evenly over the top of the cheesecake and slowly pass a hand-held kitchen torch over the sugar until melted and caramelized.

To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping the knife after every slice.

make ahead tips

To freeze, put the unmolded, cooled cake on a rimmed baking sheet in the freezer, uncovered, until the top is cold and firm; then wrap it in two layers of plastic and one layer of foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


  1. Wow Randalla! That is a pudding and a half. I've got a really good recipe for an easy cheesecake. It's just a lovely, traditional lemon cheesecake. Would you like to try the recipe? I can't see a contact page, so pop me an email and I'll forward you it

  2. Hey Thomas, I would love to try the recipe!

  3. I must say, I'm very disappointed that you would not give credit where credit is due. This photo is copied from the Lobster-gram website and this is not the recipe for it. This recipe was copied verbatim from and the woman who came up with the recipe is Abigail Johnson Dodge. Its fine to share recipes that are not yours, but credit where they came from. But its actually illegal to post a licensed product photo as your own.