Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 5 mins
This cheesecake is just plain SEXY. So delicate, sultry and beautiful! A true indulgence for the vanilla connoisseur. The pure white topping so innocently covers the pure decadence! I experienced love at first sight with this cheesecake and I think you will too! Since vanilla, almonds and walnuts are aphrodisiacs, I plan on adding this to my Valentine's Day menu and have posted it here for safe keeping! The recipe was adapted from All-American Sexy Foods by Peggy Cullen. A 10 for total YUM factor! Wine Suggestion: A creamy bubbly, such as Michele Chiarlo Moscato d’ Asti Nivole 2003 is a wonderful combination with this dessert. Or try a dessert Trebianno such as Late Harvest Trebianno.
- 1 1⁄2 cups walnut pieces
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (do not use imitation vanilla)
- 2 lbs cream cheese, softened
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped, preferably Madagascar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350° and butter a 10-inch springform pan.
- In a food processor or blender, pulse walnuts with 1/4 cup of the sugar until finely ground. Add butter and pulse until the mixture looks like moist sand. Press crumbs into bottom of pan. Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix sour cream with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract. Cover and set aside.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or using a handheld electric mixer, beat cream cheese on low speed with the remaining sugar and the vanilla seeds until JUST combined. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add remaining vanilla extract and the almond extract. Slowly mix in cream until smooth. Pour batter into pan and bake for 65 minutes or until lightly golden and slightly jiggly in the center.
- Immediately pour the sour cream topping over the cheesecake and smooth the surface with back of spoon or spatula.
- Return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- Place on wire rack and let cool to room temperature.
- Run a thin sharp knife around cake and remove the ring.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours. Remove cheesecake and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Return to refrigerator and leave overnight before serving.
This is, hands-down, my favorite cheesecake recipe. Every time I make it, friends, family, and co-workers comment on how delicious it is. A few changes: I omit the almond extract and add a little extra vanilla extract (only the good stuff), + 1 whole vanilla bean. I also prefer using pecans in the crust. I always bring the eggs and cream cheese to room temperature before blending them and make sure to mix them to the point where there are entirely no lumps. The sour cream topping compliments the cheesecake nicely and beautifully masks any cracks that may occur during baking. Although, I never need to really worry about cracking because I always put a cookie sheet of boiling water on the rack below the cheesecake. Next time, I may experiment with adding some lemon flavoring to the sour cream topping, as it seems they would go well together.
Incredible. My go to special occasion cheesecake!!
This had great texture -- really smooth and velvety. The almond extract was overpowering though, I'd probably leave it out next time (should have read the reviews before I made it :))