Bourbon Raspberry Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Raspberry Bourbon Vanilla Bean Cheesecake - Blushing Baker

My brother has a very special birthday this year so I wanted to make him something a little more special.  He is a huge fan of brownies or blondies with frosting on it, so I took the idea of making some type of bar as my starting point.  I’ve been tempted to try making cheesecake for years but always chicken out for cupcakes or something a little less intimidating.  So, why not I thought, for my first cheesecake go big: five layer cheesecake bars!  There is a nutty graham cracker crust, bourbon vanilla bean cheesecake, sweet vanilla bean sour cream topping, bourbon vanilla bean raspberry sauce all topped off with vanilla whipped cream.

It seems like it will be complicated because there are a lot of steps but it was surprisingly easy overall.  Nothing happens exactly at the same time so you don’t feel rushed.  Put on some music and hang out in the kitchen for a few hours.  My kitchen smelt amazing last night, the bourbon and vanilla beans and then the added raspberries were amazing.   Make this a day ahead (except for the whipped cream) or at least 6 hours before serving so the cheesecake has time to set.  Read the cheesecake baking instructions well so you remember to leave the cheesecake in the oven (after it’s been turned off and cooling before removing from the oven and turning it back on to bake the sour cream layer.

There are a lot of steps but this was completely worth it.  Again – it’s a little more special than brownies but for a birthday celebration – it was perfect.

{If you are not a bourbon fan, you can substitute with Vanilla Extract or remove completely, it will not affect the consistency at all, just the flavor.}

Bourbon Raspberry Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 Sleeve Graham Crackers

1/2 Cup Pecans

1/3 Cup Unsalted Butter, Melted

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Cheese Cake:

2 (8-oz) Cream Cheese Packages, Softened

1/2 Cup Sugar (divided into half)

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

1 Teaspoon Bourbon

Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean

2 Eggs, Room Temperature

Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Layer:

1-1/2 Cup Sour Cream

Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean

1/4 Cup Sugar

Bourbon Vanilla Raspberry Sauce:

6 oz Raspberries (1 container)

1 Tablespoon Bourbon

1/3 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cups Water

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

2 Tablespoons Water

Pods from scrapped 2 Vanilla Beans

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:

1 Tablespoon Cold Water

1 Teaspoon Gelatin

2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

Seeds scraped from 1 Vanilla Bean

1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

Directions:

  1. Place a 9 x 13 pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crust: line a 9 x 9 baking pan with tine foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place graham crackers and pecans in a food processor.  I used my mini and had enough room.  Pulse until they are fine crumbs.  Add in the vanilla extract and melted butter and pulse again until everything is combined well. Pour into your prepared pan and press the crumbs into an even layer. Bake for 10 mins
  3. Cheesecake: While your crust is baking, mix 1 package of cream cheese with half the sugar (1/4 cup) and the cornstarch for 3 minutes on low-speed.  Scrape the sides when needed until everything is very smooth and creamy.  Add the second package of cream cheese and mix together until smooth then scrape down the sides and add the vanilla bean seeds and the rest of the sugar (1/4 cup) and mix on medium until everything is incorporated.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between.  When everything is perfectly smooth, pour over your crust and smooth the surface.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, then without opening the oven door, turn off the oven for an extra 10 minutes.  Finally, open the door halfway and leave your cheesecake in the oven for another 10 minutes.  Remove cheesecake from oven and turn the oven back on to 350 degrees.
  5. Sour Cream Layer: Beat together the sour cream, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar until joined together well.  Pour over the cheesecake starting on the outer edges and moving toward the center.  Spread evenly over the cheesecake.  Make sure your oven is back to full temperature and back for 10 minutes before removing it.  Let cool on the counter.
  6. Raspberry Sauce: Add raspberries, bourbon, sugar and 1/4 cup water to a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes.  In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water together.  Add to the berries and let boil for a minute or two.  Turn off the heat and add the 2 vanilla bean pods that you scraped the seeds out of.  There’s still plenty of seeds left in those to get great flavor and you’re staining this anyway.  Allow to cool.
  7. Strain into a jar to remove all the seeds, pulp and vanilla pods using a mesh strainer.  If you’re serving your cheesecake the next day, let cool before putting in the fridge.  If you’re serving the same day, it can stay on the counter to cool.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours (or overnight).
  9. Remove cheesecake from the fridge and pour the sauce over the chilled cheesecake.  Use an offset spatula to smooth and even.
  10. Whipped cream: In a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of cold water and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top.  Allow to soften for 2 minutes before microwaving for 30 seconds and whisking to dissolve the gelatin.  In a large metal mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream, vanilla bean seeds, and powdered sugar until soft peaks form.  Add the gelatin mixture and whip until stiff peaks form.  Dollop the whipped cream over the cheesecake and spread gently into an even layer.
  11. Use the foil sling to remove the cheesecake from the pan on to a cutting board.  Cut into bars and enjoy!

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Cheesecake - Blushing Baker

My husband doesn’t like raspberries so I served the raspberries sauce individually on each plate.  He also isn’t crazy about whipped cream but this time, I didn’t give him the option.  It was on and he was going to eat it…happily 🙂  We served the cheesecake bars with strawberries and raspberries and extra whipped cream on the side.

Bourbon Rapsberry Vanilla Bean Cheesecake - Blushing Baker

I’m not really sure the reason for the gelatin in the whipped cream. I think it’s to stabilize it so I used it but if you don’t have gelatine packets it’s completely fine to leave out.So the reason you use the tin foil

The reason you use the tin foil sling is to make removing from your pan really easy.  The sides will not come out looking gorgeous like my mother in law’s perfect cheesecakes but you don’t need a special pan and it doesn’t matter too much since your cutting the cake into bars.  Following along with the ease of the foil sling below for cutting and clean up.

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Cheesecake - Blushing Baker Bourbon Vanilla Bean Cheesecake - Blushing Baker Bourbon Vanilla Bean Cheesecake - Blushing Baker

Raspberry Bourbon Vanilla Bean Cheese Cake - Blushing Baker

 

Bourbon Raspberry Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
 
Five Layer Bourbon Raspberry Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 1 Sleeve Graham Crakers
  • ½ Cup Pecans
  • ⅓ Cup Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Bourbon Vanilla Bean Cheese Cake:
  • 2 (8-oz) Cream Cheese Packages, Softened
  • ½ Cup Sugar (divided into half)
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 Teaspoon Bourbon
  • Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 2 Eggs, Room Temperature
  • Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Layer:
  • 1-1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • Seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean
  • ¼ Cup Sugar
  • Bourbon Vanilla Raspberry Sauce:
  • 6 oz Raspberries (1 container)
  • 1 Tablespoon Bourbon
  • ⅓ Cup Sugar
  • ¼ Cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • Pods from scrapped 2 Vanilla Beans
  • Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:
  • 1 Tablespoon Cold Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Gelatin
  • 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Seeds scraped from 1 Vanilla Bean
  • ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
Instructions
  1. Place a 9 x 13 pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crust: line a 9 x 9 baking pan with tine foil and spray with cooking spray. Place graham crackers and pecans in a food processor. I used my mini and had enough room. Pulse until they are fine crumbs. Add in the vanilla extract and melted butter and pulse again until everything is combined well. Pour into your prepared pan and press the crumbs into an even layer.
  3. Bake for 10 mins
  4. Cheesecake: While your crust is baking, mix 1 package of cream cheese with half the sugar (1/4 cup) and the cornstarch for 3 minutes on low-speed. Scrape the sides when needed until everything is very smooth and creamy. Add the second package of cream cheese and mix together until smooth then scrape down the sides and add the vanilla bean seeds and the rest of the sugar (1/4 cup) and mix on medium until everything is incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well in between. When everything is perfectly smooth, pour over your crust and smooth the surface.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, then without opening the oven door, turn off the oven for an extra 10 minutes. Finally, open the door halfway and leave your cheesecake in the oven for another 10 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and turn the oven back on to 350 degrees.
  6. Sour Cream Layer: Beat together the sour cream, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar until joined well. Pour over the cheesecake starting on the outer edges and moving toward the center. Spread evenly over the cheesecake. Make sure your oven is back to full temperature and back for 10 minutes before removing it. Let cool on the counter.
  7. Raspberry Sauce: Add raspberries, bourbon, sugar and ¼ cup water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water together. Add to the berries and let boil for a minute or two. Turn off the heat and add the 2 vanilla bean pods that you scraped the seeds out of. Allow to cool.
  8. Strain into a jar to remove all the seeds, pulp and vanilla pods using a mesh strainer. Allow to cool.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours (or overnight).
  10. Remove cheesecake from the fridge and pour the sauce over the chilled cheesecake. Use an offset spatula to smooth and even.
  11. Whipped cream: In a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of cold water and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top. Allow to soften for 2 minutes before microwaving for 30 seconds and whisking to dissolve the gelatin. In a large metal mixing bowl, whisk the heavy cream, vanilla bean seeds, and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add the gelatin mixture and whip until stiff peaks form. Dollop the whipped cream over the cheesecake and spread gently into an even layer. Use the foil sling to remove the cheesecake from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into bars and enjoy!

 

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Cheesecake - Blushing Baker

Blogging Fail. You take the most perfect piece to put on a plate and…splat. You miss completely.

Adapted from Willowbird Baking and Pioneer Woman.

One comment

  1. Jaclyn Penque says:

    These look amazing!

Comments are closed.