Saturday, March 24, 2018

Vanilla-Flecked Cheesecake with a Rhubarb Drizzle #EighteenCheesecakes

Jake and I are celebrating 18 years of marriage tomorrow. That's a whole lifetime...well, at least the time it takes for a child to be considered an adult. On one hand it certainly feels like a lifetime; on the other, it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye.

In this past eighteen years, we've had two boys, lived in two states and five different houses, and juggled probably a dozen different jobs between us. We've traveled to Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona; we've visited Italy and Costa Rica. We've SCUBA'd, zip-lined, canoed, and tangoed. It's been an amazing adventure.

Under the Wedding Maple at Owen R. Cheatham Redwood Grove, Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park
But it's also been work. A lot of work. Don't let anyone tell you that marriage is easy. Maybe that is what makes the celebrations all the more sweet.

So, why cheesecakes? you ask. Well, we had seven cheesecakes at our wedding instead of a traditional wedding cake. So, it seems a fitting way to commemorate the occasion.

In previous years, I have rallied some blogging friends to help me celebrate with their favorite cheesecakes. In 2015 we posted waaaaaay more than #FifteenCheesecakes. 2016 had us posting #SixteenCheesecakes; but somehow I skipped last year. I think we were in Oregon and I didn't get my act together soon enough. But I wanted to gather an encore performance by some of my favorite foodie bloggers.

This includes brand-new recipes from my friends who blog at A Day in the Life on the Farm, Jolene's Recipe JournalKaren's Kitchen Stories, I Just Make SandwichesPalatable Pastime, and Amy's Cooking Adventures.

Thanks for joining me, Wendy, Jolene, Karen, Marlee, Sue, and Amy! I am also rounding up some of my previous favorites. Enjoy and I hope you are inspired to make your own cheesecake soon.
The Cheesecake Parade

Vanilla-Flecked Cheesecake with a Rhubarb Drizzle 

As for my offering, it's a little like marriage: there are some compromises. My husband likes Plain and White Cheesecake. I like to shake things up, as evidenced by my Matcha-Yuzu Cheesecake with a Meyer Lemon Gelée or my Lemongrass-Ginger Cheesecake. But, I've figured out that I can make a fairly plain cheesecake that makes him happy - such as my Honey-Lemon Cheesecake - and I can add something zingy that makes me happy.

See! Compromise. That give and take is the secret to a happy marriage. Well, that and something I heard Kevin Bacon say when I saw him perform with his brother several years ago: "The secret to a lasting marriage - keep the sex dirty and the fights clean." Sage advice.

I did add in some flavors that made this a little less than plain. I used beurre noisette in the crust and vanilla paste in the cheesecake, topping, and rhubarb sauce.

Beurre Noisette [bur nwah-zet] noun, French Cookery. 
Literally 'butter the color of a hazelnut.'

Brown butter is one of those magical ingredients that transforms the flavor of just about anything be it sweet or savory. Its nutty taste and aroma are out of this world. And it can add a creative twist to any recipe that includes butter.


  • 2 C crushed graham crackers
  • 1 C ground almonds
  • 8 T beurre noisette (browned butter)*
  • 2 T organic granulated sugar


  • 3 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 C organic sour cream
  • 1 T pure vanilla bean paste


  • 2 C organic sour cream
  • 1 t pure vanilla bean paste
  • 1 T organic granulated sugar

Rhubarb Drizzle

  • 1/2 C rhubarb puree
  • 1/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 t pure vanilla bean paste


*To make beurre noisette: place butter in a pan over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly. As the butter melts, it will foam and begin to darken. The color will progress from a pale lemon yellow to golden straw hue and, finally, to a hazelnut brown. Once you achieve the color and aroma you want, pour the beurre noisette into a glass container. The milk solids will continue to brown - and eventually burn - if you leave it in the pan.

Mix all of the ingredients together until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of a springform pan that's been wrapped in foil. Chill crust while preparing filling.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in sour cream and vanilla paste.

Transfer filling to prepared crust. Place springform pan in large roasting pan or a rimmed baking sheet. If your springform fits in the roasting pan, pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. If it doesn't (my springform is too big), place ramekins filled with boiling water around your pan.

Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour, leaving oven door ajar.

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Spread this evenly over the cheesecake and bake in a 350°F oven again for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer cake to rack. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Cool completely.

Remove foil from pan sides. Cover cake and chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Remove pan sides to serve.

Rhubarb Drizzle
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool; the sauce will thicken as it cool.

So, there you have it. v.2018 of my anniversary cheesecakes. Plain, with a rhubarb drizzle, and with some leftover chocolate ganache that one of the boys found in the fridge!


  1. Happy Anniversary! Thank you so much for letting me help you celebrate :) Looking forward to rhubarb season, can't wait to try this!

    1. Thank you! Can't wait to try your recipe, Jolene.

  2. Happy anniversary. That rhubarb sauce sounds delicious.
    P.S. I use a 12 inch deep dish pizza/cake pan for the water bath. I've never used it for a pizza or a cake, ha ha.

    1. That peanut butter and jelly cheesecake!! Oh, my. Karen, you have outdone yourself.

  3. Thanks for including us in your celebration again Cam.

  4. This sounds amazing! I need to try this asap!


Share Buttons