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Vanilla Cheesecake Bars with Caramel Mousse


These vanilla cheesecake bars with caramel mousse are truly what dreams are made of! The smooth, creamy cheesecake filling lays on top of a buttery graham cracker crust, while the delicate caramel mousse ties the whole thing together.



For the Caramel Mousse:

  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar 
  • 15g water
  • 42g unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 57g heavy cream (lukewarm)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 340g heavy cream

For the Crust:

  • 400g graham crackers
  • 70g brown sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Filling: 

  • 3 8oz blocks cream cheese (room temp)
  • 170g mascarpone (room temp)
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (room temp)


For the Caramel Mousse:

  1. Start by making the caramel sauce. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt, cream of tartar, and 15g of water. Heat over medium high heat, swirling (not stirring) often to encourage even cooking. When it comes to a boil reduce heat to medium.
  2. When the color turns an even medium amber color remove from heat and add the butter one tbsp at a time, whisking to combine. Whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla. Allow to cool for a few minutes before pouring into a bowl.
  3. Bloom the gelatin by combining the powder with one tbsp of water. Stir into the slightly cooled caramel. Transfer caramel to a glass jar and place in the fridge overnight or until cooled and ready to use.

For the Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, blend together the graham crackers, brown sugar, melted butter, and salt.
  3. Transfer the crust to the prepared pan and pack it in with a measuring cup or the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake the crust for 8 minutes. Once the crust is done, turn the oven down to 325 degrees F.

For the Filling:

  1. While the crust bakes, make the filling. Beat together the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs and beat until fully combined, but do not over-mix. Pour the filling over the crust. 
  2. Fill a large baking dish with water and place in the oven on the rack below the cheesecake. Bake the cheesecake for 40 minutes. Do not open the oven at any point. After 40 minutes, turn the oven off and keep the cheesecake in the oven for another 20 minutes. Then, take the cheesecake out and allow to cool completely before placing in the fridge overnight. 

For Assembly:

  1. To finish the caramel mousse, melt the caramel sauce in the microwave in 20 second intervals (if it was refrigerated overnight). Allow to cool back down to room temp before adding to the whip cream.
  2. Whip the 340g of heavy cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold in the caramel sauce. 
  3. Top the cheesecake with the caramel mousse, cut into small squares, and enjoy!