Daring Bakers in April: Goat CheesecakeApril 27, 2009 at 2:16 am | Posted in cakes & tortes, cheesecakes, daring bakers, groups, sweet things | 48 Comments
I was this close (picture me squinting while holding my thumb and index finger about a milimeter apart), this close to skipping this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge. See, I have done cheesecake one, two, three, four times here already. One of those was even with the DBs last year. I thought about it for awhile, and then I decided that since Jenny from Jenny Bakes basically gave us free reign to modify her chosen cheesecake recipe, I may as well make some tweaks and play along.
I’ve had goat cheesecake in restaurants before, but never at home, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Fresh goat cheese is pretty similar in consistency to cream cheese, and I figured I could do a straight-out swap with the two. I settled on a combo of half goat cheese and half cream cheese…that way it wouldn’t taste too barnyardy.
R and I are just a family of two, so we didn’t need a several pound cheesecake on our hands (or our hips). I scaled back the recipe to a third of its original size, and decided to bake off little individual cakes. I used 4-ounce aluminium foil cups, and got four servings from the batter.
I think cheesecake is quite a heavy, rich dessert, and I don’t like it further bogged down with too many add-ins. A little fruit sauce spooned on top suits me just fine. Here, I made an easy spiced cherry compote. I simply took a jar of tart cherries in light syrup, stained the syrup into a pot and reduced it a bit with half a cinnamon stick and a couple of cardamom pods. Once off the heat, I fished out the spices and stirred the cherries back in.
This was quite a nice change of pace. The cheesecakes had what I would call a “delicate goatiness.” Not too overpowering, and nice with the cherry sauce. Check out Jenny Bakes for the original recipe, and visit the new Daring Kitchen site to see what everyone else is up to!
Goat Cheesecake- makes 4 individual-size cheesecakes
modified from Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake
Note: I used Anna’s Almond Cinnamon Thins in the crust and 1/3 less fat cream cheese (that “Neufchâtel” stuff) in the cheesecake base.
for the crust:
2 oz graham cracker or wafer cookie crumbs
1/2 oz butter, melted
1/2 t sugar
pinch of salt
for the cheesecake:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz fresh (not aged) goat cheese, room temperature
1/3 c sugar
pinch of salt
1 t lemon juice
1/3 c heavy cream
1 t vanilla extract (or small amount of vanilla bean seeds)
-Preheat oven to 350°F (Gas Mark 4 = 180°C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
-Spray four 4-ounce ramekins or aluminum foil cups with non-stick cooking spray. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the cups. Place cups on a sheet tray and bake for about 8 minutes, just to set the crusts. Remove sheet from oven and set crusts aside.
-Process the cream cheese and goat cheese in a food processor until smooth (don’t forget to scrape!). Add the sugar and pinch of salt; mix and scrape again. Do the same with the egg, then add the lemon juice, heavy cream and vanilla bean seeds or extract and process until smooth and fully combined.
-Spoon batter into prepared crusts and gently tap the sheet tray on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Remove the cups from the sheet tray and place them in a small roasting pan or a baking dish. Pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake cups.
-Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until they are almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cakes to hold together, but still jiggle in the center. You don’t want them to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for another 20 minutes. This lets the cakes finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that they won’t crack on the top.
-After 20 minutes, remove pan from oven and lift the cups carefully out of water bath. Let them finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, they are ready to serve.
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.