Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Goat Cheese, Cheese Cake Part 2

This has been my latest food obsession, making cheese cake with something other than Ricotta or Cream Cheese - Goat Cheese, in this instance, has been my focus.  In the last posting about it I made individual ones with praline, in this case I used the same filling on a basic digestive biscuit crust (Graham Cracker crust would work fine as well) and baked it in the oven at 350 F until it became golden brown (about 55 minutes).  The big difference is that baked like this it is a dense more traditional tasting cheesecake.
When it was cooled I sliced and served it with Blood Orange Sauce.

I made mine in a 9" spring form pan that was generously buttered then sides and bottom covered in parchment paper.  This makes removing it much easier.  Although I used home made digestive biscuit  dough as my base I thinking using a good quality graham cracker or digestive biscuit would be much easier and in part that is one of the joys of this recipe is its ease.
I pre-baked it for 10 minutes before adding the filling and baking for another 55 minutes.  Recipes for graham cracker crusts abound, if you decide to use digestive biscuits 9 ounces of biscuits ground up then mix in some room temperature unsalted butter about 1 cup or so until the mixture in nicely moist and easy to spread in the pan.  Also be aware that your crust, like mine, will not go up the side of the pan enough to contain all the filling, not to worry, that is why the parchment is there, and I personally like the look of the separation of crust and filling.  Again, it's up to you.
Finally, even though I have been developing this recipe in the middle of winter Goats are not milked now so the best seasonally goat cheese is going to be available when goats are lactating, here in the Northeast that would be Spring/Summer traditionally.

One of the reasons I like using goat cheese is unlike cream cheese there are no fillers (locust bean or xantham gum) and unlike Ricotta you never have to worry about your cheesecake being dry or needing added flavorings like lemon rind to make it zing.  Not that I don't like cheesecake in all it's forms, I do.  It's just that the unique citric freshness of goat cheese is so perfect, I think, for this classic dessert. 

Give it a try when good goat cheese becomes available where you live and let me know how it works out for you.

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