Monday, January 6, 2014

Goat Cheese Cheesecake to ring in the new 2014!

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful holiday with visiting family and friends- and I hope the same for everyone out there in blog land too! This post is a great kick off to the new year. I am using leftovers from family gatherings and making something SO...sooooo....SO good!

Allow me to intorduce to you....ta very first Goat Cheese Cheesecake!

I would have never thought to use up the half block of goat cheese to make cheesecake...but then again- I am kind of a foodie newbie too. I originally had looked up some recipes to make with left over ours were a little mushy tasting- not the best batch. I was google-ing old strawberries...when I started to see goat cheese/strawberry recipes. ie: goat cheese and strawberry grilled cheese?...maybe next time.

Anyway- a goat cheese cheesecake caught my eye...I must give due creds- as this original recipe came from Tyler Florence :) I, as always, nover had the correct ingredients on hand- so I made it up as I went. And I must is the BEST cheesecake I have ever made. It is light and creamy and not too sweet! You have got to try it!!!

Here goes- my pantry raid cheesecake:

10-12  ounces Dutch Speculaas Cookies (these are a spicy shortbready kind of cookie)
(if you use other cookies add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces goat cheese...I had 1/2 of one of those big round logs...might have been a little more than 4 oz??
1 tub of strawberry yogurt (Tyler's called for sour cream...but I did not have any) Yay for substitutions!!!
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
few tsps of lemon juice- right out of those green bottles I keep in my fridge
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ounces fresh strawberries, stems removed and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup sugar
few tsp lemon juice

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
pepper...yes- pepper :)

- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

- In a food processor, combine the cookies and melted butter and process until they are finely ground and the mixture holds together slightly and is evenly moistened. I used a 9 inch pie I suddenly seem to have lost my springform pan. I pressed the cookie mixture into the bottom of the pan to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Chill uncovered until ready to use.

- Mix the cream cheese, goat cheese, yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice, scraping down the sides as needed until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

- Place the cheesecake pan in the center of a large roasting pan...THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO....however- I do not have a large roasting pan (gasp) so I just used my baking sheet...yes- a baking sheet.  Place the sheet on the center rack of the oven. Carefully pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to a depth of  ½ inches around the cheesecake. (once again- if using a roasting pan it should be about 1 1/2 depth)

- Bake for 45 - 55 minutes. The cheesecake should be firm on the edges but still jiggle in the center. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 45 minutes at room temperature. Then chill uncovered until ready to serve.

For the berries: 
- In a large saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and pepper and cook over a medium heat for five to seven minutes, or until the sugar has melted and the mixture has thickened slightly. Remove the strawberries and continue to cook for another three to five minutes, or until the syrup has reduced by half. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool...refrigerate!

- Spoon the strawberries and syrup liberally over the cheesecake.Eat up and enjoy!!!

Ain't it purdy? It tastes good too!

Hope you enjoy...oh and here is the original recipe if you so desire: Strawberrry Basil Goat Cheesecake Recipe - Tyler Florence Goat Cheesecake Recipe - House Beautiful

Cheers to the New Year!