For this month’s challenge, Jenny picked a cheesecake, courtesy of her friend Abbey. If you would like to see the original recipe please visit Jenny at JennyBakes.com.
I normally use a cheesecake recipe from Spago dessert cookbook which I love, it is light, not too overpowering, and very delicate, but decided to try this recipe and twist it a little. Initially I wanted to try it with goat yogurt, but then realized I had some chevre in the fridge so I used that instead. Buttermilk was also used instead of the cream for an extra punch. I decided to forgo the crust since no matter what you use it ends up soggy, so I used a pistachio streusel as a substitute crust and as a dish garnish.
I love pairing citrus fruit with cheese cakes or anything that has lots of fat, it tames the heaviness, and since I had lots of blood oranges around, they were the pick of choice. I made the citrus tuiles with juice from the blood oranges, and the batter turned out a beautiful pink color that was unfortunately overcame by the sugar browning during baking. They still retained a beautiful color though.
To stay with the orange theme I candied whole slices of blood oranges in simple syrup to use on the plate. Some of the orange flavored syrup was also used for both garnish and flavor on the plate.
I liked the taste of the goat cheese, it wasn't too overpowering and it added zing to the recipe. What I didn't like was the texture of the cheese cake, and I am not sure it was due to the slow cooling in the oven, which might have overcooked it, or to the addition of the chevre and buttermilk. I will have to try my recipe and method with the addition of chevre to compare.
8 ounces chevre
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz buttermilk
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath. Spray ten 6-oz ramekins with vegetable spray.
2. Combine cheeses and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice, and blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Pour batter into prepared ramekins. Place ramekins into a larger pan and pour boiling water until halfway up the side of the ramekins.
4. Bake 25-30 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
Citrus Lace Tuile
adapted from The Last Course
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup blood orange juice
2 tablespoon lemon juice
7 ounces butter, melted and cooled
3/4 teaspoon grated blood orange zest
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Pre-heat the oven to 325F. Spoon the desired amount of batter on a baking sheet lined with a silpat and bake for 10 minutes (anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon depending on the final desired size). The batter spreads quite a bit, so don't bake more than 6 tuiles at the time. When the bubbles have subsided, and the tuiles are nicely browned evenly remove from the oven, let cool until you are able to handle the tuiles, lift one at the time and wrap around the handle of a wooden spoon for cigarettes, or around a rolling pin for round tuiles.
adapted from my former mentor, Pastry Chef DMcG.
equal parts in weight of:
finely ground pistachios
cold butter, cut in small cubes