Friday, June 28, 2013

Lavender Honey Goat Cheese Cheesecake

If there is one staple on our list for the Fourth of July weekend, it’s cheesecake.  I use my Mom’s recipe, and I need to ask her where she got it from.   On top of a partially-baked Graham-cracker crust, add the filling of 1 package 8 ounce cream cheese, 1 tub less 1/2 cup of sour cream, 2 eggs, 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and bake at 350; cover the top with the rest of the sour cream.  I like this recipe a lot for it’s taste and of course the association of my Mom, but it’s also very easy to make, in about 20 minutes, while I am making a bunch of other desserts.  Sometimes though, I want something a little more special, and a little more tasty.  This morning I was wide awake at 4am and so decided to make cheesecake for this weekend.  I had made another batch of goat cheese, this time adding four spoons of dried lavender in the milk, which was later strained.   So starting with that goat cheese I got to work making lavender honey goat cheese cheesecakes.  I made this in a full size last year adapting Mom’s recipe, but today I’m using a different recipe, one that will give a significantly lighter texture to the finished desserts, and I am making smaller sizes.

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Regardless of which pan or pans you use, you need to make the crust first: One packet of (crushed) graham crackers, 1 stick of melted butter, 3 heaping teaspoons of sugar and a generous dash of cinnamon. I know, you can buy one pre-made, but I much prefer one from scratch.  Spoon the crumb mix into the pans.

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And using a glass, press the mixture down evenly in your pans.  For this recipe, I use crumbs only on the bottom of the pan.  Bake at 400 until the edges just start to brown, then set aside to cool. 

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For for the filling; you will need:

5 ounces (+/-) of goat cheese

4 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sour cream

2 eggs

1 cup of sugar (or honey; keep reading)

a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

 

You can use the Trader Joe variety of goat cheese for this, but what I really love is a fresh or home-made goat cheese.   The flavor tastes significantly better to me when I use about half a cup of honey instead of the cup of sugar; it’s a great way to introduce flavors such as lavender, wildflowers or orange blossom into your cheesecake.  I used my favorite Jonas wildflower honey.  Here you can also see the goat cheese is vaguely colored due to the lavender.

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Put the filling ingredients in your mixer and blend until creamy.  Fill your pans, leaving just a little headroom.

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Now here’s the trick with this recipe: it’s in the way they are baked.  Rather than putting the cake right in the oven, wrap each cheesecake with foil and set them in a pan of water and put the whole setup in the oven.  I used a 1” deep baking sheet.  The water does not have to go to the top of the cheesecakes; just keep the tinfoil up so that no water gets around the cakes (it would seep in under these two-part tarte tins).  Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes for a large cheesecake; these minis take 30 minutes each.

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You will know just by looking at them if they are done, once you have made one or two of these.

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But just to be sure, I often touch my finger to the top of the cheesecake.  Problem is, that leaves a ding in the top of the cheesecake.  My family would still eat them, even with my fingerprint on top, but I disguise it with a little coat of sour cream on top~

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Or, you can just pour some sauce on top.  The other problem I still have with this method of cooking is how to unmold them, because it’s nice to see the crust on the bottom and the light cheesecake on top.  I get a ragged edge like this.  I was not happy with it, but Mom had this for breakfast this morning at 7am and said it was delish~

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The sauce is a puree of 1 small container of raspberries, four heaping spoons of sugar and juice of one lemon; you can strain it or leave the seeds in.

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It’s especially excellent on flourless chocolate cake! Something else I must make soon…

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For today, here is my little goat cheese cheesecake; it is lightly perfumed with lavender and honey, and I prefer them in these small white ramekins as I don’t have to unmold them, and they look pretty on a dessert tray.

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This batch however, is going to my Sis’ house today.  I want to borrow some wine glasses for some photos and so will leave these for her family; I know they will love them.  I can see these with red raspberries and blue-blueberries for the Fourth.  Her family will eat these by tonight, so maybe we’ll make one of Mom’s cheesecakes for the Fourth.

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Enjoy your weekend and bake something delicious if you can!!

9 comments:

  1. Both your recipe and your mothers sound scrumptious. I cannot wait to try them, in fact I think I will try one or the other for the 4th of July weekend.

    I hope that you have a great weekend.

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  2. This post is so beautiful. I can almost taste it. Love the recipes thanks for sharing. Kathy

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  3. can I come live with you? :)Maureen

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    1. come to France w me and we'll cook up a storm!

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  4. Thanks!! Can't wait to try it!

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    1. It's a subtle taste and a pretty dessert, and I think most ppl prefer the classic; but try it and tell me what you think. You can also use honey instead of sugar in the Mom's Cheesecake and get a great flavor. Depends on what you are after.

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  5. I always buy honey goat cheese, use it on wheat thins. This looks so divine.
    I may try to make it, but Renee will kill me, she is on a diet.
    Hope you write a cook book. yvonne

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  6. Love this recipe...will try it soon...
    went to a Gigantic Brocante at Nuit St. Georges...you should have been with us...came home with treasures...when will you be here...

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  7. This looks so good! I must make it!

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