Monday, December 31, 2012

Post Christmas Mandarin Chevre Cheesecake

My partner is lactose intolerant so he has been jealous of all the fabulous cheesecakes Ules and I have been bringing home from Mobius. When we received a generous log o' chevre for Christmas, he asked if I could make a cheesecake from it. I dug up a recipe I tried a while ago developed by chef Gayle Tanner for the Quady Winery dessert pairing competition. We are big fans of Essensia Orange Muscat, which is what this recipe was meant to be paired with.

I used some leftover Christmas oranges to make the fruit purée, and leftover Christmas cookies to make the base. (The original recipe doesn't have a base, which makes it gluten free if you leave out the AP flour.) I had some trouble with the egg whites today because the yolks kept breaking and leaking into the whites so they did not whip into stiff peaks, but no matter, the cheesecake tends to deflate somewhat in any case. I don't trust my cheesecake pan to be waterproof, so I didn't bake it in a water bath, but it still turned out all right.

2 cups orange Muscat wine such as Essensia (reduced to 1/4 cup) if available

About 8 leftover Christmas oranges squeezed and reduced (simmered) to 1/4 cup juice and pulp

11-12 oz (325-350grams) fresh chevre or cream cheese (1 cup is 8 oz cream cheese, 12 oz is 1 and 1/2 cups)

3 tbs. all purpose flour

1 tsp grated orange peel

3/4 cup sugar, divided

1 tsp vanilla

6 large eggs, separated

Crumb Base:

Approx. 1 1/2 cups crumbs made by putting leftover gingerbread cookies in the food processor
Peel of one lemon

1. I didn't have the dessert wine, but if you use it, you can put it in a pan over high heat, and simmer until it's reduced to 1/4 cup. This doesn't go in the cheesecake, but you can pour it on top as a finishing sauce. We're going to use Wendy Boys' Salted Caramel Sauce.

2. In a bowl with a mixer or food processor, beat juice and pulp, 1/4 c sugar, flour, orange peel, and vanilla and beat well until blended.

3. Oil a 9 inch cheesecake pan and dust with sugar

4. Pulse leftover cookies with lemon peel and then press the mixture into the base of the pan.
5. Put egg whites in a narrow, deep bowl. Beat egg yolks into cheese mixture.

6. Whip egg whites on high speed until thick and foamy, gradually adding 1/2 cup sugar. Beat until whites hold soft, round peaks.

7. Fold whites into cheese mixture, and scrape batter into pan.

8. Bake in a 325 degree F oven until cake begins to pull away from the sides and is browned on top and not gloppy in the centre, 45 minutes to one hour. Cool on a rack. Chill if you like and save up to two days. Remove ring and serve with reduced Essensia, mandarin slices, or salted caramel sauce.

This recipe is originally from the Sunset Annual 2000 Edition and the similar recipe here:

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