I admit to not being a great cheesecake fan. While I like it I often find it just too dense and rich for my taste. This recipe comes from one of our favorite local French bistros, The Smoking Goat. This is their signature dessert and our waiter convinced us to try it. We did and found it delicious. It is not as heavy as a traditional cheesecake and the goat cheese gives it a lightness and slight tang that we found most delightful. They were most generous in providing me with the recipe and I decided to give it a try. The restaurant serves this cheesecake with a peach compote which was marvelous but I decided to just decorate my cheesecake with poached peaches instead as the ones I got at the market this week weren’t completely ripe.
For the crust:
7 oz of graham cracker crumbs
1 oz of sugar
2 oz melted butter.
In a food processor combine the crackers and sugar and process until you have fine crumbs. With the processor running pour in the melted butter and process just until all the crumbs are moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool while you make the filling.
For the filling:
2 lbs cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 lb goat cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix the cheeses and sugar in an electric mixer until very smooth. Add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla and mix until just combined. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Allow to cool. The recipe suggests putting a pan of water in the bottom of the oven to prevent cracking. I generally haven’t had much problem with cracking but I gave it a shot anyway. It worked. I have also heard many different ways of cooling a cheesecake to prevent cracking. My preferred method is just to turn the oven off at the end of the baking time and just leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door ajar until it is completely cool. This does take a bit of time so I usually bake my cheesecakes in the evening and just leave it in the oven overnight. It has never failed me. Another trick I always do is to line the bottom of my springform pans with parchment paper. That way I can get the cake off the bottom of the springform and onto a serving plate so that the bottom isn’t attached when I serve or present the cake.