November 29, 2001
Celebrate with Cheesecake
On the first night of Chanukah, the family always gets together at our home for a special evening. We enjoy lighting the Chanukah candles, eating traditional foods and exchanging gifts.
Dessert is always a highlight of the evening, and this year for Chanukah, I am going to surprise everybody with a special cheesecake. I discovered the recipe on a recent trip to the wine country when we visited the Redwood Hill Goat Farm near Sonoma. After touring the goat farm, we attended a cooking class where the focus was cooking with goat cheese.
The dessert that was prepared for the class was a cheesecake using goat cheese in place of the usual cream cheese. Not overly sweet, the texture was cake-like, rather than the traditional creamy version I usually make. Although the original recipe did not have a crust, I chose to create one using finely ground granola.
Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with an orange juice syrup. It is the perfect dessert for a dairy dinner, great as a breakfast treat, or to serve friends that visit during the eight days of Chanukah.Goat Cheese Cake with Granola Crumb Crust
Prepare the Granola Crumble Crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the goat cheese with 3/4 cup of sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next.
Turn the mixer to low and beat in the flour.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until firm. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the cheese mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake is deep golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. (Do not underbake.) Cool for 15 minutes on a rack.
Remove cake from the pan and cool completely. Serves 8 to 10.
Granola Crumb Crust
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the granola and sugar in a food processor and blend until fine crumbs. Add butter and blend until mixture comes away from the sides of the bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9-inch spring form mold.
Bake for about six minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Cool before filling.Orange Juice Syrup
In a saucepan, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until thick. Cool.
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