As 2010 draws to a close, I can't help but notice that it's been a pretty good year. Sure, no one cured cancer, or global warming but overall, I feel good about life in general. I also cooked some awesome things this year, one of which was a goat cheese cheesecake for my friend Becky who is deathly allergic to cow's milk.
I think my friends could tell you that I am very accommodating to people's food allergies. It makes me feel like I'm in my own version of Iron Chef: Allergy edition (people could also tell you that I am not so accommodating to picky eaters. If you're not eating something for no reason, I have no patience for that and you can't come to my house for dinner). So when Meredith made this cheesecake a few months back, I thought immediately, oooh, I can make this for Becky.
My one thought about this recipe is that it had the consistency of a souffle rather than a cheesecake. But Meredith told me it's because I forgot to chill it for four hours first. Whoops.
Goat Cheese Cheesecake - adapted from here
Butter and granulated sugar for the cake pan (or oil if butter makes you break out in hives)
Graham Cracker Crumbs and a light tasting oil - for a crust
11 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 pint blackberries (about 1 cup) (I skipped these)
1 pint raspberries (about 2 cups)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Press some graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Drizzle olive oil on top and bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool.
Put the goat cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth.
Stir in the egg yolks two at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the flour until incorporated. If you're at your mom's house and don't have access to a stand mixer, use a hand mixer instead. It'll be fine.
Put the egg whites in another mixer bowl, fit the mixer with the whip attachment, and whip on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the goat cheese mixture. I used to be totally afraid of folding egg whites. Now I have confidence and these egg whites folded appropriately. Woo!
Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
To serve, run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake, invert a platter on top of the pan, and then invert the plate and pan together. Lift off the pan (or, you know, just take the springy part off the springform pan).
Top with the berries and serve. Chill to get the consistency all creamy like a cheesecake. If you don't, it's still good.
It's a great option for those who can't have milk! Happy super belated birthday, Becky and have a happy new year everybody! See you in 2011.