This recipe was inspired by one in Kate Zuckerman’s The Sweet Life. I loved the idea of a cheesecake made with goat cheese and I love anything with praline. I’ve adapted it considerably and am currently working on a cake version with a digestive biscuit crust, stay tuned for that.
Goat Cheese – Cheesecake with Praline
To make the praline in a sauce pan add 1 cup of sugar, a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/3 cup of water, over medium high heat when the sugar has melted, the minute it starts to turn dark caramel color and before it starts to smoke add 1/2 cup of almonds or pecans or hazelnuts and pour out onto a silpat or a well oiled cookie sheet. When it has completely cooled break into chunks and place into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it is broken down into small shards.
I used 4 ounce tin cups to make individual cheesecakes, you could also use ramekins. I made this the first time as a cake and find this smaller version easier to deal with.
Generously butter each tin and then coat with praline.
Preheat the oven to 325 F
In a large bowl whisk: 16 ounces of fresh goat cheese (it’s easier if it is at room temperature) with 1 cup of crème fraiche, 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream, 3/4 cups of sugar and a pinch of salt. Then add, one at a time, 2 large eggs beating well after each addition. Stir in 2 teaspoons of Vanilla
Ladle the mixture into the prepared tins – it makes enough for 8 servings.
Place them in a large enough baking dish to hold them and fill with hot water to about 1/2″ from the top of the tins.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. The cakes should be firm around the edges with just a slight bit of wobble in the center, if you think they are not cooked enough leave them for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and remove tins to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Sprinkle some praline on the plate(s) you are going to serve the cheesecakes on. One at a time place each cheesecake tin in a bowl of hot water for about 30 seconds, then quickly turn over on the prepared plate. If you look at the picture below you will see how the last cake on the left is not yet garnished with more praline and the cooked praline has melted into a wonderful sauce.
I served these with candied sour cherries that I made this summer, but in truth these little gems don’t need anything else. Light, tangy and decadently delicious. The thing I will say about using goat cheese instead of cream cheese, the usual go to cheese for cheese cake, is the expense. Cream cheese is much cheaper, but for a special occasion nothing beats the flavor and texture of these little gems.