Goat Cheese and Rose Cheesecake

Goat Cheese and Rose Cheesecake

Excerpted from Making Artisan Cheesecake by Melanie Underwood
Although this cheesecake has honey, it is not that sweet and is more akin to having a cheese for dessert. If you like it sweeter, add an extra 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar. Also, cream cheese can be substituted for a creamier cheesecake.

CRUST
Nut Crust made with pistachios (recipe follows)

CHEESECAKE
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy cream
1/3 cup (20 g) dried rose petals
2 2/3 pounds (1176 g) goat cheese
2/3 cup (230 g) honey
6 eggs

GARNISH
Fresh organic rose petals
Rose Syrup (recipe follows)

To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC, or gas mark 4). Follow the instructions for the Nut Crust (recipe below), using pistachios. Let cool completely before adding the cheesecake batter.

To make the cheesecake: Lower the oven to 325ºF (170ºC, or gas mark 3). In a medium-size saucepan, heat the heavy cream just until boiling. Remove from the heat and add the rose petals. Cover the pan and set aside for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture, pressing down on rose petals to extract as much of the cream as possible. Set aside to cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the goat cheese on low speed until softened, scraping down the sides of the bowl, underneath the paddle, and the paddle frequently with a rubber spatula, about 2 minutes. Add the honey and continue mixing on low and scraping down the sides, bottom, and paddle until combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix just until combined, about 10 seconds after each egg. Slowly stir in the infused heavy cream.

Prepare the springform pan for a water bath (download here). Place the springform pan in a large cake pan or a roasting pan (one that is around the same height or lower than your springform pan). Pour the batter over the crust and level it with a small offset spatula. Place in the oven and pour almost boiling water into the roasting pan (it should come up halfway around the sides of the pan). Bake for about 55 minutes, until the cheesecake is firm around the edges, but still jiggly in the center (the jiggly part should be about the size of a quarter).

Remove from the oven and remove the cheesecake from the water bath. Remove the foil from the sides of the pan. Gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Allow to cool at room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (this will help the cheesecake set completely).

To unmold the cheesecake, gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan. Release the latch on the side of the pan and then lift the ring straight up. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Rose Goat CheesecakeTo garnish: Top with fresh rose petals and drizzle with rose syrup.

Yield: One 10-inch (25 cm) cheesecake

BOTTOM-ONLY NUT CRUST

2 cups (190 g) finely ground nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans; mix no more than two)
2 tablespoons (26 g) granulated or brown sugar
3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC, or gas mark 4).

In a medium bowl, combine the nuts and sugar. Add the butter and stir with a rubber spatula to combine, making sure all the butter is absorbed and the crumbs or nuts are evenly coated.

Place the mixture in a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan. Using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. For a bottom-and-sides crust, use the sides of a glass to press about half of the mixture into the sides of the pan.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly firm. (The nut crust will be toasted to a golden brown and have a nutty aroma.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, about 10 minutes.

Rose Syrup

Find the reddest rose petals you can to make this syrup as it will intensify the color. Be sure to use only rose petals that have not been sprayed with pesticides. If you do not have access to fresh rose petals, dried petals are a great substitute and easily available. You can substitute any edible flower, but try to pick ones with bright colors.

FRESH ROSE PETAL SYRUP

1 cup (60 g) packed fresh organic rose petals
1 cup (200 g) sugar, divided
2 cups (470 ml) water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium-size bowl, combine the rose petals and 1/4 cup (50 g) of the sugar, rub them together to bruise the petals, then cover and set aside overnight.

In a medium-size saucepan, combine the remaining 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar and the water; bring to a boil and then add the rose petal/sugar mixture. Simmer the mixture for about 15 minutes, or until syrupy and thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Strain the syrup and discard the petals. Stir in the vanilla. Refrigerate the syrup until ready to use.

Yield: 1 cup (235 ml)

DRIED ROSE PETAL SYRUP

1/2 cup (30 g) dried rose petals
2 cups (470 ml) water
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium-size bowl, combine the rose petals and water; cover and set aside overnight. Strain the syrup and discard the petals.

In a medium-size saucepan, combine the rose water and sugar; bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is syrupy and thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Stir in the vanilla. Refrigerate the syrup until ready to use.

Yield: 1 cup (235 ml)