Christmas/New Year Special Ginger Citrus Cheesecake With Goat Cheese

I have told you about the great original and local foods that one can find in French open air markets! In our market there is a lady who sells goat cheese that she produces. The last time I tasted her cheese, I dreamt of making a cheesecake with it. Since we were still on a diet, we planned it for the new year’s eve.

My mother has a great cheesecake with oat-biscuits from Turkey, called Eti Burçak, but since the cheese is fresh I wanted a recipe that I won’t be baking. I discovered Cafe Fernando‘s recipe with mandarines, as I am obsessed with citrus, I was already hooked up but I kept looking around. When I saw İpek’s approval, I was convinced!

However, there was of course one problem, as the goat cheese was fresh, there would be no more for the last week of  December. Eventually we decided to reserve from the last batch of the cheese for the 21st. Also the lady suggested using faisselle, a strained fresh cheese that has a consistency similar to yoghurt. The name comes from the mold it is shaped in. The milk may be goat, cow or even mutton.

Comes the 21st, me on the couch watching series and thinking long and hard what I forgot. The market closes at noon and I remembered my dear cheese at 1! I took the car without even a coat under hard rain, parked at a place I shouldn’t and stopped the lady’s car on her way out! I apologised a few hundreds of times, proposed to buy more than I reserved but apparently she sold everything except mine!

Conceptual Consistency and Details

Our main concepts are already set: cheesecake with goat cheese and citrus. On top of it, I decided to add some ginger for the festive mood! I added ginger powder to the base and grated fresh ginger to the cream. Also I decided to use egzotic fruits to decorate. I don’t know if I reached a conceptual consistency, but I definitely had a flavour consistency!

In France I am lucky about vanilla so I used a vanilla pod instead of the original vanilla extract. I used the pod as well as the grains while infusing, then I took the pod off.

Again, differently from Cafe Fernando, I added gelatine in addition to corn starch. Because I used more juice and I didn’t strain the cheese as good as I should, I had a cream that is more liquid than it should be. However, I should say that in my second trial two gelatine leaves were too much so check the consistency.

Lastly, instead of zest of two mandarines and half a glass of mandarine juice, I used a lot more. For the zest, I used two mandarines, half a lemon, half a lime and half an orange. For the juice, I used 2/3rd of a glass of lemon, mandarine and orange juice mix. I didn’t follow the suggestion to add more sugar if using lemons, because I don’t like really sweet desserts.

We loved this interpretation and I hope you will also like it!

Ginger Citrus Cheesecake

Active Time: 60 mins
Base Cooking Time: 30-40 mins
Yields: 8 big slices

Ingredients

  • 230 g flour
  • 125 g butter (in cubes, cold)
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 70 g sugar
  • Salt
  • Tiny little bit of salt
  • 1/2 tea spoon ginger powder (another 1/2 tea spoon if you like)
  • ---
  • 850 g fresh goat cheese (strained weight) or labneh or greek yoghurt (1 kg before straining)
  • 180 g sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod (or 2 tea spoon vanilla extract)
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g creme fraiche / full fat cream
  • 2/3 glass of mandarine, orange and lemon juice mix
  • Zest of 2 mandarines, 1/2 orange, 1/2 lime, 1/2 lemon
  • 2 table spoons corn starch plus 1 or 2 gelatines.
  • 2 cm fresh ginger (grated)
  • ---
  • Fruits or citrus zest to decorate

Method

  1. Butter a 23 cm cheesecake mould.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, salt and 1/2 tea spoon ginger in a processor.
  3. Add the butter and mix until sandy. Taste and add more ginger, if needed.
  4. Add eggs and mix until the dough starts holding.
  5. Set the oven to 180 C (350F)
  6. Spread the dough to the bottom and sides of the mould, and freeze for 30 mins. (I only refrigerated here).
  7. Pierce the dough in several places with a fork and cook for about 30-40 mins, until lightly golden.
  8. Let it cool.
  9. ---
  10. Boil the cream and turn off the heat. Add citrus zest, grated ginger, vanilla pod (take the inner parts with a knife but also put the pod in for now). Cover and let it infuse.
  11. Set a bain marie, add the eggs and sugar and constantly mix until whiten and thicken, for about 20 minutes.
  12. Add the infused cream (lick and discard the vanilla pod at this point) and mix for a couple more minutes.
  13. Add the citrus juice, corn starch and gelatine, mix for 5-10 minutes. Be careful to not to boil after this point.
  14. Add the strained cheese, put the mixture in a pot and while constantly mixing, cook until thickened. Be careful not to stick to the pot here! Goes very fast!
  15. Put it on the cheesecake base, and let cool to room temperature. Then cover with aluminium foil allowing some air in and out. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 16 hours.
  16. Decorate with citrus peels or fresh fruits and serve!

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