I quote: ‘I don’t know about you guys but to me cheesecake is something good, right? Providing you like it, I hear you, but I mean it’s usually made of nice ingredients (and by that I mean chocolate, vanilla, chocolate, strawberries, chocolate or chocolate :p). Now, some people out there, for some reason, decided that this wasn’t enough and they ruined it all (the cheesecake spirit that is) by getting rid of all these lovely ingredients and replacing them with salmon, courgettes, and so on…’ This interesting comment was written on 29th November 2009 by Kevin – it has been two months today already. I did not put this post aside and I wanted to find a way to convince Kevin in fact! Indeed, like everybody, we have different points of view and I cannot defend the ‘cheesecake spirit’, as Kevin names it, because I am not a real big fan of cheesecakes… Anyway, I wanted to show him that I could create a cheesecake that would not be a chocolate, lemon or strawberry flavoured cheesecake, but a savoury one! Kevin’s comment made me react and I did not forget it. That is why I promised myself to invent a savoury cheesecake, in order to prove that with great ingredients, everything can be good!
I confess that I made a little ‘investigation’ before gathering the ideas I had and it appeared that people created strange cheesecakes: Smoked Salmon and Boursin, Pumpkin and Spices, Zucchini and Sesame… Puzzling… Indeed, if we look closely, the dictionary says that a cheesecake is a ‘dessert consisting of a topping made of soft, fresh cheese on a base made from biscuit, pastry or sponge’. Thus, it implies that a cheesecake is supposed to be sweet. I mean, cheesecakes are normally desserts but cakes are also supposed to be desserts and nevertheless, consumers can taste Zucchini and Chocolate Cake or savoury cakes now; the one I enjoy to cook and taste is Mozzarella, Basil and Tomatoes Cake! We have to call our ideas and definitions into question.
The recipe I made to convince Kevin is for four persons and as soon as you will have tasted it, you will change your mind about desserts that are turned into savoury dishes!
PESTO AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES CHEESECAKE
200g fresh goat milk cheese
1 big egg
Juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper
Some sun-dried tomatoes
15 TUC paprika (crackers)
4 teaspoons red pesto
Preheat the oven 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Using a wooden spoon, beat the fresh goat milk cheese, the egg and the lemon juice in a bowl. Add some sun-dried tomatoes you first cut to pieces, and salt and pepper: it gives great flavour! Beat until well combined.
In another bowl, crush the Paprika crackers with red pesto until smooth. Grease the moulds and press the pesto mixture into the bottom of each little mould – if they are silicone moulds, no need to grease. Then, pour the batter into the moulds. Advice of the chef: For this peculiar recipe, use little moulds, like muffin moulds in silicone, or little rum baba moulds.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. It is difficult to judge when it is done cooking however… Let them cool and refrigerate for two hours at least, without turning them out of their moulds. Turn the cheesecakes out and serve.
Tadaaammm, you have baby cheesecakes! And at the first bite, you understand that it is not sweet at all 😀 As you see, I used funny little moulds! They are meant to cook rum baba normally, but what the heck, we are here to experiment, even moulds! I thought it was less funny to have an original cheesecake in a normal 9 inch springform mould…
Last but not least, this article was also the opportunity to link two classes. Did you notice the pictures illustrating my recipe? This is the first article in which I put pictures I modified thanks to Paint and I would like to thank my Multimedia teacher – she reads this blog and I think she will recognize herself – for the numerous things she already taught me 🙂
I truly hope you will try these cheesecakes, and appreciate them like I did! I am reconciled with the cheesecake spirit 😀 Anyway, don’t we say that it takes all sorts to make a world?