Thursday, September 6, 2007

Berlin Kuchen: take two

For my second dessert experience in the land of abnormally-numbered ovens, I went back to my ever evolving cheesecake recipe (as I sit here writing this I’m making cheesecake: Chocolate Coffee…I’ll tell you how it goes soon enough). After some mulling over and consulting my principal taste-tester, we came up with orange and goat cheese with a rosemary crust.

Now rosemary is hard to come by in Berlin. At least in supermarkets and food stores, so the next best thing? A nursery. But I didn’t want to buy the whole plant, so I know confess I browsed some plant shops and hovered around the rosemary pots and took a sprig or two. The rest of the ingredients were easy enough.

I thought I had the ovens all figured out, and would not have any problems. And I didn’t at first. I made my crust (I had transported my springform pan from Spain. In a land with degree-less ovens, don’t expect a springform pan in your standard kitchen). I pulled the rosemary crust out of the oven and it was beautiful and I thought to myself this is gonna be good.

Then I mixed my cheesecake, looked good, tasted good, and stuck it in the oven. I know some people and recipes say do NOT open the oven during cooking, but I’m a curious, impatient type and I like to watch my stuff and see what it’s doing. Well about fifteen minutes through cooking, the top was already browning. A lot. I put tin foil on it and it was done in record time at about 25 minutes. Unfortunately what I couldn’t see was that the bottom was browning also. Too much. So I ended up with a superquick-bake cheesecake done in less than half the time of most cheesecakes, and a slightly burnt crust. It was like it separated into layers, and the part touching the pan was burned, but the part touching the cheesecake was fine. The cheesecake came out fine though, tasted of orange, not too much goat cheese flavor.

I don’t know if there wasn’t enough rosemary or the extra cooking of the crust caused it to lose its flavor, but we couldn’t really taste the rosemary. Next time will experiment with more.

Orange and Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Crust

200 g digestive cookies (graham crackers, Maria galletas, whatever you have)
150 g butter
a few sprigs of rosemary

First pull the rosemary off the branch and finely chop. Then put the butter in a saucepan and add the rosemary, melting the butter and stirring. While the butter melts, crush up your cookies finely, my favorite method in the absence of a food processor is jumping up and down on them after they have been properly tied into many bags. Mix well with the butter and rosemary and then press into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan. Bake at 170 C for 10 minutes, or until the edges start to darken.

400 g cream cheese
300 g goat cheese
50 g butter
150 g sugar
juice from half an orange and zest of whole orange
3 eggs
pinch of salt

Make sure your cheeses and butter are room temperature and easily whipped. Either with a whisk or electric mixer whip the cheeses together and then mix in the butter until smooth. Now mix in the sugar, and then juice the orange and grate it directly into the batter.
I still am undecided on if it makes a difference beating the egg whites or not. Dan thinks it does, so this time, the egg whites were beaten. First add the yolk to the batter and stir them in, then beat the whites until soft peaks form and fold them in until just mixed. Lastly put a touch of salt in. Pour into the springform pan and bake at 180 about 35 minutes, maybe longer depending on your oven, until the top is beginning to brown and a knife comes out almost clean. This means it will be perfectly creamy; I think if you take it out when the knife is clean then the cake is overdone. It firms up a bit in the fridge and turns out the perfect consistency. Let cool until about room temperature and the chill, best if overnight.

1 comment:

d anything said...

This was a great combination I think. When the rosemaray comes through, it's delicious. So many possibilities...