On the first night of Chanukah, the family always gets together at our home for a special evening. We enjoy lighting the Chanukah candles, eating traditional foods and exchanging gifts.
Dessert is always a highlight of the evening, and this year for Chanukah, I am going to surprise everybody with a special cheesecake. I discovered the recipe on a recent trip to the wine country when we visited the Redwood Hill Goat Farm near Sonoma. After touring the goat farm, we attended a cooking class where the focus was cooking with goat cheese.
The dessert that was prepared for the class was a cheesecake using goat cheese in place of the usual cream cheese. Not overly sweet, the texture was cake-like, rather than the traditional creamy version I usually make. Although the original recipe did not have a crust, I chose to create one using finely ground granola.
Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with an orange juice syrup. It is the perfect dessert for a dairy dinner, great as a breakfast treat, or to serve friends that visit during the eight days of Chanukah.
Goat Cheese Cake with Granola Crumb Crust
- 3/4 pound (soft) goat cheese (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 3 tablespoons flour
- Orange Juice Syrup
Prepare the Granola Crumble Crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the goat cheese with 3/4 cup of sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next.
Turn the mixer to low and beat in the flour.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until firm. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the cheese mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake is deep golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. (Do not underbake.) Cool for 15 minutes on a rack.
Remove cake from the pan and cool completely. Serves 8 to 10.
Granola Crumb Crust
- 1 1/2 cups granola
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the granola and sugar in a food processor and blend until fine crumbs. Add butter and blend until mixture comes away from the sides of the bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9-inch spring form mold.
Bake for about six minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Cool before filling.
Orange Juice Syrup
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
In a saucepan, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until thick. Cool.