Thursday, March 17, 2005

Chevre Cheesecake Pots with Caramel and Fleur de Sel

Chevre Cheesecake Pots with Caramel and Fleur de Sel Recipe

Sugar High Fridays are a monthly online food blogging event started by Jennifer at Domestic Goddess. Each one is hosted by a different Food Blogger who chooses a sweet theme around which participants create something delicious, then blog about it. This month's theme, chosen by Debbie at Words to Eat By is Caramel.

A recipe for Salted Caramel Cheesecake in the October issue of Food & Wine magazine had long been playing on my mind. Debbie's challenge gave me the perfect excuse to try it out. When I dug out the appropriate issue and checked the recipe, I was horrified. The caramel was make with corn syrup. It wasn't what I had in mind at all. I had imagined using natural ingredients, butter, sugar and cream. I decided, there and then, that their recipe would be my inspiration, but the creation of it would be my own.

Chevre Cheesecake Pots with Caramel and Fleur de Sel Recipe

For the cheesecake portion I decided to use some local products. I wanted it to have a little bit of a kick, so I decided to experiment with chevre. Whilst my recipe uses locally sourced ingredients which I will highlight in this post, you should be able to substitute with similar products.

Chevre Cheesecake Pot Ingredients
8oz Redwood Hill Chevre
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1/2 cup Cowgirl Creamery Creme Fraiche
3 eggs
All ingredients should be at room temperature

Chevre Cheesecake Pot Method
The oven should be preheated to 350F
First, beat together the sugar and the chevre until the mixture is completely smooth. One at a time, add the eggs. Continue beating. The mixture will become more and more runny. Finally beat in the creme fraiche. The result should be a batter-like liquid.

Divide the cream and cheese mixture equally between six small ramekins.
Make a bain-marie by taking a roasting pan large enough to house all six ramekins. Carefully add boiling water to the pan until it reaches half way up the sides of the pots and put them in the centre of the oven.

Bake for just 10 minutes. The edges will have started to firm up, but the centres will still be soft. Leave them in the oven, as it cools, for at least another hour. Remove from the oven after that time and to cool down completely on a wire rack.

Chevre Cheesecake Pots with Caramel and Fleur de Sel Recipe

Caramel Sauce

For the caramel sauce recipe, I looked to one of my favourite online English recipe sources. I knew I'd made caramel as a kid without the slightest hint of corn syrup. I guessed that Waitrose (a high-end supermarket chain in the UK) would have what I was looking for. Their caramel recipe instructions are indeed fabulous. They take you through the whole process step by step. I was really patient, and followed their method exactly and precisely, even brushing sugar crystals off the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush as they suggested. Once my caramel had turned a deep golden colour I took it off the heat and quickly beat in 2oz of diced Spring Hill Farm Hand Made butter, and half a cup of Cowgirl Creamery Creme Fraiche. The caramel started to harden too quickly at this stage so I returned the pan to a gentle heat and beat like crazy with a wooden spoon until all of the ingredients were blended.

Once everything was completely cool, I stirred a teaspoon of fleur de sel into the caramel sauce. I then carefully poured the sauce to cover the surface of each cheesecake. I then left the cheesecakes in the fridge overnight to chill. Just before serving I sprinkled each one with more fleur de sel.

Woah! D E L I C I O U S
Chevre Cheesecake Pots with Caramel and Fleur de Sel


  • At 18/3/05 07:41, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That is one gorgeous dish, Sam! The photo with the runny caramel on the side is just fabulous! :-)

  • At 18/3/05 07:51, Blogger chika said…

    Hi Sam,

    They look absolutely scrumptious, very inviting... did you tell a lot of goat cheese out of them? I haven't had so many cheesecakes made with goat cheese, but I can't remember if they tasted distinctively goat cheese-y. O I love chevre, I might give this a try... thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • At 18/3/05 09:09, Blogger Rachael Narins said…

    You have absolutely out-done yourself! That looks like the most delicious dessert ever! I will have to try it this week for certain. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • At 18/3/05 09:13, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sam,

    Smartie pants! You knew instinctively that corn syrup is from hell and went the old-fashioned way with butter and sugar...brava! Unfortunately, I found out the hard way (nyuck, nyuck) and had to chip and scrub a lot of it of my pans and dishes.

    Your little cheesecake pots look fab...nice shots!


  • At 18/3/05 09:31, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been drooling over this recipe since my F&W issue arrived. I like the local spin to it also. I really need to break my obsession with dulce de leche...but with this recipe...hmmm!

    Jeanne B.

  • At 18/3/05 11:16, Blogger Stephanie said…

    Oh, dear God. I think I'm in love.

  • At 18/3/05 12:43, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Absolutely beautiful! I've added this to my 'need to make' file, though I have to be honest, I don't know that there's any way I'll live up to your photo. How did the goat cheese work out with the salt/caramel mixture? Was it too strong?

  • At 18/3/05 12:59, Blogger Alice said…

    Oh, my! This looks LUSCIOUS! I love your food photography & your recipe too. I'll have to try this soon for sure!!

  • At 18/3/05 13:31, Blogger Nic said…

    Amazing, as usual, Sam. I really love the idea of using goat cheese for a more interesting cheesecake. And now I feel a bit bad about using corn syrup in my shf recipe...

  • At 18/3/05 13:47, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sam,

    Those look amazing, I can't wait to try out the recipe. I agree about the corn syrup, but there is a good reason for using a teeny bit of corn syrup in a caramel. The corn syrup keeps the sugar from crystallizing, making caramel an even easier process without the worry. I make candy around the holidays, and learned the corn syrup trick from my mom.

    Anyway, thanks so much for the delicious recipe!

  • At 18/3/05 20:18, Blogger Sam said…

    Viv - I am glad you like it. Sorry you couldn't be here to share one with me

    Chika - the goat cheese is extremely subtle. The chevere is mild. it just gives it a slight flavour. You could use cream cheese instead I am sure.

    Rachael - I hope you try it - let me know if you have any questions

    Moira - sorry about your pan scrubbing. I don't really want to tell you that mine was a doddle to clean. Try the waitrose way -it works if you are patient.

    jeanne - i understand the obsession - but life always finds room for new obsessions, right???!

    Stephanie - I'll have to ask Fred about that ;)

    sarah - no the salt and the goat cheese paired together a treat with the caramel. It's a good combination.

    Alice - good luck - let me know if you have any Qs

    Nic - dont feel bad - i admit i have some in my cupboard - but I want to try and get by without it

    Samantha - hey! The corn syrup is a good trick, but I wanted to try and keep it natural. The caramel recipe I used is perfect and is easy. It just requires patience that's all. I don't usually have much patience but on this occasion I mustered some up.

    Thanks everyone for the sweet comments!

  • At 19/3/05 19:45, Blogger Robyn said…

    Amazing as always Sam! I never drop by without having my appetite peaked! Great entry, love it!

  • At 19/3/05 21:14, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You always come up with such clever things and your photos are always stunning!

  • At 20/3/05 05:02, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sam,
    those little cheesecake pots look adorable! I have heard of chevre cheesecake before, but never had the chance to try any... Just put your recipe on my to-try-list - even though I'm always a little scared of making caramel - I've had some pan-scrubbing-experience myself ;)

  • At 20/3/05 14:17, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sam - such a wonderful recipe and great picture!
    I hope you have a lovely time in the UK.

  • At 21/3/05 01:38, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks a lot for tempting me with such a decadent dessert. You know I'm going to have to try this soon right? Good job!

  • At 21/3/05 12:10, Blogger Carolyn said…

    Sam, your photo of the dripping caramel is positively sinful! I can hardly wait to find a goat to make that cheese! It looks so good.

  • At 21/3/05 16:25, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    WOW. I never would have thought of trying goat's cheese in a cheesecake but it sounds fantastic! Congratulations on a fantastic recipe (and post)!

  • At 23/3/05 12:31, Blogger sarah j. gim said…

    good lord is that last photo ridiculously sexy. kinda makes me want to get into the kitchen right now.

  • At 10/10/06 11:22, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I made these over the weekend and they are sexy and wonderful!

    The Cheesecake Whore

  • At 21/12/06 15:16, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Can you please tell me what caster sugar is - the caramel reciep calls for it. The Waitrose site had descriptions of sugar so I do not think it is grnaulated sugar. What is the American equivalent? Thanks

  • At 21/12/06 15:29, Blogger Sam said…

    castor sugar is finer than granulated.
    In the US I use 'bakers sugar' in place of caster sugar,
    hope that helps


    (ps sometimes it is spelt with an e and sometimes with an o)


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