I made this gorgeous Melissa Clark dessert a few nights back to cap off a special "thank goodness EVERYONE is finally done with school" meal.
It was a huge hit!
This is a no-cook cheesecake, and as such is pretty simple to put together. The crust does spend a few minutes in the oven setting up, but after that your fridge does all the work in transforming the pourable creamy filling into a lightly set, tangy-sweet delight. The goat cheese keeps this from being overly sweet, and in addition to adding its rich color, the red wine adds a complexity to the flavor without rendering the dish at all "winey".
Melissa offers up a twist on the traditional press-in graham crust normally associated with cheesecakes, and I encourage you to give it a try. It is delicious and cooks up firmer than the traditional crust which offers a nice textural contrast with the smooth, unctuous filling.
Make this soon while local berries are still in season….YUM!
Cheers – Steve
for the crust:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons, packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
for the filling:
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) powdered gelatin
- 1 pound cream cheese, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (8 ounces) fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped, plus a few more whole or sliced for decoration
- Prepare the crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer or a food processor, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 1 minute. beat in the honey.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon. With the mixer running on low speed or using the pulse button on the food processor, add dry ingredients to the butter mixture in two batches. Scrape dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disk and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Place the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Working quickly, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/8". If the dough becomes sticky, chill in the refrigerator until firm. Transfer the dough to an 8"-9" springform pan. press into bottom of pan and 2/3 up the sides. prick the bottom with a fork. refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 325℉. Place pan on a baking sheet and place it in the oven; bake until crust is golden and dry to the touch, about 25 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling: Put the red wine in a small saucepan and sprinkle gelatin on top. let rest 5 minutes, until absorbed. Put pan over low heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Don't let gelatin boil, which impedes its gelling power. Let cool.
- In a food processor or electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, granulated sugar and goat cheese; blend until smooth. Stop once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend again. Add chopped berries and gelatin mixture and blend until incorporated. Scrape mixture into the cooled crust, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight. Top with sliced or whole strawberries before serving.