Sunday, April 4, 2010

Get Your Goat! . . . Goat-Cheese Cake with Mango Sauce and Blackberries

Until now, I don't think I've ever needed to pair the words "goat" and "cake" in a sentence. I don't know about you, but if I've got a cake anywhere in the vicinity, I don't particularly want a goat hanging around.

The seeming incongruity of goat-cheese cake is kind of like the juxtaposition of the words "hippo" and "soup," or maybe the marriage of "rat" and "candy." Not charming images, right? So I understand if you're feeling a little wary.

Goat cheese, though, is quite civilized. It's like a happy cross between cream cheese and sour cream--kind of soft, beautifully white, and just a little tangy. It's the perfect base for a simple variation on the traditional creamy cheesecake, but without the heaviness. And I hesitate to even lump this recipe into the cheesecake category because it's kind of a unique hybrid; besides the cheesy factor, it also contains fluffy beaten egg-whites that get folded into the batter, as well as a very small amount of flour.

Essentially crustless, the cake's golden edges are the result of a sugar-dusted pan. Ribboned with fresh mango sauce and garnished with a few perfect blackberries, this makes for a pleasing little dessert. So, is it a cheesy cake . . . or is it a cheesecake? Is it a goat-cheese cake, or a goat cheesecake? We may never know. It's just good and, in the end, that's all we need to know.


As for the recipes . . .

I adapted this cake recipe from Emily Luchetti's book, Classic Stars Desserts, and the mango sauce recipe from Nick Malgieri's book, Perfect Pastry.

What did I change? Well, I tweaked the basic flavor of the cake by prohibiting all lemoniness; the original recipe includes both zest and juice, neither of which I was in the mood for. Also, I decreased the amount of sugar in the cake slightly and compensated for that by adding in one heaping tablespoon of clover honey, just because I love the warm taste that even a small amount of honey can lend. I increased the amount of vanilla by 50 percent, because honey and vanilla love each other. (Seriously, they do.)

As for the mango sauce, Malgieri's recipe called for a tiny bit of white rum, which I didn't include. Had I had some of that on hand, however, I probably would have used it. And, as is my habit, I reworded the instructions considerably for both recipes.

You don't need much time to slap this together, all in all, but I do recommend you chill the cake for a while before serving it. Beware that once it's completely cold it'll look a bit shrunken, like in the picture just below, but don't let that scare you. All is well.

I think the mango sauce tastes best well chilled, too. And the blackberries, of course, aren't what I'd call mandatory, but they do dovetail nicely with the other flavors and, heck, they're just so darned cute. Splurge on a small-package of nice ones, yes?


Goat-cheese Cake with Mango Sauce and Blackberries

(For a printable version of these recipes, click here!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter, or spray with baking spray, a 9" springform pan or a 9" layer-cake pan. Dust the inside of the pan well with granulated sugar and tap out the excess.

11 oz. of fresh goat cheese, room temperature (the Vermont Creamery cheese I used came in a 10.5 oz. package; got that at Trader Joe's)
3/4 granulated sugar, minus 1 Tbsp.
1 heaping Tbsp. honey (I just used Trader Joe's clover honey)
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated (best if the eggs are not too cold, but closer to room temp)
3 Tbsp. All-Purpose flour (I used unbleached)

1 cup or so of fresh, whole blackberries

In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the cheese, sugar, vanilla, and honey. Beat until smooth.

Mix in just the egg yolks, two at a time, on your mixer's lowest setting. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.


Add the flour and mix until it's incorporated.


In another clean, dry mixer bowl (or you can easily do this using a hand mixer, in any clean, dry, medium-size bowl) beat the egg whites using the whip attachment, and whip on medium speed to form soft peaks.


With a spatula, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the goat cheese mixture, being cautious not to deflate the whites.


Without delay, carefully spread the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, perhaps 25 minutes. Let the cake cool, in its pan, to room temperature on a rack.

Once it's come to room temperature, put it in the fridge to chill further.

After it's cold and you're ready to serve it, remove the side of the springform pan and carefully invert the cake onto a plate to remove the bottom of the pan, if you want to do so. Then flip the cake so it's right-side up. The cake should be pretty solid at this point, so it's not hard to handle. If you made the cake in a regular cake pan, you might need to run a knife around the sides to loosen it, and invert and flip it as above. It should come out of the pan without much trouble.


Fresh Mango Sauce


1/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
2 large fully-ripe mangoes, peeled and cut into pieces
2 to 4 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar and water over low heat. Raise the heat to medium and bring the sugar syrup to a boil. Immediately remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool.

In the bowl of a food processor, puree the mango pieces until they're completely smooth (like the velvety texture of baby food).


With the processor running, add in the sugar syrup in a thin stream and mix for a few more seconds until well combined.

With a fine mesh sieve placed over an empty bowl, pour the mango mixture into the sieve to strain it. It may take a while to drip through even if you're helping it along, so be patient.

Once strained, stir in 2 Tbsp. of the lemon juice to start with, adding more until the taste is to your liking.

With a spoon, drizzle the sauce atop slices of the goat-cheese cake, and serve with a few blackberries. Store any leftover cake and sauce in the fridge.


(If you'd like to comment on this post, or to read any existing comments, just click on the purple COMMENTS below!)

28 comments:

CherylK said...

Mmmm, I can totally imagine how delicious this is. Since I'm away from home for another month, I'll have to bookmark this recipe because I have every intention of making it the minute I get home!

Susi said...

I always look forward to your posts, this one is beautiful. I will have to print it out for future making. It sounds light and delicious. Plus I love shopping at Trader Joes so any excuse to go there is perfect. And I was actually not turned off one bit by the goat cheese but then I eat it all the time :o) Thanks for another great recipe!

Valen said...

Wow, this cake looks delicious! I don't like goat cheese though, I wonder if I would like this.

Helen said...

I would never have thought to put goats cheese in a cheesecake. I can imagine that it will be so nice though. I might have to give this a go but I'm sure that if I tell my bf that it has goats cheese in he won't eat it....maybe I won't tell him!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That cake looks so good! What a lovely combination!

cheers,

Rosa

Katrina said...

Holy mango, holy goat cheese!! Hurray! You've done it again. This recipe looks spectacular!

Jane said...

Hi Cheryl,
That's great! I hope you do try it. Let me know if you like it, okay?
:) Jane

Hey there Susi,
You are very sweet to say that--thank you so much. I love Trader Joe's too, and I can't seem to escape from the store without way more stuff than I intended to buy! It's dangerous that way. ;)
Warmly,
Jane

Hi Valen,
I didn't know if it would turn out to be too good either! I honestly wasn't that familiar with this type of milk goat cheese (whenever I heard the words goat cheese in the past I always thought of feta!). I was happily surprised by what this cake was like, though. Even my kids liked it a lot, and they're typical American picky eaters.
:) Jane

Hello there Helen--
No, don't tell your BF that it's goat cheese. I can almost guarantee you he will never figure it out!
:) Jane

Hi Rosa--
Thanks so much, and thanks for always being so encouraging to so, so, so many blogging bakers!
Jane :)

Hi Katrina,
So glad you think so! Thanks for stopping by again.
Warmly,
Jane :)

Stella said...

Wow Jane, this sounds so good even with the 'goat' being part of the title. I'm not wary of goats at all, so goat cheese cake is something I would warmly welcome. Yours looks rustic and wonderful, and I love the flavors you chose. I really do know how awesome this was from experience, so I'm glad you got to enjoy it...

Chele said...

I'm ashamed to admit that I've only just discovered Goat's Cheese as a savoury delight - you're messing with my head now lol. Will need to keep this in mind.

Kathy said...

I also don't want a goat hanging around my cake or else, but of course, I just have to change my mind if the outcome would be as lovely as this! Goat-Cheese Cake with Mango Sauce and Blackberries. Aside from the lovely picture of your recipe, I do have an urge to bake something for my grandma's birthday this weekend, and something whisper on to me- Make this, Make this! Do you think it's the goat?! LOL Thank you for the recipe.

Lisa Michelle said...

Oh wow..come to mama, goat cheese cake. This looks SO amazing, especially with the mango sauce and blackberries. I've had goat cheesecake before but it never looked as creamy as yours. I must try soon!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh my goodness! Your cheese cake looks absolutely heavenly, Jane. You are an amazing "tweaker."

Thank you so much for sharing AND, Happy Blogoversary!!! I look forward to many many more "sweet and tasteful years."

Katie said...

Ohhh how unusal. I can imagine the tangy mango working well with the goats cheese. Wouldn't have thought of it myself but love the idea of it. SO pretty too

Celleny said...

This sounds fabulous! Can't wait to try it! :)

Celleny said...

This sounds (and looks) fabulous! Can't wait to try making this! :)

Jenny said...

This sounds lovely. I've had goat cheese in savory cheesecakes so it stands to reason it would be great like this, too.

Yum.

tasteofbeirut said...

That's exactly the type of cheesecake I would have picked ! It is light and a bit tangy and delciious; i don't car for cheesecakes that incorporates the eggs I prefer those like yours that fold the egg whites separately. it makes for a lighter product at the end I think. The addition of mango sauce is an inspired one, along with the blackberries. All in all, a very successful creation.

HanaĆ¢ said...

That looks very nice, Jane. Never thought of using goat cheese in baking, but I can see how that could work. I definitely like the creaminess and tanginess of the goat cheese. At first, I thought that was lemon curd (I guess I should have read the title of your post first, ha ha). I like the idea of a mango sauce even better than lemon curd! And I also like that it's crust-less (which means it's in the oven that much faster which means you can enjoy it that much earlier) :o)

Holly said...

Hi! I'm new to your blog and everything looks so good:) Am now following. I'm totally going to make your Banana Cake on the side bar!! Feel free to come by and visit-http://thepepperedpantry.blogspot.com/

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

What a wonderful combination! I would never have thought to make a cheesecake with goat's cheese, but I'm loving that idea!!

Y said...

I'm kinda picky when it comes to cheesecakes, but this looks so tasty! I must try it some time. Thanks for the recipe :)

Kate at Serendipity said...

Oh, man, I get back in town and this is the first thing I find--what a treat for the eyes! Some of my favorite flavors--goat cheese, mango, blackberry. This one's a keeper!

...where did you find blackberries in April??

aandara said...

Jane I just discover your blog and I'm in love with it.
this cheesecake looks awesome
cheers,
Amalia

Marcellina said...

I must say when I read the title I thought what's going on here? But the photos say it all. This looks so light and fluffy.

faithy, the baker said...

YUMMY! I've not tried goat cheese before..after looking at yours, i think i should try it..and btw, i LOVE your book stand! PS: my word verification for this comment is "baking"..how cool is that? :)

SueBeeCron said...

I would like to make this goat cheese cake for Thanksgiving. Could it be baked the night before (and the mango sauce prepared) since the oven will be so busy on Thanksgiving. Thanks for this; I know it's going to be awesome.

SueBeeCron said...

I would like to make this goat cheese cake for Thanksgiving. Could it be baked the night before (and the mango sauce prepared) since the oven will be so busy on Thanksgiving. Thanks for this; I know it's going to be awesome.

Jane said...

Hi Sue Bee,
I see no reason at all why you couldn't make this the night before you want to serve it. It's kind of delicate, as cheesecakes go, and was really nice with the mango sauce. I hope you enjoy it. Many thanks for stopping by!

Jane :)