Diced! Dessert Challenge – Round 2
The Diced! Dessert Challenge continues…
Each participant in round 2 won their first round and is ready to battle for more.
I will post a pairing each week on Wednesday and Thursday and open the polls for voting. The polls will be open from Thursday until the following Wednesday (before the next pair posts). The winner of each matchup with the most votes will move on to the next round and the chef will produce another recipe for their new matchup. The overall winner will receive any prizes I can acquire. To date the winner will receive:
- Dodo Book for Cooks
- A beautiful Bamboo Cutting Board with a Butterfly Motif, graciously donated by competitor Lindy (The Kozy Nook)
This week’s pairing is:
Cookies with cheesecake (Chad) vs. Non-Fruit Pies (Stephanie) . Chad beat out pudding/moussee to advance and Stephanie beat out Ice Cream. Today we have Chad from Cooking Cove with a delicious cheesecake…
Good Morning. Before I get into what you all came here to read about (because who doesn’t like dessert…and cheesecake) I would first like to thank The Ranting Chef for giving me the opportunity to showcase some of my skills and ideas. I would also like to thank all of the other “competitors” though I think we all win as there have been so many creative concepts and ideas covering a broad range of dessert styles and we all gain some insight and knowledge- and new ways of filling our bellies with delicious desserts.
And, now on to the main event: cheesecake. In the first round, I presented a chocolate-rich, Italian cheesecake with a strawberry filling and glazed top. For the 2nd round, I decided to go on a much different path that I felt falls more in line with the seasonal weather and to break out of the winter of eating heavier and rich foods.
Without further interruption, I present to you:
Goat-Cheesecake with a Pistachio Crust and Poached Pears
(and Blackberry Sauce Topping)
1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers (I used Honey)
1 ½ cups shelled pistachios
2 tsp unsweetened butter (at room temperature)
The crust is simple enough. Take all said ingredients and put into a food processor. Pulsate until it’s a semi-moist mixture of small pieces (not quite a fine smooth mixture). I then spread this along the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan and put in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
16 ounces Goat cheese
8 ounces Crème Fraiche
8 ounces Cream Cheese
¾ cup Sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp White Port (optional)
For the batter, I took all the cheeses, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and proceeded to mix with the whisk attachment on my blender. As that was mixing to a smooth mixture I then added in the optional White Port (chocolate infused).
Once it became a nice smooth mixture, I proceeded to pour on top of the crust in the spring form pan. I gently shook the pan from side to side until the batter was nice and level across the entire top.
With the oven pre-heated to 325 I proceeded to get the cake ready for baking. I took out a large roasting pan and put in the spring form pan with the cake. I then filled the pan up about 2/3 the side of the pan with water and proceeded to bake the cake for about 70 minutes. Upon completion of this, I left the cake on the counter to get to room temperature, then covered with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator overnight to solidify its internal structure.
2 large pears: peeled and sliced
1/3 cup sugar
¾ cup Port (I had a blackberry one on hand)
1 ¼ cup Sangiovese (any medium bodied red would do)
I started off by coring and then peeling the pears- to stop from browning in the process as I sliced them, I put the slices in a bowl with a combination of water and lemon juice. In my 13 inch pan I tossed in the sugar and the port and heated on low until the sugar was melted in. I proceeded to add in the pear slices and I mixed together to get them all soaked in the port. I then slowly poured in the rest of the wine, brought the mixture to a slow simmer, covered, and let cook for another hour or so- to really infuse the pears.
1 small package blackberries
2 tsp Honey
Right before serving the cake, I made a berry sauce to place over the slices. Simple enough, Toss the berries into a small pot, add in the honey, and cook on low heat. As this was happening, I would stir it and break the berries up into smaller pieces. There is no definitive cook time for this, just let it go until you get the consistency you desire.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did. Different components can be substituted out, i.e. you may not like wine so you wouldn’t use poached pears but you can make any type of crushed fruit to place on top, perhaps like a blueberry-honey combination.