Strawberry Almond Goat Cheese Cheesecake (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Strawberry Almond Goat Cheese Cheesecake

Goat cheese cheesecake. I mean, why not, really? Cream cheese and goat cheese aren’t all that different. I think, when I first envisioned a goat cheesecake I really intended something like this, not the savory tastes-like-a-cheese-dip version I actually made. Lesson learned. Because this version is as tangy and sweet as it is rustic and beautiful.

I was originally going to do a strawberry basil flavor combination (yes, yes, months later I’ve still got basil on the brain), but after tasting the heavenly almond biscotti (from Trader Joe’s) that I chose to use for the crust, I decided that the basil flavor would be lost in the midst. And that strawberry almond was equally as enticing.

Strawberry Almond Goat Cheese Cheesecake

The filling itself is a swirl of plain almond and strawberry. Just a word of warning that baked strawberry does not stay delightfully pink, rather, turns more of an off shade of mauve. If you want pink (and next time, I think the pink would be much prettier), add a few drops of red food coloring to the strawberry batter.

The strawberry flavor, however, comes through loud and clear, tasting like a grown up strawberry milkshake with hints of almond and a slight tang from the goat cheese; however goat cheese skeptics just know that it is very mild and I doubt anyone would guess there was goat cheese in it if they didn’t know. Try it. I think you’ll like it and it might just convert you to the light side.

Strawberry Almond Goat Cheese Cheesecake

Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecake

Total Time: 12 hours

Ingredients:

For Crust:
2 cups finely ground almond biscotti (from about 8 ounces whole cookies), or substitute 1 3/4 cup vanilla wafer crumbs and 1/4 cup almond meal
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

For Filling:
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
11 ounces (1 log) goat cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
pinch salt
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
10 ounces whole fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed and drained if frozen

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

To prepare crust, mix together cookie crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl until evenly moistened. Butter and line the bottom of a 9-by-2-inch deep cake pan with parchment paper; butter parchment (alternatively, you can use a 9-inch-round springform pan if you like). Press crumb mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of prepared pan and set aside.

To prepare filling, combine cream cheese, goat cheese, sugar, and sour cream, flour, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until completely smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure there are no large chunks and that all ingredients are incorporated. Stir in vanilla and almond extract.

Pour half of the filling into prepared crust.

Purée strawberries until smooth. Add to remaining filling in food processor and pulse to combine. Pour on top of plain filling in a decorative swirly pattern. Use a butter knife or skewer to create additional swirls in the top of the cheesecake.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until the top is just barely jiggly. Remove from oven and run a thin knife or spatula around the edge to release the cake from the sides of the pan. Turn off the heat and return cake to the oven for another 15 minutes to finish baking. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack; let cool completely to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the mood for your own holiday baking? Goat cheese or not, you’ll need supplies. Lucky for you, Chavrie® has so generously provided a beautiful Holiday Baking Gift Set to one L&OO reader, which includes the gorgeous white Crate & Barrel sweets pedestal pictured above, as well as a set of C&B white nesting mixing bowls, magnetic measuring cups and spoons. AND a whole bunch of free goat cheese, recipes, coupons, and more!

****GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!****
Congrats to comment #14, Vivek, who was randomly selected as the winner!

To Enter:

Simply leave a comment on this post with the answer to this question:
How would you use goat cheese this holiday season?

Entries open through Friday, November 25 at 11:59 CST. I’ll be selecting the winner via random number generator on the morning of Saturday, November 26th. Prize will be shipped directly to the winner by Chevre®. Because of the perishable nature of this prize this giveaway is open to U.S. Residents ONLY.

Want Extra Entries?
Increase your odds of winning! In addition to the main entry comment, leave a separate comment for each bonus entry.
1. Follow @loveandoliveoil on twitter and tweet the following:
I just entered to win a holiday baking gift set from @loveandoliveoil and @chavrie! Enter here: http://bit.ly/s6BsJS
2. Like Love & Olive Oil on Facebook (or if you are already a fan just say so!)

Be sure you enter a valid email address, because if your name is drawn and I can’t get a hold of you within 48 hours, I will choose an alternate winner. You may also want to add me to your address book (lindsay AT loveandoliveoil DOT com), as I’d hate for your congratulatory email to end up in the spam folder.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Giveaway open to US residents only. Void where prohibited. I was provided with an identical gift set and cheese by Chavrie®, however all opinions written are purely my own.