Why I love it: The goat cheese and the rosemary add new and interesting flavors that transform this simple dessert into something special.
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Hi there! How’s your summer going? I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I do, it’s been great over here in the Rockies. The weather is wonderful and we’ve already been doing lots of great hiking and a bit of camping. I should say “glamping” because we have a small camper with such delightful features as a bed, running water, a stovetop and a fridge. It’s awesome, I love that little thing. The fridge is nice and spacey so it’s no problem to bring cheesecake(s) either and what you see here is my new favorite camping dessert: goat cheese cheesecake drizzled with rosemary caramel sauce.
From what I can tell rosemary caramel sauce seems to be a common accompaniment to cheesecake but I had never made it until last week, which is a shame because it tastes fantastic. You make it simply by infusing the cream you use for your caramel sauce with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
The goat cheese cheesecake recipe comes from Whole Foods. I saw it and knew immediately that I had to try it, I mean what a great idea! The result was wonderful, the goat cheese adds its signature tangy flavor to the cake and turns it into something half savory. The cake is not very sweet at all, the sweetness in this dessert comes mostly from the caramel sauce.
As you can see I made individual small cakes with tart molds here but you can also make one large cheesecake. Either way it’s a great dessert for just about any occasion and also perfect for bringing to a picnic in the forest and eating on a bench under a nice, shady tree.
Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel Recipe
This recipe is for one 9-inch springform pan or 8 individual 4-inch tart molds with removable bottoms. Fill the pan or molds 3/4 full.
Recipe adapted from: Whole Foods Market
For the graham cracker crust:
- 1 and 1/3 cup crushed graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 12 ounces goat cheese
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1.25 cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
For the rosemary caramel sauce:
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 long sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
For the graham cracker crust and the cheesecake:
- Head on over to Whole Foods for instructions. Small individual tarts take much less time to bake than a 9-inch cake, start to check them after 10 minutes.
For the rosemary caramel sauce:
- Add the cream and the rosemary sprig to a saucepan.
- Heat the cream until it starts to simmer, then turn the heat off, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove the rosemary sprig and transfer the cream to a container you can pour from. Set aside.
- Clean the saucepan well, then add the water to it.
- Add the sugar in a mound into the middle of the saucepan. Be careful not to have any sugar on the sides of the pan.
- Turn the heat on to high and without any stirring or touching of any sort, let the sugar/water mix come to a full boil. Be careful, the mix will get very, very hot. Do not touch the pot or the caramel under any circumstances.
- Keep boiling the mix on high heat (still without any stirring) until it starts to turn golden brown.
- Turn the heat down to medium and continue to boil until the mix reaches a deep amber color.
- Turn the heat off.
- Standing back, very slowly whisk the cream into the mix, a little bit at a time. The sauce will bubble violently and is still very hot, so be careful.
- Let the sauce cool until you can handle it easily and fill into a glass container. If it’s too thick by the time you want to use it, gently warm it up over a pot of hot water or in the microwave.
Food Photography and Styling: Photographing whole, large cheesecakes is really a trick and trying to cut a perfect piece out of a whole cheesecake is even more difficult so to make it easier on myself I resorted to a small, individual cake. Drips are always beautiful in my opinion so I made sure to have some caramel sauce run over the sides of the cake (and to imply that I had just poured the sauce I let a drip run down the saucepan in the background as well). That was a bit of a trick too because the sauce had to have just the right temperature to be runny enough to form drips but not too runny to run away, so to speak. Since you can’t see the rosemary in the sauce I put a sprig of it on top of the cake and sprinkled some in the background as well.