Savory Herbed Cheesecake has an elegant, crisp Parmesan and rosemary crust which makes a pleasant complimentary flavor.
This cheesecake is a good choice for an appetizer for a potluck or party. It bakes up with a firm yet silky texture that is perfect to use on bread or crackers as a spread. The savory herbs are a taste sensation that will bring you back around the buffet line for another wedge and more bread. It is also an impressive appetizer set as a centerpiece on your buffet table.
You can also serve it cut into wedges on individual plates as a starter course. Also excellent served with wine.
You can prepare and bake cheesecake up to 1 week ahead of time and refrigerate. Yes – you can freeze cheesecakes. I do it all the time. I have frozen them over a month and they were great! This is the wonderful thing about cheesecakes, is that you can freeze them ahead and use later. Freezing for more than a month is not recommended to retain the best quality.
- 10 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1/3 cup olive oil, extra-virgin
- 1 1/2 pounds (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
- 8 ounces creme fraiche or sour cream (1 cup)
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons flour, all-purpose
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste
- 2 tablespoons parsley, minced
- 1 tablespoon chervil, minced
- 1 tablespoon basil, minced
- 1 tablespoon oregano, minced
- 1 tablespoon sage, minced
- 1/3 cup red bell pepper, finely-diced
- 1/3 cup carrot, finely-diced
- Black pepper, freshly-ground, to taste
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- Additional herbs and/or vegetables, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Step 1: Prepare Parmigiano-Reggiano Crust.
Step 2: Prepare Herb Filling.
Step 3: Assemble Savory Herbed Cheesecake.
Mix Parmigiano-Reggiano, bread crumbs, rosemary and butter in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the 9-inch springform pan then chill while preparing the herb filling in Step 2 below.
Place the unpeeled cloves of garlic in a small ramekin or ovenproof dish and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft when tested with the tip of a knife. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins and mash or chop the garlic, along with the olive oil, to a puree. Combine the garlic puree, cream cheese, creme fraiche, eggs, flour and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 2 minutes. Add the parsley, chervil, basil, oregano, and sage; process for 1 minute. Pour the cream cheese mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the red bell pepper and carrot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Blend a spoonful of egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Pour herb filling batter into the chilled Parmigiano-Reggiano Crust. Prepare a drip tray by lining a baking pan with aluminum foil. Set the filled 9-inch Springform Pan on top of the foil (to catch any drips). Using the additional herbs and vegetables, float a design on top of the batter.
Place the the drip pan, with filled 9-inch springform pan, in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. When done, the cake will have risen and the center will be almost set. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to remain in the oven for 1 hour longer, without opening the door. Don't worry if the cake is cracked. Remove the cheesecake and set it on a rack. Immediately run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. This allows the cake to contract away from the sides of the pan as it cools, helping to prevent cracks. Let cool for 1 1/2 hours.
When cool, remove the outer ring of the springform pan. Loosen the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan, using a knife, and slide it onto a serving plate.
Serve at room temperature, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving and allow it to come to room temperature . If desired, decorate the top of the cheesecake using herbs and or vegetables.
Makes 12 servings.
* Check out Making Homemade Bread Crumbs.
Source: This fantastic Savory Herbed Cheesecake recipe is from the cookbook The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide by Paula Lambert. Photo from The Nibble online magazine.
Categories:Baking Cream Cheese- Mascarpone Cheese Parmesan Cheese - Asiago Cheese Appetizers Savory or Appetizer Cheesecakes