When life hands you feta make a Feta Cheesecake! Feta would not be my first choice for a cheesecake but it surprised me at just how flavorful the cake was. The chocolate did help temper the stronger feta flavor.
A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to receive some of the best Feta I have ever had from Euphrates , you may remember my feta stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, they were delicious! Now, of course, I love feta , it is such a flavorful cheese, and I use it on almost every salad I eat, but I was thinking of other applications, what could I do a little outside the box with this wonderful cheese? I kept going back to cheesecake, something kept pulling me towards the unlikely combination of feta and cream cheese, I saw a lot of savory type feta cheesecakes, but hadn’t seen any use as a sweet cheesecake…..sigh There must be a reason, but since I couldn’t think of one, I decided to give it a try.
I knew the cheesecake would not be as sweet as a new york style or even a ricotta, the flavor of the feta was just a little too pronounced to let that happen. I knew my cheesecake would need a complement to the tang of the feta, and chocolate seemed to be the answer…….well chocolate is the answer to a lot of question, but that’s another story! I reached for my semi-sweet chocolate and prepared a ganache for the topping, for the crust I used my favorite digestive biscuits, and threw in a good handful of salted pistachio’s just to add another element into this flavor feast.
The results were not quite as I had planned but all in all, it was a very interesting and tasty cheesecake, the feta lent an interesting element to the filling, and the chocolate complimented the cheese so very well. The crust was a little bit of a letdown but did add yet another dimension to the cake if I make this again my only change would be to sweeten the crust up a bit and instead of pistachios use an unsalted pecan.
All in all the experiment was a success and while it got mixed reviews even the doubters were impressed with the flavors. If you do try this cake, I think you will be pleasantly surprised, especially served with a good cup of coffee or espresso!
- 8 oz . Feta Cheese
- 8 oz . Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 Large Eggs
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 2 Tbsp . All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbsp . finely grated Lime Zest
- Juice of one lime
- 1 Tbsp . Vanilla Extract
- 12 Digestive Biscuits
- 1/2 Cup Salted Pistachio's (or pecans)
- 4 oz unsalted butter (melted)
- 8 oz semi sweet chocolate chopped
- 4 oz heavy cream
- In a food processor add the digestive biscuits and nuts and process into crumbs for crust
- add melted butter to crust mixture and form into crust in a tart pan, or cheesecake pan.
- Bake crust for 10 minutes at 350 degrees
- In the bowl of the food processor, add the feta and heavy cream and process, until it begins to get smooth.
- Add in Cream cheese and continue to process
- Add eggs, lime juice, vanilla and lime zest and process until blended.
- Add in flour and sugar and process until all is incorporated and mixture is smooth and creamy*
- Pour mixture into cooled tart shell and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, keep an eye on the cheesecake, do not let it get too dark or crack.
- While cheesecake is baking prepare the ganache.
- Over a pot of boiling water in a metal bowl add your chopped chocolate and heavy cream, stirring until all the chocolate is melted and is smooth.
- Allow chocolate to cool while cheesecake is cooling down.
- Pour ganache over the cheesecake, using an offset spatula to smooth it into place.
- Use a nice layer of chocolate, it should be about 1/4 of an inch thick at the center.
- Place finished cake in refrigerator and allow to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.*
* taste the mixture and if it's not sweet enough add more sugar to your liking. Once baked it will not be as sweet as the raw batter. * If you have time allow cheesecake to set overnight and add the chocolate to the cake the next day, then allow the chocolate to set up in the refrigerator.