orange goat cheese cheesecakes + pomegranate syrup
I never really understood why some folks don’t like Halloween. I mean, what’s more fun than spending a night dressed up as someoneelse and going around collecting free sugar? I don’t know that there’s muchelse that could be better. Oh, be right back, I have another trick or treater…
Huh, that was unexpected. A bloody sock monkey. I’ve never seen one of those before.
Anyhoo…let me casually segue into speaking about these delightful little cheesecakes. The inspiration for these cheesecakes came from brilliant and talented Helene of Tartelette. I have been a HUGE fan of Tartelette for along time and am forever drawn into her beautiful photos and sugar laden treats. She never disappoints. If you aren’t familiar with her work, I urge you to go and take a look. I am positive you will not regret it.
A few years ago, my brother-in-law made this unexpected appetizer with goat cheese and pomegranate seeds. That was it. A log of goat cheese covered in pomegranate seeds. Sounds crazy simple, but trust me, the stuff was amazing. Dip a pretzel in it or spread it on a cracker. The goat cheese and pomegranate flavors were a match made in tasty heaven. Pomegranate also happens to go swimmingly with orange, so I figured I would swap the lemon for orange and top each little cake with a sweet pomegranate syrup. These cheesecakes had to be good. And let me tell you, they were. So here’s my dressed up for Halloween version of Helene’s brilliant lemon goat cheese cheesecakes.
Orange Goat Cheese Cheesecake Recipe
Yield: 8 mini cheesecakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Preheat the oven to 325F and position a rack in the middle. Place 8-6 oz ramekins or 8 ½ pint mason jars in a large roasting pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, the melted butter and sugar. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins and pat down with a spoon or honey drizzler (this works really well if you have one). Bake for 5 minutes, remove from oven and let cool. Lower the heat to 300F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar, cheeses and orange zest until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time making sure you incorporate them well after each one. Add the orange juice and beat another 30seconds. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins. Add enough hot water to the roasting pan to come up about 1 inch on the sides of the ramekins.
Bake the mini cheesecakes for 20-22 minutes or until still slightly wiggly in the centers. Let them cool and garnish them with pomegranate syrup, crushed graham crackers and a few extra pomegranate seeds.
In a small sauce pan,combine water, sugar and pomegranate seeds and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Allow syrup to cool completely in the pan. Strain out and discard seeds and serve syrup on top of cheesecakes. Refrigerate any unused syrup in an airtight container for up to two weeks.