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Blue Cheese Cheesecake


Blue Cheese Cheesecake with Candied Walnuts

This cheesecake is even for people who aren’t blue cheese lovers. The cheese’s sharp salty flavor is mellowed by the cream cheese. I love serving this after dinner as an alternative to dessert or a cheese course. Please make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. 

Makes 1 -10 inch cheesecake


Crust:

1 ¼ cups (156 g) all purpose flour

1 tablespoon (15 g) granulated sugar

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ cup (115 g) cold butter, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces

3-4 tablespoons  (45-60 ml) very cold water


Cheesecake:

1 pound (454 g) cream cheese

1 pound (454 g) Blue d' Auvergne, crumbled

1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream

5 large eggs

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

½ teaspoon Diamond kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco

1 - 10 inch springform pan


Candied Walnuts:

3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter

3 tablespoons (45 g) light brown sugar

1 cup (160 g) coarsely chopped walnuts

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


To make the Crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180C)


In the bowl of a food processor combine the four, sugar, and salt. Pulse once or twice to combine, Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarsely ground cornmeal and no large pieces of butter remain visible. Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of the water and pulse until the mixture just comes together (if you pinch a piece of dough it will easily hold together and no dry bits remain). If it isn't easily holding together, add the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water. 


Remove from the food processor. Using your fingers, pinch off small pieces of dough and place them all over the bottom of the springform pan. Using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, gently press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Chill for 30 minutes. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden and firm, but not hard to the touch. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. 


To make the Cheesecake:

Lower the oven temperature to 325 (170C)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and blue cheese on medium speed until softened, scraping down the sides, the paddle and underneath the paddle, frequently, for about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, pour in the heavy cream in a  slow steady stream and mix just until combined. Add in the eggs,one at a time and mix just until combined. Stir in the dry mustard powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. 


Wrap the springform pan with 2 large pieces of foil to prevent the water from seeping into the pan when baking in the water bath. . Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour the batter over the crust and level with a small offset spatula. Place in the oven and pour almost boiling water into the roasting pan, coming up about halfway on the sides of the springform pan. Bake for about 1 hour, until the cheesecake is firm to the touch. 


Remove from the oven and remove the cheesecake from the water bath. Remove the plastic wrap or foil from the springform pan. Gently run a paring knife or small offset spatula around the inside edges of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Allow to cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. 


To unmold: Gently run a paring knife or small offset spatula around the inside edges of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Release the latch on the springform pan and then lift the ring straight up. Wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.


To serve: When ready tp serve, plate each slice individually and top with about 1 tablespoon (9g) of candied walnuts.


To make the Candied Walnuts:

In a large saute pan over medium heat, combine the butter and brown sugar and cook until the mixture is melted and combined well. Stir in the walnuts and continue cooking 3-4 minutes, occasionally stirring until the walnuts are lightly toasted. Add the cumin and cayenne and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and spread on a parchment lined baking sheet; and allow to cook completely. 





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