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Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue

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Vibrant orange sweet potatoes create a beautiful contrast to the dramatic marshmallow meringue topping in this unique cheesecake, which is perfect for a Thanksgiving feast. You can bake the cheesecake a day in advance, then refrigerate until ready to add the meringue. For a quicker finish, replace the meringue topping with sweetened whipped cream and skip the torch.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Marshmallow Meringue

For the crust:

1 1/8 cups (155 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (60 g) ground pecans

3 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar

8 Tbs. (1 stick/125g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

 

For the filling:

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. salt

1 lb. (500 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup (170 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup (250 g) roasted and pureed sweet potatoes

1 Tbs. vanilla extract

4 eggs

 

For the marshmallow topping:

3/4 cup (200 g) egg whites

1 cup (170 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (85 g) sorghum syrup or light agave nectar

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean

 

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

 

To make the crust, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the flour, pecans, brown sugar and butter on low speed until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Press the crust into the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan. Bake until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven to 300°F (150°C).

 

To make the filling, in a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sweet potato puree, vanilla and spice mixture and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

 

Wrap a double layer of aluminum foil around the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Add the filling and smooth the top. Place in the center of a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm but jiggles slightly in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in the water bath before topping with the meringue. The cheesecake can be refrigerated overnight.

 

To make the meringue, in a saucepan, bring 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water to a simmer. Place the egg whites, brown sugar, sorghum syrup and vanilla bean seeds in an electric mixer bowl and set over but not touching the simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot, about 2 minutes. Place the bowl on the mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on high speed until the meringue cools to room temperature and stiff peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes.

 

Lightly pat the cheesecake with a paper towel to remove moisture. Mound the meringue on top, using a pastry spatula to spread it to the edges. Using a spoon, create mountains of meringue around the surface. Lightly brown with a kitchen torch. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Serves 8 to 12.

 

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Goat Cheese and Chive Soufflé

souffle

Perfect for a special weekend brunch or luncheon, this creamy soufflé is lovely accompanied with a spinach salad tossed with toasted pine nuts. The soufflé may be assembled up to an hour in advance, but once it is baked, it should be served promptly, as it deflates quickly. It is fine to let your guests wait for the soufflé, but do not let the soufflé wait for anyone.

Making a soufflé collar will help ensure that your soufflé rises well above the rim. To make a soufflé collar for a large soufflé dish, cut a strip of parchment paper that is wide enough to stand 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) above the rim of the dish when folded in half, and long enough to wrap around the dish with a slight overlap. For individual soufflé dishes, cut the strips to about 5 inches (13 cm) wide by about 12 inches (30 cm) long. Fold the parchment in half and tuck one end into the other. Place around the dish and tighten. Secure the parchment by tying it with a piece of kitchen string.

 

Goat Cheese and Chive Soufflé

 

1/2 lb. (250 g) fresh goat cheese or natural cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sour cream

5 large eggs, separated

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground white pepper

3 Tbs. minced fresh chives

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

3 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat to 425°F (220°C). Butter a 1 1/2-qt (1.5-l) soufflé dish or six 1-cup (8–fl. oz./250–ml) ramekins and dust the bottom and sides with Parmesan cheese.

If mixing by hand, in a large bowl, using a whisk, cream the goat cheese until light. Beat in the sour cream, egg yolks, mustard, salt, nutmeg, white pepper and chives until combined. In another large, clean bowl, whisk together the egg whites and cream of tartar with a balloon whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form.

If using a mixer, in a large bowl, using a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater or a hand mixer, cream the goat cheese on medium-high speed until light. Beat in the sour cream, egg yolks, mustard, salt,
nutmeg, white pepper and chives until combined. In another large, clean bowl, using the stand mixer
fitted with the whip attachment or the hand mixer, beat together the egg whites and cream of tartar
on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Using a rubber spatula, fold one-fourth of the beaten egg whites into the cheese mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until no white streaks remain. Spoon into the prepared dish(es) and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top(s) with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake the soufflé(s) until set and puffed and the center still jiggles when the dish is shaken, 20 to 25 minutes for a large soufflé or 8 to 10 minutes for the individual soufflés. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

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Bite-Size Bacon and Cheese Scones

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These buttery, bacony cheesy scones are heaven in one easy bite. Perfect for brunch, they would also make for a great lunch alongside a bountiful salad. To take these scones over the top, add a pinch of grated cheese to the top of each one before you slide them into the oven.

 

Bite-Size Bacon and Cheese Scones

3 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon

2 cups (10 oz.⁄315 g) all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup (4 oz.⁄125 g) grated Asiago or Gruyère cheese

Pinch of kosher salt

1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1⁄2 cup (4 oz.⁄125 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 large egg

3⁄4 cup (6 fl. oz.⁄180 ml) heavy cream or whole milk

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a frying pan, fry the bacon over medium-low heat until lightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and finely chop the bacon.

In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, cheese, salt, and pepper and pulse briefly to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream until blended. Pour the egg mixture into the processor and pulse just until the dough comes together.

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead in the bacon and then bring the dough together into a ball. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1⁄2 inch (12 mm) thick. Using a 1 1⁄2-inch (4-cm) biscuit cutter, cut out as many scones as you can. Gather the scraps of dough, roll out, and cut out more scones.

Space the scones evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the scones are golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly on a wire rack before serving. Makes about 4 dozen mini scones.

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Fresh Goat Cheese and Lemon Curd Cheesecake

cheese

Goat cheese imparts tanginess and tart lemon curd adds freshness to this cheesecake, offsetting the
richness of the cheese that can sometimes weigh this dessert down. A crumb crust made with almond
biscotti brings a subtle nuttiness and crisp texture to this surprisingly light dessert.

Fresh Goat Cheese and Lemon Curd Cheesecake

For the lemon curd:

3 lemons

4 eggs

1 cup (8 o/250 g) sugar

Pinch kosher salt

4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter

2 Tbs. heavy cream

 

For the cheesecake:

6 oz. (185 g) almond biscotti, broken into pieces

2 Tbs. sugar, plus 1 cup (8 oz./250 g)

4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, melted

Kosher salt

1 lb. (500 g) Neufchâtel cheese

8 oz. (250 g) fresh goat cheese

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sour cream

 

To make the lemon curd, finely grate 1 Tbs. zest from the lemons, then squeeze 1⁄2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) juice. In a nonreactive saucepan, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, eggs, sugar and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture turns bright yellow and is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and cream. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C).

 

To make the cheesecake, in a food processor, finely grind the biscotti. Add the 2 Tbs. sugar, the melted butter and a pinch of salt and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer to a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan and press into the bottom and slightly up the sides. Bake until the crust is lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool, then wrap the outside of the pan with a large sheet of foil.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cheeses on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the 1 cup sugar and 1⁄4 tsp. salt until blended, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the eggs and vanilla beating constantly. Add the sour cream and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly. Place the pan in a large roasting pan. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and pour in 1 inch (2.5 cm) of very hot water. Bake the cheesecake until just set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 to 1 1⁄4 hours. (Check after 30 minutes and add more hot water to the pan if needed.) Let the cheesecake cool in the water bath on a wire rack for 1 hour. Remove the foil, then cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Spread the lemon curd on the cheesecake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

 

To serve, remove the pan sides, transfer the cheesecake to a platter and cut into wedges. Serves 8 to 10.

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Recipe Roundup: Cheese

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Have you seen our Guide to Cheese? Check it out for a primer on all the many different kinds of cheese, from fresh ricotta to soft Brie, pungent blue and sharp, nutty Parmesan. Then put your knowledge to good use with some of our favorite cheesy recipes.

 

Gorgonzola Dip with CruditésGorgonzola Dip with Crudités
Gorgonzola dolce, the creamiest variety, is a good choice for this flavorful dip. Serve with a selection of colorful seasonal vegetables, such as radishes and asparagus in spring or zucchini and sugar snap peas in summer.
Grilled Figs with Dry Jack and ProsciuttoGrilled Figs with Dry Jack and Prosciutto
Grilling or roasting fresh figs gives them a caramelized, sweet flavor that enhances this classic Italian-style pairing of a salty cheese, cured meat and ripe fruit. Serve the figs hot off the grill as a starter, or combine them with a simple arugula salad for a light meal.
Homemade Ricotta CheeseHomemade Ricotta Cheese
Fluffy, rich clouds of freshly made ricotta are so good you’ll want to sit there with a spoon and eat it like ice cream. Use it in any recipe that calls for ricotta to take the whole dish to the next level.
Rustic Tomato & Mozzarella TartRustic Tomato & Mozzarella Tart
Use vine-ripened tomatoes at their peak to create these simple tarts, showcasing the classic combination of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Using prepared puff pastry makes them quick and easy to assemble and bake.
Nectarines with Arugula and Burrata CheeseNectarines with Arugula and Burrata Cheese
Creamy burrata cheese meets sweet nectarines in this summer-fresh starter that takes just minutes to assemble. Let guests help themselves, layering the ingredients on crusty bread.
Grilled Halloumi and Little Gem Salad with Preserved-Lemon DressingGrilled Halloumi and Little Gem Salad with Preserved-Lemon Dressing
Halloumi is a firm cheese that originated in Cypress but is increasingly made domestically. Its claim to fame is that it holds its shape when grilled or fried, as in this flavorful salad.
Herb and Brie OmeletHerb and Brie Omelet
With a few deft twists of the wrist, it is easy to transform a few eggs into a light-as-air morning main course. This recipe yields a large, fluffy omelet packed with melting cheese and fresh herbs—ideal for sharing.
Warm Beer and Cheddar DipWarm Beer and Cheddar Dip
Made with beer and lots of cheddar cheese, this warm, hearty dip is just the thing for casual get-togethers. Be sure to add the cheese slowly, allowing each batch to melt before adding more, to ensure smooth results.
Waldorf Salad with Blue CheeseWaldorf Salad with Blue CheeseFor this salad, a modern riff on a classic, try a blue cheese that is dry and crumbly, such as Cabrales or Valdeón, but a creamy Gorgonzola would also work well.
Bacon and Cheese SconesBacon and Cheese Scones
While most people think of scones as sweet treats, they can also be filled with savory ingredients, like these irresistible rounds of meat-and-cheese goodness, for a delicious change of pace.
Fried Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini BlossomsFried Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
In Italy, zucchini blossoms are often stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies and fried in a crisp coating. Here, herbed ricotta is tucked into the blossoms with delicious results.
Shaved Zucchini Salad with Almonds and AsiagoShaved Zucchini Salad with Almonds and Asiago
Shaving raw zucchini for this pretty salad is a great way to use up a bounty of vegetables. Shaved dry cheese and crunchy nuts top it off.
Savory Leek & Gruyère SouffléSavory Leek & Gruyère Soufflé
Delicate, tender leeks and melted Gruyere cheese combine in this savory souffle, a beautiful brunch entree or dinner party side dish.
Agnolini with Goat Cheese, Fresh Ricotta, Peas and HerbsAgnolini with Goat Cheese, Fresh Ricotta, Peas and Herbs
These half-moons, made by cutting the pasta into rounds and then folding them in half, are a perfect pocket for cheese. Ricotta is the traditional filling, but goat cheese adds a tang and complements spring peas and herbs.
Potato, Egg and Cheese Breakfast TacosPotato, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Tacos
When you want something especially hearty for breakfast, try this egg and tortilla dish, which includes panfried potatoes and shredded cheese. The fresh salsa is essential.
Creamy Mascarpone PolentaCreamy Mascarpone Polenta
What’s the secret to making polenta with a rich, creamy texture? Stir in a dollop of mascarpone cheese. It’s the perfect side dish for roasted meats or poultry.
Golden Beet and Blue Cheese RisottoGolden Beet and Blue Cheese Risotto
When root vegetables start to pile high at the farmers’ market, seek out golden or pink beets, which lend a pretty color to this risotto. Blue cheese complements the earthiness of the dish.
Spanish Pizza with Chorizo and ManchegoSpanish Pizza with Chorizo and Manchego
Traditional Spanish ingredients inspired this pizza: cured (not fresh) chorizo, dry Manchego cheese, and toppings of peppers and olives.
Ham and Cheese Quiche with Crème Fraîche and ChivesHam and Cheese Quiche with Crème Fraîche and Chives
Smoked ham and Gruyère cheese are classic ingredients in this celebrated French dish. This version adds a touch of crème fraîche for flavor and richness and a sprinkle of chives for freshness.
Penne with Ricotta Cheese and GreensPenne with Ricotta Cheese and Greens
Here, Tuscan kale (also know as black kale) adds deep, earthy flavor to pasta. Fresh ricotta makes a satisfyingly easy sauce.
Grown-Up Grilled Cheese SandwichesGrown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Not your ordinary grilled cheese, this one is filled with Gruyère, sweet caramelized onions and peppery arugula. Pair it with a bowl of soup for a satisfying, easy meal.
Herbed Pork Involtini with PecorinoHerbed Pork Involtini with Pecorino
Involtini
, thin slices of meat filled, rolled and tied before cooking, are an Italian favorite. Fillings can vary from a simple bread-and-herb mix like this one, including pecorino cheese, to more exotic flavors.
Smoky Cheese EnchiladasSmoky Cheese Enchiladas
Crushed chipotle chili adds an enticing smoky flavor and gentle layer of heat to these enchiladas, which are enriched with two kinds of cheeses.
Potato and Celery Root Gratin with GruyèrePotato and Celery Root Gratin with Gruyère
Potato and nutty celery root pair in this rich, creamy, cheesy gratin, perfect for a special dinner or even a holiday feast.
Rolled Eggplant with Sausage & MozzarellaRolled Eggplant with Sausage & Mozzarella
Here’s a creative alternative to pasta: long, thin strips of eggplant, rolled around gooey mozzarella cheese and savory sausage, with plenty of bright tomato sauce for extra flavor.

Orzo with Feta, Basil and ShrimpOrzo with Feta, Basil and Shrimp
In Mediterranean cuisine, feta cheese is often paired with shrimp, the creamy, salty flavors marrying lusciously. Here, crumbled feta is added at the end of the cooking so it soaks up the warm juices from the sautéed shrimp.
Macaroni with Farmhouse Cheddar and BaconMacaroni with Farmhouse Cheddar and Bacon
Here’s a seriously grown-up version of a kid’s classic. Thanks to their different ages, the two cheddars give this hearty baked pasta a richness that’s balanced by the addition of salty, smoky bacon.
Filets Mignons with Parmesan ButterFilets Mignons with Parmesan Butter
Here, filet mignon, one of the most lauded cuts of beef, is cooked first on the stovetop, then finished in the oven. The Parmesan butter melts over the warm meat, complementing its richness and adding an appealing nuttiness.
Goat Cheese Toasts with Walnuts, Honey and ThymeGoat Cheese Toasts with Walnuts, Honey and Thyme
Dripping with honey and sprinkled with fresh thyme, cracked pepper and sea salt, these warm, crunchy toasts make a delicious breakfast, after-school treat or lunch when matched with a handful of salad greens.
Cheese BlintzesCheese Blintzes
These crepelike wrappers can be stuffed with a variety of fillings—from mushrooms to meat—but this cheese version, served with fruit compote and sour cream, is a popular morning choice.
Ricotta with Blood Orange, Pistachio and HoneyRicotta with Blood Orange, Pistachio and Honey
Prepare this dessert in the winter, when blood oranges are at their peak. During other times of the year, vary the fruit with the season — almost any kind will complement the creamy ricotta and honey.