Keto as a Way of Life
Keto Sweet, Creamy, & Savory Goat Cheese Cheesecake
Goat Cheese isn’t an ingredient I grew up with. In rural West Tennessee, it was almost exotic even though it’s eaten almost everywhere else in the world.
When I was a kid, to my family, cheese was pretty much relegated to that “cheese product” that comes in packs of individually wrapped slices. Cheese also came in little foil packs tucked into a box of macaroni and cheese. If we got really fancy, there would be a box of Velveeta melted and mixed with Rotel, but that was mostly reserved for holidays and when company came over.
I realize I’ve probably just described every Gen Z childhood diet in the country! Or at the very least…. the Southern US.
It wasn’t until Rebecca and I adopted Keto as a way of life that I started to explore whole, natural foods and staying away from the pre-boxed, fabricated crap that line so many of the grocery store shelves.
I admit that, thanks to the Food Network (especially the show, Good Eats), the Cooking Channel and bloggers like The Pioneer Woman, I was already establishing quite the foodie foundation in my life.
So when Rebecca and I discovered Goat Cheese Tarts on the menu at a little Pub in Doolin, Ireland during our Honeymoon, we didn’t hesitate to give them a try. Even though neither of us had even tried goat cheese before, we were excited!
Oh boy! We felt like we’d discovered the Holy Grail of appetizers! This little goat cheese tart was so creamy and rich with a perfect, light and flavorful crust and this berry topping that had caramelized onions in it for a savory note that set the whole thing off. I would never have put onions together with blueberries, but it was an unbelievably amazing combination next to the sweet creaminess of the goat cheese.
From that point, we looked for a goat cheese tart on every menu we encountered in Ireland. In fact, we made a couple choices about where to dine based on whether a goat cheese tart was on the menu.
When we got home from Ireland, we knew we had to figure out how to make a goat cheese tart at home. So we bought some goat cheese and started experimenting. Of course, we did our best to make everything as Keto as possible.
This is the dish and our experimentation with it that inspired Rebecca’s mad genius to create a Goat Cheese Cheesecake. Her goal was to capture some of that contrasting flavor we discovered in Ireland; the berry compote with caramelized onion.
The Goat Cheese Cheesecake she came up with is amazing! It’s creamy and rich with a little warm spice in the crust that sets off the tang of the blueberries. And all of these flavors come together under the savory note of the caramelized onions with a background hint of acid, via a bit of balsamic vinegar, to cut through the richness of the cheesecake.
This recipe is a little more complex than we normally post. And cheesecakes can be tricky if you don’t have any experience baking, but Rebecca’s instructions are easy to follow. If you stick with her tips, you will be able to create a Creamy, Sweet, Savory, Yummy Goat Cheese Cheesecake that will impress your guests and have them asking for your recipe.
We plan on serving this at our St. Patrick’s Day party. Since we found it in Ireland, to us, this is Irish food! But cheesecake is a wonderful desert at every holiday or occasion.
Ingredients – Notes
This recipe has quite a few ingredients because it has three different components.
I only want to point out some of the more ‘irregular’ ingredients here; the ingredients that we tend to use a lot of for Keto recipes.
Obviously, this cheesecake has goat cheese in it. It’s right there in the title.
And goat cheese, also obviously, comes from goat’s milk.
It’s made basically the same way cheese is made from cow’s milk, but goat cheese has a different flavor, texture, and nutrition profile.
Without getting into this too much, it’s important to note that Goat Cheese contains a good amount of medium-chain fatty acids (like capric acid), which is important for Keto.
Goat cheese also contains probiotics and other great nutrients. But that’s a-whole-nother blog post! Let’s move on.
Monkfruit is a wonderful, Keto-approved sweetener. Since we discovered it, we’ve started using it in everything that needs sweetness.
Monkfruit sweetener stands up well to the heat of baking, it tastes great and doesn’t have a bad aftertaste. It has no carbs, and actually contains a substance that is reported to help stabilize blood glucose levels.
Amazon is the most reasonably priced and convenient place we've found to purchase it.
Learn More About Sweeteners
Interested in learning a little more about sweeteners and where they rank for Keto?
We put together a handy chart of 55 sweeteners commonly used on the market today. The chart shows you which sweeteners are actually sugar, which ones are bad chemicals or natural, where they land on the Glycemic Index and more.
We also rank each sweetener on the list as Good, Bad, or Ugly for Keto.
Made of blanched and ground up almonds, this flour offers texture, flavor and substance to baked items.
Since there is no gluten or binding agent in almond flour, you typically have to use eggs in combination with this ingredient in your recipes.
We've tried a few different brands, and they're all good quality, but for the price, we like Blue Diamond. As I write this, it's $.28 cents/oz on Amazon versus $.52/oz for Anthony's and $.66/oz for Bob's Red Mill.
Ground Flax Seed
Flax seed is one of the essentials of Keto baking. It adds a depth of flavor to breads/muffins. With only 1 net carb per 2 tablespoons, it’s a great addition to any recipe that might use flour or meal.
We like it because it’s also a good source of Magnesium and Omega 3 fatty acids.
For more on Flax Seed, check out our blog post about it, "Why Flaxseed is Good for Keto and Great for You"
Instructions – Notes
Like I said earlier, cheesecake can be a little tricky. It’s tough to get a smooth, silky texture and keep the top of the cake from cracking.
Here’s a picture of the top of the cheesecake Rebecca made for this post. There are a couple simple tricks she uses to get that crackless top and silky texture inside the cake.
FIRST: Let your ingredients come to room temperature before you ever start the cake.
Often, if Rebecca is planning to make a cheesecake in the afternoon, she will get all the ingredients out of the refrigerator in the morning and let them sit on the kitchen counter for a few hours.
I’m not sure what thermal magic happens here, but I know that every time she’s made a cheesecake with cold ingredients, the top cracked.
SECOND: Add your eggs one at a time when mixing your cake batter. This ensures even mixing.
THIRD: Bake your cheesecake in a 350 degree F oven for one hour. Then turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in there for one more hour.
DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!!!!
The ambient heat will continue gently cooking the cheesecake and give the cake time to set.
NOTE: Some people will put a small pan of water in the oven with the cheesecake to keep the environment moist.
Others may even line the springform pan with aluminum and set it inside a bath so the water keeps the inside of the oven moist AND the water will gently cook the outside of the cake. (I saw Alton Brown do this on an episode of Good Eats)
We don’t think any of that is necessary if you follow our first three tips. We’ve tried baking cheesecakes with and without water inside the oven and it doesn’t make a difference either way for us.
Those are all the special tips we have on the Recipe Instructions, but if you have questions or other tips, please feel free to send those our way.
The Kitchen Tools We Used
If you’ve read this blog very much, you know that I LOVE me some kitchen tools. Here are the gadgets we used in this recipe to get the job done and make our lives a little easier.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer
By itself, a KitchenAid stand mixer is one of the best inventions since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
The ability to add attachments turns this gadget into a miracle worker.
We use Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer to make our own butter which is super easy! Also, we use ours whip up Keto cake batters, to grind meat for our own Keto-friendly sausage, and a ton of other kitchen tasks.
It's a multi-purpose powerhouse!
The KitchenAid makes mixing the batter super easy because it’s all hands free. Just turn it on low and add the ingredients as the recipe calls for them. We like that we get such a smooth blend in the cake mix with the whisk attachment.
We use the Cuisinart 14 Cup Food processor.
I've had mine for almost 10 years now.
It has a good, heavy (and powerful) motor, solid parts, and is easy to set up and use.
Though it's seen heavy, sometimes daily use, this work horse is still going strong!
I love this thing!
Nothing purees fruit like a food processor! It also makes it easy to chop the almonds in thie recipe. Just drop them in, give them a couple pulses, and Done!
If you happen not to have almond flour, but you have almonds, this bad boy will turn those almonds into flour in less than five minutes.
Thanks for Reading
We hope you enjoy this Keto Sweet, Creamy & Savory Goat Cheese Cheesesake Recipe. If you give this recipe a try, please let us know how it works out for you. Please drop us a line in the comments below, send us an email at email@example.com or join us on our Facebook Page where we share and discuss Keto recipes all the time.
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Keto Sweet, Creamy, & Savory Goat Cheese Cheesecake
Based on a Goat Cheese Tart we had in Ireland. This cheesecake has a silky texture and a flavor that balances sweet and savory in a unique and yummy way!
Add dry ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine.
Incorporate melted butter into dry ingredients until moist.
Pour crust mixture into bottom of spring form pan that has been lined with parchment paper.
Press crust into bottom of pan evenly. NOTE: You can cover just the bottom of the pan, or you can bring the crust up the sides. It's a matter of preference. The pictures in this post show that Rebecca brought the crust up the sides of the pan.
Bake crust at 350F for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely while making cheesecake filling.
Set the eggs, goat cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream out to get to room temp; at least an hour before you're ready to make this cheesecake.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sour cream, goat cheese, and cream cheese. Cut or break the cheeses into smaller chunks before adding them to make mixing easier. Mix these only until incorporated. Do not over mix!
NOTE: If you do this in a stand mixer, use the lowest setting and keep an eye on it.
Add monkfruit, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and salt. Mix until just combined.
While stirring, or with the mixer on low, begin adding eggs, one at a time until incorporated.
Pour filling into the springform pan once crust is cooled.
Bake in a 350f degree oven for 1 hour. Do NOT open the oven door at the end of the bake time. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in there for another hour.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium/ high heat.
Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring, for ten minutes.
Add vinegar, salt and pepper, then cook for another five minutes, until the onions cook down and caramelize. Stir every minute or so to keep them from burning.
Deglaze pan with Irish Whiskey and add monkfruit. Remove from heat immediately and stir everything together to combine.
Berry Balsamic Reduction
Wash blueberries and strawberries.
Hull strawberries (cut the tops off) and roughly chop.
Add berries to saucepan heated to medium.
Add balsamic vinegar.
Cook for 20 minutes stirring frequently.
Purée mixture (use a traditional blender, food processor or immersion blender), add dash of salt and cook down by half.
CAUTION: Be careful when blending hot liquids like this.
Add lemon juice and monkfruit. Stir to combine.
Remove from heat.
NOTE: Monkfruit takes heat well, but don't leave it on the heat or cook it for too long because it will crystallize faster than regular sugar.
Add the Topping
Remove the springform pan from the cheesecake.
Top the cheesecake with the berry reduction, spreading it evenly over the cake. It's ok to let it run down the sides if you like.
Evenly spoon the onions on top of the cake, or serve them as a garnish for each slice of cheesecake. These add a savory element to the cake that some people may not want, so sometimes it's best to leave them off as an option to add later.
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