Ginger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Honey Roasted Figs & Hazelnuts + Alternative Baker Cookbook

date08.29.16

Ginger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Roasted Figs and Hazelnuts

In case you’re wondering when the best time to make friends with someone is, it’s right when they’re pitching a gluten-free baking cookbook to publishers. I know because that’s when I met Alanna. It’s also when I willingly accepted my new role as dessert taste tester, with a constant rotation of Alanna’s latest cookbook creations showing up at my house. It’s a tough job being friends with Alanna. At the end of *cough*waytoolong*cough*, Alternative Baker is FINALLY ALMOST HERE!! I’m so stinkin’ excited to share Alanna’s masterpiece with you via this ginger goat cheese cheesecake tart inspired by her flavor pairings and built on a crust adapted from the book.

Ginger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Roasted Figs and HazelnutsAlternative Baker Cookbook

Before we talk about this ginger goat cheese cheesecake, pull up a chair to watch the trailer Alanna and I made for her cookbook.

With a gorgeous photo for every recipe, you’ll probably be tempted to lick the page. (It doesn’t work like Willy Wonka’s wallpaper, I tried). She lent me her only copy this week and I’m sorry to report that I “lost” it, Alanna. I’m definitely not lying. But even if I were, I licked it, so it’s mine.

Gluten-Free Vanilla Hazelnut Tart CrustGinger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Roasted Figs and Hazelnuts

While Alanna worked tirelessly on her cookbook baby, I worked on gaining sympathy weight from taste testing allofthedesserts (like I said, tough job). About halfway in, I figured what better way to hide it than actually getting pregnant. So I did that and then got to taste-test for two. See also: best time to be pregnant.

After tasting about 75% of the recipes in the book and then flipping through (and drooling on) the pages of the first print copy, ecstatically announcing “I’ve eaten that!” about 100 times, trust me when I say you should go pre-order your copy as soon as you can. Like now.

Are you a newbie to baking? Alanna will hold your hand. Order a copy.

Are you into baking? Alanna will challenge you with completely new flavor mash-ups. Order a copy.

Do you or do you know someone who bakes gluten-free desserts? Order a copy.

Are you none of the above, but you’re still into gorgeous coffee table eye candy? Order a copy.

Alternative Baker is not just a book for gluten-free diets, either. Alanna imparts rich flavors into dessert by way of their unique flours. The desserts just taste more exciting than their gluten-filled counterparts because of the roasted notes in chestnut flour, the sweet flavors of corn flour, and the delicate nuttiness of almond flour. Her recipes are a refreshing reprieve from the oft bland hockey pucks that have given gluten-free baking a bad rep.

Ginger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Roasted Figs and Hazelnuts

My no-bake ginger goat cheese cheesecake is built on a vanilla hazelnut tart crust (barely) adapted from Alternative Baker’s Vanilla Almond Tart Crust. While it’s certainly a hard choice, this tart crust is my favorite thing in the book; I could eat it as a cookie without any filling. It’s thick and sturdy enough to hold cheesecake, but delicately crumbles at the prong of a fork and bursts of nuttiness, vanilla, and butter.

Black Mission FigsBlack Mission FigsHoney Roasted Figs & Hazelnuts

This honey roasted fig topping to the tart draws inspiration from Alanna’s extensive pairing of seasonal fruits with gluten-free grains and flours (and comes from a method I stole from her blog). Real talk: you know how long it took me to come up with a fruit pairing she hadn’t already used for my adaptation? A SUPER DUPER LONG TIME. She’s filled the book to the brim with the most luscious fruits paired with flour flavors that enhance their subtle notes.

Ginger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Roasted Figs and HazelnutsGinger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Roasted Figs and HazelnutsGinger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Roasted Figs and Hazelnuts

For my goat cheese cheesecake tart, I swapped in hazelnut meal for almond flour – hardly an adaptation – but the more assertive hazelnut stands up against a background of tangy goat cheese and earthy jammy figs. A drizzle of honey sweetens up the goat cheese filling, turning the traditionally savory goat cheese and fig pairing into a velvety dessert. Folding in vanilla whipped cream adds a light almost mousse-like texture and freshly grated ginger gives it a subtle bite that pairs with the caramelization in the fruit and nut topping for a dessert that, like black mission figs, dangerously walks the line between summer and fall.

Did I mention that you should pre-order Alanna’s cookbook, Alternative Baker? Do it.

To see some droolworthy images from her cookbook and a sneak peek of one of the recipes straight from the book, head over to The Bojon Gourmet!

Ginger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Roasted Figs and HazelnutsThanks for reading Snixy Kitchen! To stay up on what’s coming out of my kitchen, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin‘, Pinterest, or subscribe via e-mail to get new recipes right to your inbox.

Ginger Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Honey Roasted Figs & Hazelnuts + Alternative Baker Cookbook
Author: 
Yields: One 9-inch tart
 
Ingredients
Gluten-free Vanilla Hazelnut Tart Crust (slightly adapted from Alternative Baker)
  • 1⁄2 cup (60g) hazelnut meal
  • 1⁄2 cup (80g) sweet rice flour
  • 1⁄2 cup (55g) oat flour
*
  • 2 tablespoons (12g) tapioca starch/flour
  • 1⁄4 cup (50g) cane sugar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Honey Roasted Figs & Hazelnuts
  • 10 ripe black mission figs, halved
  • ⅓ cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons honey
Ginger Cheesecake Filling
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream, whipped
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
Instructions
Gluten-free Vanilla Hazelnut Tart Crust
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the hazelnut meal, sweet rice flour, oat flour, tapioca stach, cane sugar, and sea salt.
  2. Sprinkle the butter cubes on top and drizzle with vanilla extract.
  3. With the mixer on medium-low, beat until the dough begins to clump and the butter has been completely combined, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Dump the dough clumps into the bottom of an 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and begin pressing the dough evenly into the pan, starting with the sides and then moving to the bottom. Your crust should be between ⅛ and ¼-inch thick with the top edges squared off (this takes about 10-15 minutes of patience).
  5. Prick the bottom all over with a fork and place in the freezer until firm, 15-30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  7. Remove the tart shell from the oven and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet for easy clean up. Bake on the middle rack for 23-27 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and while the crust is still hot, use the back of a spoon to gently press down on the sides and bottom to help hold it together as it cools.
  9. Once cool, life the tart crust from the pan and transfer to a cake plate or stand.
Honey Roasted Figs & Hazelnuts (Adapted from The Bojon Gourmet)
  1. While the crust cools, preheat the broiler.
  2. Lay the figs in a baking pan, cut side up, and spoon 2 tablespoons honey over the figs.
  3. In a separate bowl, toss the hazelnuts in the remaining tablespoon of honey.
  4. Broil the figs 6-inches from the heat for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the honeyed hazelnuts over the top and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the hazelnuts are toasted.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely before topping cheesecake.
Ginger Cheesecake Filling
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip heavy cream until light and foamy. Add powdered sugar and whip until soft peaks form. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
  2. In the same bowl with the paddle, beat the goat cheese and cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the vanilla paste, honey, and ginger and beat until combined and smooth.
  4. Fold in the whipped creamed until just combined.
  5. Spread filling in cooled tart shell and smooth it out with an offset spatula.
  6. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  7. Just before serving, top with cooled honey roasted figs and hazelnuts.
Notes
*I make my own oat flour by grinding gluten-free oats in a blender or food processor and sifting out the large pieces

 

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51 Comments

  1. Alanna says:

    Oooh, I’m definitely licking all of this tart so it will be alllllll mine! This tart is so absurdly pretty and the flavors – vanilla, honey, goat and cream cheese, ginger, figs, hazelnuts – must be out of this world all paired together. That pile of jammy figs makes me weak in the knees. I can’t thank you enough for the kind words, and hours and hours of help making the book and trailer amazing/exist, respectively. Not to mention the great sacrifice of extensive taste testing and covering it all up with a bonafide pregnancy. What a pal! xoxoxo

  2. Wow, just wow!! So much beauty and talent in one post. Can’t wait for the book!

  3. amisha says:

    Gosh, this is a beautiful representation of Alanna’s gorgeous book! I loved your blog post Sarah, and I cant wait to make recipes from this book! All my favorite desserts in one book with all the different flours that I love to use :D Very very exciting!

    Btw, your photos are stunning! and I do love that you used goat cheese in cheesecake! Am sure that must have been a very very delicious tart!

    and I simply love the video!! well done both of you! you girls are a great team! :)

    • Thank you so much Amisha! I too love all the different flours she uses and I’m certain you’ll love the ways she’s paired them with fruits!

      And thank you!!! I wish I had any left to share (well, I do, but I’m reserving that one for Alanna tonight;).

  4. Wow, it looks and sounds so tasty!! I can’t wait to get my paws on a copy!

  5. Veronica says:

    Love the trailer to Alanna’s cookbook “Alternative Baker”! Her book will make a wonderful gift for my best friend! Sarah your photos are stunning! I can’t wait to try this beautiful recipe!

  6. Nancy Stern says:

    What a great video with such a catchy song! It was especially fun for me to see Alana in action making the incredible delicacies that I have had the honor of tasting.

    Sarah, you are so talented not only”in the kitchen” but your keen photographic eye delivers tantalizing invitations to make the recipes. I feel like I have been on a taste journey each time I try something new because it is obvious that great thought is put into these recipes and so far all I can say is that this book should be a best seller!.

  7. Loving everything about this – the hazelnut crust, the ginger and the broiled figs (!!!). It’s like someone snooped in my brain for what would make the perfect cheesecake O_O

  8. I love Alanna and I love the goat-figs match. Can’t wait to browse her book page after page :D

    • I love her too! <3 And also figs. And goat cheese. In that order ;) I'm certain you will drool all over the pages of her book for hours! (Hint: There are at least two fig recipes in her book that I can think of off the top of my head)

  9. Aysegul says:

    Ahhhh you too.. I love this cake. And that video… So much fun! I ordered my copy and I CAN’T wait for that day to come.

    <3

    PS: I know the first recipe I'll try will be that peach cake! :)) How yummy did that look?!?!

  10. I am SO excited for this book -especially if it has this cheesecake! I LOVE goat cheese and cheesecake, but have never put the two together. And with, figs? Dead.

    • In her book she’s got Nectarine Cheesecakes in Jars with Mesquite Gingersnap Crusts, Berry Chèvre Cheesecake Squares with Pistachio Shortbread Crust, AND Sweet Potato Bourbon Cheesecake Bites with Mesquite-Pecan Crust. Basically cheesecake heaven.

  11. Words can’t describe how excited I am for this book – so thanks for capturing it video form :) (incredible video!) I can’t believe the day is almost here!!!!!!!

    Just when you thought figs couldn’t get any sexier, there’s this….

  12. Victoria says:

    Alright I have to know… what is that walnut crusher thing in the video?! I am literally counting down the days for this book to come out.

    • It’s a nut chopper! My mom had one growing up and I remember using it to chop our nuts and then, by chance, I found this one at a yard sale down the street. I’ve been dying for an excuse to use it! Haha.

  13. Carla says:

    Wait, did you want me to order a copy?

    KIDDING. I PRE-ORDERED ON THE VERY. FIRST. DAY.

    I can’t wait to make more of Alanna’s brilliant recipes, she’s ACTUAL GENIUS.

  14. This is all kinds of beautiful – the cheesecake AND the cookbook!

  15. amanda paa says:

    so much pretty, so much yum, so much excitement for the cookbook! i know you had a huge hand in making everything including that bomb trailer. i can’t wait to dig into the book, and really wish i could dig into this cheesecake.

    xo

  16. Abra says:

    Gorgeous!! I loved the video too, you guys are adorable and I am just putting it out there if anyone in the NYC area is looking for a taste testing friend I am totally available ;-) I pre-ordered the book, cannot resist!

    • Haha – I feel like you should just put that on twitter – there’s GOT to be someone with a boatload of desserts to unload, right?? And I’m so glad you got the book – I cannot even tell you how much you’ll love it!

  17. Em says:

    I’m loving on the flavors in this tart so hard. Also, let’s pretend any baby weight that I have sticking around is the result of taste-testing, too. It’s too good. Plus, I did have the slice of pie that one time…

  18. No words. Gorgeous work, Sarah and Alanna!! I’m so excited about this work of art.. the love, the time, the skill,… all of it!! ! Hooray!

  19. What a beautiful cheesecake! All the flavors are so unique and sound incredible together! Can’t wait for the book!

  20. Beautiful photos, decadent recipe. I cannot wait for this book!

  21. I pre-ordered the book the second I found out she was coming out with one! I might pre-order the digital version so I can never be without it if it means I get to look at recipes like this -insanely gorgeous- cheesecake! Seriously, it looks so good, and your photos are incredible. Where did you get your cake stand? I need!

  22. That’s like my dream job – Claudia, cookbook taste tester. Alanna’s book sounds absolutely wonderful – I’ve been way more into alternative fruit + flour pairings since poring over the Violet Bakery Cookbook last summer. Goat’s cheese is my favourite too, but still haven’t used it in a sweet situation – this cheesecake looks like the best place to start! Ginger + figs + hazelnuts = <3 <3 <3

    • Hahaha – well when you put it that way: I have the best job ever! :)

      I haven’t looked at that book, but now I need to get my hands on it! I hope you try the goat cheese sweet situation ASAP – highly recommend:)

  23. “I licked it, so it’s mine!!!” I wish that rule applied to many other things, right?! Laughing so hard right now. I hope that we can have a late-night bake sesh one day in the near future, while everyone else is sleeping, and we can laugh our asses off together. I am so excited for Alanna, and I can’t wait to make delicious treats this fall and winter. That trailer captures Alanna’s personality and handiwork so beautifully. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Sarah! XOXO!

  24. This is absolutely stunning and that flavor combination is making me drool!! Totally up my alley, and now I must go raid my friend’s fig tree and make this immediately!

  25. The lick it and call it method is key!! Good work on that one. This is SO BEAUTIFUL, Sarah! That tart crust sounds crazy delicious too. Big hugs and high fives to both of you on that awesome and super cute trailer (just wish I could give real-life-in-person ones)! <3

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