Mini Cheesecakes with Wine Gelées
Kate Zuckerman, pastry chef at Manhattan's Chanterelle and author of the new book, The Sweet Life, thinks most cheesecakes are too heavy and sweet. Her recipe uses goat cheese to lighten the texture and tangy crème fraîche to cut the sweetness. Here, she tops mini cheescakes with wine gelées—a new kind of wine-and-cheese-pairing. More Cheesecake Recipes
Variation To make one 6-inch cheesecake: Butter a 6-inch springform pan and wrap the outside in foil. Press the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the bottom and bake for 10 minutes. Set the springform pan inside a small roasting pan and fill with the cheesecake mixture. Add enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the cheesecake is firm and set. Remove from the water bath and let cool on a rack. Remove the foil and refrigerate until chilled. Unmold the cheesecake and wrap it in a parchment-paper collar that extends 1 inch above the surface; secure with tape. Pour 1/2 cup of one of the wines into a bowl; if using rosé or Pinot Noir, add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Microwave at high power for about 30 seconds, or until the sugar is dissolved. In a small bowl, sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin over 1 1/2 tablespoons of water and let soften. Heat at high power for 15 seconds, or until the gelatin is melted. Add it to the wine and let stand until slightly thickened but not set, about 10 minutes. Pour the wine gelée over the cheesecake and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until set. Remove the paper collar before serving.