Ricotta, Mascarpone & Goat Cheese…Oh My!

Sometimes when I go to restaurants I eat a meal so good that I want to try to replicate it at home, sometimes with success and other times…not so much.  Usually they’re main courses or appetizers and never a dessert.  But last night I had a dessert that has inspired me to give it a try over the holiday season. Last night I met with a girlfriend for dinner at Eno Terra just outside Princeton and after great laughs and tasty main courses we were tempted into dessert by the server’s’ description of their house cheesecake. 

Now, I must disclose that I’m not a big cheesecake fan.  My husband, on the other hand, adores cheesecake.  So dinner dates with him usually result in a cheesecake for dessert, which I’ll take a bite of just because I’m his wife and like to eat from his plate.  But maybe it was last night’s wine and great conversation that led me to order my own cheesecake dessert.  I gotta say, it was unlike any other cheesecake I’ve ever had.  Velvety, rich, a hint of savory (often my complaint about cheesecake is that it’s too sweet) and a bite that had me wondering “just what is that extra ‘something’ in this dessert?”  Regardless we both inhaled it, along with the oatmeal crisp and fruity sorbet to balance the savoriness of the cheesecake.  The server returned, and upon hearing us sing our praises of this marvelous cheesecake she revealed that it was a mix of mascarpone, ricotta and…goat cheese!

I’ve never really appreciated goat cheese though I’ve heard others rave about it.  I think I’ve only had it once before and wasn’t that enamored with it.  But what it did to that cheesecake was amazing.  It added a texture and that savory bite that balanced the sweetness of the mascarpone.  I left the restaurant with a new challenge: recreate that cheesecake! 

I’ve made only one cheesecake in my life: a fairly successful pumpkin version for Thanksgiving one year.  Now I’m on the hunt for a recipe that incorporates goat cheese.  If this turns out anywhere near as tasty as last night’s dessert my husband will be able to enjoy his own plate, without my fork’s interference.

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