Monday, August 06, 2012

I am rushing, rushing, rushing

Owen is master of the level.
I have to walk out the door in ten minutes -- Isabel is coming home! -- so forgive breathlessness and/or grammatical errors.

Lots of progress on the oven this past weekend. We made some mistakes along the way, but fixed them, and fixing the mistakes was extremely satisfying. I will have to say more later about how much I'm loving this project. It's been revelatory, a word I do not use casually.

where we left it
Back at it tomorrow, once I turn in my last work project of the summer.

As I've mentioned, we have a LOT of goat's milk these days. I've been turning it into chevre because cheese takes up less space than milk, But then we end up with these massive logs of cheese in the fridge --  4 or 5 pounds at a time -- and it weighs on my mind. I can not throw away chevre. But how to use up chevre before it molds?

Yesterday, I looked in my cookbooks and baked two chevre cheesecakes. I took them to Sunday dinner at my sister's. It was a showdown. I love showdowns.

Mario Batali's lemon goat cheesecake from The Babbo Cookbook vs. Kate Zuckerman's goat cheese cake from The Sweet Life. 

Both recipes had embellishments (glazes, a brittle to top the cake), but I omitted those. I just wanted to focus on the cakes themselves.


Kate Zuckerman won. It was unaninmous. Mario's cake involved lots of lemon and had a dry, coarse texture. We would have probably loved it on its own, but Kate's cake was so silky and suave, with no lemon to interfere with the more subtle tang of goat cheese. I love tasting dishes side by side. It's the only way to truly determine which is better.

I can't remember which is which.
Neither was quite perfect, though. I resent a cheesecake that does not have a graham cracker crust. I will be perfecting my chevre cheesecake in the near future, and this will be my first fix. Now I really have to leave.

what Sunday dinner looks like


  1. Yum! I want a goat cheese cake.

  2. Oh, I love Kate Zuckerman's book. I think you should have made the cheesecake with that delicious-sounding brittle, though! Her apple cake is wonderful.

  3. personally, i'm sort of blown away by this mother/son masonry project. teaching yourself how to lay brick with the help of an adolescent seems to me, on the surface, to be, uh, insane.
    but it appears to be working.
    i can't wait for the shot of owen (in his signature green shirt) pulling a pizza from the oven while his proud mom looks on with a glass of brunello in hand.
    you really are a force of nature.

  4. Dorie's Tourteau de Chevre from Around My French Table uses 9 ounces of goat cheese, and is phenomenal. It's one of my favorite cakes of all time. I made it again a week ago.

    I'm amazed by your oven-making project. I want to build one! First I need a house.

  5. I have found that Italian style cheesecakes are a bit on the dry side hence the embellishments I guess.

    Loving the oven! Where did the bricks come from? They look nice and aged.:)

  6. Congrats on the oven; it looks amazing. I'm glad making it is such a satisfying experience.

    As for your chevre oversupply, can you get on craigslist and sell it? Or barter for something else, like grass-fed beef?