Brie cheesecake with fig and tahini

Man sometimes I wonder how my kitchen mojo gets messed up... maybe I should hit up a yoga class??? This was a total fail... I had this beautiful thing of brie. Remember I talked about it back here. And you all gave me fantastic ideas to use it! Well I only ruined half of the wheel... I still have the other half... well most of it, I chowed some and it's wicked tasty!

Anyway I wanted to be crazy creative so I started thinking about silken tofu cheesecakes... and thought to myself, "self, why not a silken tofu brie cheesecake!" a quick search and I couldn't find anything... ok cool, something new! I'm IN lets do this!!

I then started thinking about other flavors that I love paired... graham cracker crust sans butter... use honey instead to make it stick (seriously good idea!! the crust was AWESOME!!!) so at least something good came out of this. Next pie you make... use graham cracker crumbs and honey!! SO GOOD!!

Another thing I learned... tahini and fig jam are freaking tasty paired together! Seriously go have a fancy PB&J with them. AMAZING. So I guess two good things actually came out of this fail...

But this cheesecake...

silken tofu brie cheese cake... with fig jam and tahini...

Oh yeah it was a fail for sure. LOL. I had issues with beating the brie so there weren't chunks left in the batter...
Anyone have any suggestions for the future??

Once the batter was mixed it actually had a really nice flavor to it, the tahini and fig jam tasted wonderful with the brie/tofu mixture... (i was hopeful at this point!) but once it was baked... I don't know WHAT happened in that oven but all the fig/ tahini flavor flew out the window and I was left with some sweet cheese with random surprise brie chunks... not pretty... not pretty at all. Oh and I used a small heart shaped spring form pan... that's why the shape of the cake looks totally busted. :D

Hope everyone is having a nice week... now go and make yourself a tahini and fig jam sandwich :)

22 chews:

Astra Libris said...

I love how you post about your "oh well..." moments in the kitchen! They happen to all of us (I fixed some barley pilaf last week that should have been delicious, by the ingredients list, but was wow, gross), and it's so comforting to read about someone else's kitchen adventures! :-) Although, it seems to me that this experiment was a completely success, because you created an incredible crust AND a yummy sandwich combo! *high five!*

Btw, I was just thinking, "hmmmm, I should try and remember how to grow sprouts again..." and then I found your sprouts post! :-) Thank you, thank you!

Steph said...

Maybe your could try a food processor? That's what I use to make cheesecake with cottage cheese. I probably would chicken out of making a cheesecake with tofu and brie! Great job!

Marta said...

Don't be so hard on yourself! This was a hard concept you were trying to master!! And two have a 2/3 success at the end I think is quite remarkable. Let's start with the good: tahini and figs together must be heavenly, I haven't tried them. And it makes sense to pair them, you know, geographically! Your idea for the crust sounds great! I'll try it next time! Question, though, didn't it turn out too sweet?
The not-so-good: two ideas come to mind. "Peel" the cheese, getting rid of the waxing rind (you may have done this already) and then whiz it in the food processor. Alternatively, you may want to melt it, so it becomes liquidy, wait until it cools down slightly and then add it to the batter.
Hope it helps :)

If you lost all the sweetness in the baking anyway, what about making the briescake independent of the fig-tahini? So food process per other-Steph's suggestion to get the cheesecake part down, keep your amazing crust, then once it's cool, frost first with warmed fig jam, then coat with warmed tahini (warming part optional, just figured it'd spread better). Of course, you can reverse the order of the toppings, or even do a swirly-bit! And if you can get ahold of fresh figs (we get greenhouse-local figs August-September), how lovely would it be to top each slice with half a fig?

As a fellow food-experimenter, I naturally salute your efforts!

Pearl said...

hmmm, i second aleta's suggestion! i was also thinking that you could pour the fig jam then tahini as coats over the cheesecake so that it absorbs the flavor. what a GREAT idea for silken tofu cheesecake!

stephchows said...

AWESOME suggestions!!! To answer some Q's, I did remove the rind first, but unfortunatly had my food processor over at John's so I was doing it by hand *whompwhomp* Good call on the melting and cooling idea though Marta! Aleta, I'm LOVING the idea of putting the fig and tahini on at the end, totally will try that! AND the fresh figs on top idea... marvelous! gotta love food experimenting!
Oh and Marta to answer your too sweet crust question, I only used a light drizzle, just enough to get the crumbs to stick, so it really wasn't too sweet at all! I'd suggest warming the honey a little so it's more liquidy and spreads out easier too :)

I'm sorry it didn't turn out as planned, but - like the others - I applaud your efforts! I always post about my failures too because its a good way to get new ideas. And, hey, it happens to the best of us! The good news is that you have a yummy new crust ... which I hope you'll post about later ... and have learned about the fig/tahini combo. Sounds yummy! :)

We know all about the occasional fail in the kitchen. Happens to everyone! Smoothing the brie in a food processor could totally work. We've also whisked it with a little heavy cream to smooth it out. Why not try a fig glaze next time? That could maintain a pretty layer and give you the sweet, distinct flavor.

Kate said...

Hey Steph a few suggestions,

First to avoid chunks of brie wait for it to be at room temperature or warmer. Cream it in a kitchen aid with the paddle attachment, or a food processor works if you don't have a kitchen aid. Also Since your using brie and obviously aren't concerned with it being vegetarian I would just use eggs, they get a bad rap if you can get farm fresh one they're great and soy products aren't much better and are often high in sodium. Make sure to add the eggs to the brie one at a time and slowly. I'm sure you already know that though.

Also, about the fig and tahini mixture, I would wait and generously dollop it on top of your poured but not baked cheesecake. Take a pairing knife and swirl the dollops around at random. If the fig jam is dark in color it should contrast nicely with the cheesecake.

For the crust. I would do away with graham crackers all together. Since you are using mediterranean flavors to begin with I would go with a simple nut crust. Almonds or pistachios if your feeling brave. Toast the nuts and grind them finely to medium fine in a food processor or coffee grinder you can a use a little sugar with it if you want it sweeter, but I wouldn't use honey with the nuts. line the pan you are using with a parchment circle, spray the whole thing and press a thin layer for only a bottom crust, no sides. You have a lot of flavors going on and you don't want them to get too overwhelming.

ok few more things, honey is a great idea flavor wise with this cheesecake because brie and figs are so sweet to begin with. I would sweeten the brie batter with honey that has been warmed so it runs smoothly. Do it to taste and experiment a little bit.

Last, and you probably know this, bake it in a water bath. I cannot stress this enough a lot of people wonder why they loose the creamy texture, a water bath not only ensures it bakes evenly, it also is a huge safety net against burning if you are not sure of the baking time. I would probably cover the top at some point with foil to prevent the fig tahini jam from burning, if not entirely during baking, you'll have to experiment.

Hope I helped and didn't change your orginal too much to begin with. Brie cheesecake might not be cost effective but I bet it will be delicious.

jenn said...

I hate when I make something that I think would be totally deluxe and that doesn't happen at all!

It LOOKS great though!!

I just saw tahini in the store and almost bought some, I've never made anything with it.

Better luck next time!!

www.slim-shoppin.com

Justin said...

oh man, I was all curious to see how the fig and tahini flavors worked... well, it was a really bold try, and that's worth a lot.

Vanessa said...

I don't know, it looks pretty darn good: I'd eat it! :) After all, there's brie in there!!

Reeni♥ said...

I see a lot of good suggestions here. I think using the brie at room temperature and a food processor would work. I love the idea of some kind of fig glaze over the top.

I know it sucks when you put so much time into making something and it doesn't turn out like your vision. But it's an awesome vision, the flavors all together sound divine. I am so going to use your graham cracker and honey recipe! And I have tahini but no fig jam - but I'm keeping that on my radar!

Mags said...

awww... I'm the master of all that sounds good on paper but doesn't pan out so well... well, in the pan.

Anyone who can grow sprouts has my envy, however.

you'll get it right the next time!

Lo said...

I've got to admit that this looks like SUCH a good idea! And even your version doesn't look so bad :)

I'd agree with Reeni... the vision of this dish is definitely awesome.

I'm also wondering if Aleta is right about adding the fig/tahini to the mix AFTER baking the cheesecake. That could be brilliant.

Megan said...

You have some great suggestions and I love your vision. Cant wait to see your next try. Bet it will work! :)

Kate said...

Hey Steph a few suggestions,

First to avoid chunks of brie wait for it to be at room temperature or warmer. Cream it in a kitchen aid with the paddle attachment, or a food processor works if you don't have a kitchen aid. Also Since your using brie and obviously aren't concerned with it being vegetarian I would just use eggs, they get a bad rap if you can get farm fresh one they're great and soy products aren't much better and are often high in sodium. Make sure to add the eggs to the brie one at a time and slowly. I'm sure you already know that though.

Also, about the fig and tahini mixture, I would wait and generously dollop it on top of your poured but not baked cheesecake. Take a pairing knife and swirl the dollops around at random. If the fig jam is dark in color it should contrast nicely with the cheesecake.

For the crust. I would do away with graham crackers all together. Since you are using mediterranean flavors to begin with I would go with a simple nut crust. Almonds or pistachios if your feeling brave. Toast the nuts and grind them finely to medium fine in a food processor or coffee grinder you can a use a little sugar with it if you want it sweeter, but I wouldn't use honey with the nuts. line the pan you are using with a parchment circle, spray the whole thing and press a thin layer for only a bottom crust, no sides. You have a lot of flavors going on and you don't want them to get too overwhelming.

ok few more things, honey is a great idea flavor wise with this cheesecake because brie and figs are so sweet to begin with. I would sweeten the brie batter with honey that has been warmed so it runs smoothly. Do it to taste and experiment a little bit.

Last, and you probably know this, bake it in a water bath. I cannot stress this enough a lot of people wonder why they loose the creamy texture, a water bath not only ensures it bakes evenly, it also is a huge safety net against burning if you are not sure of the baking time. I would probably cover the top at some point with foil to prevent the fig tahini jam from burning, if not entirely during baking, you'll have to experiment.

Hope I helped and didn't change your orginal too much to begin with. Brie cheesecake might not be cost effective but I bet it will be delicious.

We know all about the occasional fail in the kitchen. Happens to everyone! Smoothing the brie in a food processor could totally work. We've also whisked it with a little heavy cream to smooth it out. Why not try a fig glaze next time? That could maintain a pretty layer and give you the sweet, distinct flavor.

I'm sorry it didn't turn out as planned, but - like the others - I applaud your efforts! I always post about my failures too because its a good way to get new ideas. And, hey, it happens to the best of us! The good news is that you have a yummy new crust ... which I hope you'll post about later ... and have learned about the fig/tahini combo. Sounds yummy! :)

Marta said...

Don't be so hard on yourself! This was a hard concept you were trying to master!! And two have a 2/3 success at the end I think is quite remarkable. Let's start with the good: tahini and figs together must be heavenly, I haven't tried them. And it makes sense to pair them, you know, geographically! Your idea for the crust sounds great! I'll try it next time! Question, though, didn't it turn out too sweet?
The not-so-good: two ideas come to mind. "Peel" the cheese, getting rid of the waxing rind (you may have done this already) and then whiz it in the food processor. Alternatively, you may want to melt it, so it becomes liquidy, wait until it cools down slightly and then add it to the batter.
Hope it helps :)

Pearl said...

hmmm, i second aleta's suggestion! i was also thinking that you could pour the fig jam then tahini as coats over the cheesecake so that it absorbs the flavor. what a GREAT idea for silken tofu cheesecake!

Justin said...

oh man, I was all curious to see how the fig and tahini flavors worked... well, it was a really bold try, and that's worth a lot.

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