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A Fraîche Take on Cheesecake

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Since we're clearly fans of dairy, we paired up with Vermont Creamery to share recipes using their crème fraîche and aged cheese. 

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Cheesecake and I have a complicated relationship. We love each other, but sometimes, it's too short on flavor and too heavy on richness. No cake wants to be in a two-bite-only relationship—and crème fraîche solves this. You might not think something that's a cross between sour cream and heavy cream would absolve richness, but crème fraîche lightens and brightens cheesecake. It adds a subtle tang and deft touch to the filling.

More: Recipes to help use up that tub of crème fraîche.

Whether it's a tart, whipped cream, or chocolate-beet cake, crème fraîche makes desserts more fraîche—er, fresh—so here are 10 desserts to make with it, plus a recipe for cheesecake. (Because we'd never talk about cheesecake and not give you a recipe—that'd be downright cruel.)

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Desserts that could also be breakfast.

    

Apple Walnut Tea Cake by Chad Robertson
Maple Rosemary French Toast with Vanilla Crème Fraîche by hardlikearmour
Danish Kringle by hardlikearmour
Maple Cream Tart by Amanda Hesser

Soft and sweet.

    

Alice's Chocolate Pudding by Alice Medrich
Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries and Herbs by EmilyC
Nancy Silverton's Whipped Cream by Genius Recipes
Chocolate-Hazelnut Mousse by Alice Medrich

These take the cake. 

  

Nigel Slater's Extremely Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake by Genius Recipes
Roasted Pear Cake with Browned Butter Glaze by Yossy Arefi

 

Crème Fraîche Cheesecake with Apple Cardamom Compote
Adapted slightly from Melissa Clark's Crème Fraîche Cheesecake 

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake

1 1/2 cups cream cheese
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups crème fraîche
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 large eggs
3 red skinned apples, chopped with skins on
1/4 tablespoon ground cardamom, more to taste
3 tablespoons sugar

Get the full recipe (and print and save it) here.

What's your favorite dessert that uses crème fraîche? Tell us in the comments below!

Photos by James Ransom, Bobbi Lin, Mark Weinberg, Alpha Smoot, and Yossy Arefi (pear cake) 

Since we're clearly fans of dairy, we paired up with Vermont Creamery to share recipes using their crème fraîche and aged cheese.

Tags: cheesecake, creme fraiche