Have you ever found it strange how those really cheesy couples personify parts of themselves onto food? Well in light of this I am turning up the cheese factor. This dessert is one my girlfriend and I created. She had some left over brie that she wanted to do something with, so we started to ponder on some dessert ideas. After a little arguing and some curdled brie sauce we had our dessert. The elements of this dessert are beautifully contrasted just as Lannie and I are, and as I think any successful couple. I would say that Lannie is the sweet yet bitter balsamic reduction and I would be the smoky, creamy, and, smooth cheese cake and together we make a well balanced scrumptious couple. The cheese cake is a beautiful simple creamy cake topped with granny smith apples a simple walnut and almond Florentine crust on the bottom, and yes it is smoked. A small square of fried brie is placed on top of each slice of cake, which when punctured will ooze molten brie, encompassing the cake in cheesy goodness (this is a metaphor for our love). —WTF, A Dessert Anthology
Thinly Sliced Granny Smith Apples
Florentine Cheese Cake Base
Diced Granny Smith Apple
Cheapest Cooking Sherry you can buy
In This Recipe
Let’s start with the apple balsamic reduction, take the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and diced apples and bring to a boil in a sauce pan or skillet (the shallower the vessel the faster it will reduce). Once the mixture has reached a boil reduce the heat to get a light boil. Let mixture reduce for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture is thick and bubbles become small and very close together.
While the balsamic mixture is reducing start on the Florentine bottom for the cheese cake start by greasing a spring form pan and set aside. Bring the butter and sugar to a boil in a small sauce pan. Whisk the egg and temper it into your butter mixture. Add the toasted nuts and flour to the egg and butter mixture and stir together poor this into the spring form pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the Florentine is a light golden brown.
Ok now I will explain how to smoke the cheese cake, I used my brick wood fired oven, but you can use a BBQ as well. Take apple wood chips or if you are using a brick oven you can use a small log, soak it in cheap sherry or another type of flammable liquor and place it on a tin baking sheet along with the cinnamon and cloves at the bottom of your BBQ (you may have to remove some of the charcoal to make room). Light the wood on fire and turn the BBQ to high, as soon as you see smoke coming from the BBQ turn it to low.
The cheese cake is a very simple recipe, cream the cream cheese by itself until it is smooth and free of lumps, mix the sugar and cornstarch together and mix with the cream cheese, once incorporated add the eggs one at a time fallowed by the vanilla extract and mix until fully incorporated. Poor the cheese cake batter into the pan with the florentine base and layer the apples on top going around the outside of the pan and working your way inward. Place the cheese cake in the BBQ and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cake sets up; it should jiggle a little like jello but not slosh. The cheese cake may be a little black on top but it is not burnt it is the smoke. Allow the cheese cake to sit at room temp before transferring it to the fridge. Let it cool in the fridge for a couple hours before you try and cut it. When it comes to cutting the cheese cake use a knife submerged in hot water and after each cut wipe the blade with a cloth.
Cut the brie into 1 cm cubes and roll it in flour, followed by egg wash, and then sliced almonds. Heat a skillet so that it is sizzling hot place a tablespoon of butter in the pan and proceed to fry the brie on all 6 sides.
For the plating brush the balsamic reduction onto the plate and place the cheese cake perpendicular to the balsamic reduction. Place the fried brie on top of the cake and drizzle more balsamic reduction over the top of the cake and serve with some chopped granny smith apples.