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Carter House Victorians

Eureka, California

Specialty Recipe

Savory Chevre Cake with Hazelnut Crust

If goat cheese is not to your liking, use all cream cheese for this recipe.

To peel the hazelnuts, spread in an even layer on a sheet pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of a pre-heated 350-degree oven, toast for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn and mist lightly with water. Return to the oven for 3 minutes longer, then spread the hazelnuts between two clean kitchen towels. Roll the nuts vigorously between the towels to remove the skins; allow to cool before using.

Ingredients for filling:
6 ounces Chevre (goat cheese)
6 ounces cream cheese
5 Tablespoons sour cream
4 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 Tablespoons minced shallots
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
4 Tablespoons minced fresh rosemary needles
4 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme needles
4 Tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Ingredients for crust:
1 cup shelled and peeled hazelnuts
1/2 cup well-chilled sweet butter, cut into 8 pieces

Allow the goat cheese, cream cheese, sour cream and eggs to come to room temperature for four hours.

2-1/2 hours before making the filling, prepare the crust. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Place the hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Lightly grind the nuts to a coarse texture. Add the butter, and using the pulse feature, process with the butter until just incorporated. Gently press the nut mixture onto the bottom of the lined springform pan in an even layer. Snap the ring mold of the pan around the crust. Cover loosely and refrigerate for two hours.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Place one rack on the lowest setting, the other on the middle position. To make the filling, combine the cheeses in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment at medium speed, mix until smooth. Fold in the sour cream and heavy cream at slowest setting until smooth. With the mixer still at slowest setting, add the eggs one at a time, making sure that each is fully blended before adding the next. Gently fold the shallots, garlic, and herbs into the cheese mixture. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared springform pan. Place a shallow pan of water on the center of the lower rack of the oven. Place the tart on the middle rack, directly over the pan of water. Bake until just set, between 25 and 35 minutes. The tart is finished when the center springs back when lightly pressed. Cool for at least one hour on a wire rack before unmolding. Cut into six to eight wedges, and serve with field greens in a light vinaigrette.

Serves: 6 to 8

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