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The perfect romantic dessert for two this Valentine's Day. Tangy goat cheese and mascarpone blend beautifully together with dried lavender and lemon zest for a velvety sweet ending note. A crunch of salty almond brittle makes sure this dessert is not too smooth and sappy. Best to make this Wednesday night to ensure a cooled and perfectly set cheesecake. Did I mention that it's really fattening? Best to skip the nutrition facts and go right to the recipe. If you want to lighten it up, skip the brittle and use low-fat goat cheese.
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Time: About 45 minutes total; 20 minutes active (plus overnight cooling)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted or plant-based butter
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Lavender Goat Cheesecake
8 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers, chopped finely
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1. To make the brittle, heat 1/4 cup sugar over medium heat in a small pot. When mostly melted, add the second 1/4 cup. Stir to make sure all sugar is melted, being careful not to burn sugar. When sugar is smooth and medium brown, remove from heat and whisk in butter vigorously so it's fully incorporated.
2. Add nuts and stir quickly. Pour out onto a foil-lined cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread quickly to desired thickness. Let cool to harden, overnight is best.
3. For the cheesecake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. In a mixer, cream cheese together until smooth. Stir in egg, honey, zest, flowers and vanilla until well combined.
5. Pour into two individual ramekins. Place the ramekins in a pan. Fill pan with warm water about halfway up the ramekins. Bake 30 minutes until cheesecakes are mostly set. Remove from oven, and remove ramekins from water bath to cool on a rack. When room temperature, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
6. To serve, break up brittle and sprinkle over cheesecakes. Serve extra brittle on the side.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food, and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun, and above all, tasty lifestyle.