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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.

Jaci

Valentine’s Day is coming up and why not spend it with your loved one at Jacican. Sample my degustation dessert dinner (perhaps you could leave the kids home with Dad and bring a girlfriend). You will come across my sheep’s milk cheesecake early in the evening as course two.

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This is my take on a cheesecake using fresh sheep’s milk curd made by the wonderful Burke and Bronwyn of Prom Country Cheese in Moyarra, South Gippsland. You can use goat’s curd for this recipe as well.

While developing a degustation dessert dinner I thought about adding a goat’s milk cheese soufflé to the menu so I tested some recipes. I found that a traditional goat’s milk soufflé – twice baked, was not light enough for dessert. The dish has evolved into a lighter sheep’s milk curd cheesecake. Extra egg whites made the dessert lighter, considering it is part of a long meal – at this point somewhere around 8 or 9 courses.

Sheep’s milk cheesecake.

Ingredients

260 grams sheep’s milk curd

70 grams castor sugar

2 eggs, separated

10 grams plain flour

10 grams castor sugar, extra

2 egg whites

Zest of 1 lemon (save your lemon to use in the citrus jelly that sits under the cheesecake)

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 120°C
  • Grease a stainless steel cake tin with butter and coat the inside with sugar.

Shake to remove the excess.

I recommend a 20cm cake tin (I use 2 x 5cm by 18cm rectangle tins). This cheesecake is very thin, about 2 cm high at most so don’t expect much volume.

  • In a bowl, combine sheep’s milk curd with 70 grams of castor sugar and mix until you have a smooth cheese mixture with no lumps. Add egg yolks, flour and lemon zest. Mix until combined.
  • Whip 4 egg whites with 10 grams of castor sugar to stiff peaks in the mix master. Once you have stiff peaks, gently fold into sheep’s milk cheese mixture.

To make the cheesecake light and fluffy, you need to do this gently and softly.

 

  • Pour batter into prepared tin. Place tin in roasting pan, fill pan with hot water to 2cm of the height of the prepared tin.

This is where things can get tricky and may go wrong. My tins have tiny little holes in the corners where the tins have been folded. The water is able to seep into the cheesecake batter. Place the filled cake tins on the rack above the water and allow the cheesecake to cook with the extra steam to avoid a mess and a cheesecake disaster!

  • Bake in pre-heated oven for 45 minutes or until set. Cool to room temperature and then chill.

I serve my cheesecake atop citrus jelly and finished off with whipped sheep’s milk curd.

Citrus jelly

I use gold strength gelatine in the kitchen as it is the most common strength asked for in recipes. If you don’t have access to commercial gelatine sheets, it is more than likely that the gelatine sheets you buy in the local supermarket are only half the size, so you will need twice as many.

Ingredients

10 gelatine sheets - gold strength

1 orange

1 lemon – use the lemon left over from the zest in the cheesecake if you want

1 grapefruit

100 grams orange liqueur - this is an approximate measure

Method

  • Soak the gelatine in water to soften.
  • Spray a tin with kitchen spray and line with glad wrap, making sure the plastic is hanging well over the sides of the tin. (I use the same 5cm * 18cm rectangle cake tins as the sheep’s milk cheesecake)
  • Peel and segment the citrus fruit into a bowl, squeezing the juice out of the membrane over the segments. You will need to have 300 grams of segments and juice when you finish.
  • Top up the segments with orange liqueur of your choice until you have the weight of 400 grams. Alternatives to orange liqueur are orange juice, white wine or water.
  • Place citrus mixture in a small saucepan, add re-hydrated gelatine and heat until gelatine has dissolved.

This should be done slowly on low heat as gelatine dissolves at about 40°C. If you overheat, you will kill the active gelatine and it will not set.

  • Pour into pre-prepared cake tins and place in fridge to set overnight.
  • Once set, un-mould and place the sheep’s milk cheesecake on top. Finish with some whipped sheep’s milk curd.

 Enjoy!

Jaci

 

 

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