Savory Cheesecake with Baked Plantain Crust
We had guests over for lunch recently and one of them is gluten intolerant. There are many options available such as rice noodle soups or potato dishes. This time, I tried to think out of the box; I made individual savory cheesecakes for a more refined presentation. But instead of making a gluten-free crust (using gluten-free flour), I used ripe yellow plantains that I molded using mini cake pans. I caramelized them with palm sugar, which enhanced the flavor of the dish and paired wonderfully with the fromage blanc filling.
Yields: 6 servings6 ripe plantains
1 (4-ounce) package fromage blanc (see tips)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons palm sugar, freshly grated
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons slightly toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon walnut oil (or olive oil)
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped, + extra for garnish
2 tablespoons curly parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons caramelized onions (click on the link for the recipe)
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, ground into fine powder
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
For the fromage blanc filling:
Using a handheld mixer, whisk the egg with 1 teaspoon of palm sugar. Add cayenne pepper and nutmeg.
In a mixing bowl, soften the fromage blanc with egg mixture until you get a smooth paste-like consistency. Season with garlic powder, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the walnuts, 2 tablespoons of parsley, the sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of walnut oil. Set aside.
Making plantain "cups":
Cut the plantains into slices, lengthwise. Set aside.
Brush 6 non-stick mini-cake pans (see tips) with olive oil.
Create 6 (3-½"-diameter) disks and 6 (13" by 1") rectangles with parchment paper. Line 6 (3-½") round mini-molds with the parchment paper disks. Line the walls with the parchment paper rectangles and place a 2 plantain slices along the sides of the molds, using the parchment paper as a liner against the wall of the molds. Cut the rest of the plantains. Fill the gaps and bottom of the mold with the rest of the plantains. Using a smaller round tin cake mold, gently press it into the bottom and sides of the cake pan.
Fill the cavities with fromage blanc filling. Sprinkle the filling with the remaining Parmesan cheese and sprinkle the plantain with palm sugar (it will caramelize in the oven).
Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes and then broil for about 2 minutes to get a nice golden top.
When they're cooked, remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
Remove the baked plantains from the molds. Discard the parchment paper.
Decorate with more sun-dried tomatoes.
Serve with salad greens.
I used fromage blanc for this recipe. If you don't have any, you could substitute low-fat cream cheese, ricotta cheese or chèvre (goat cheese).
I used 2 different sizes of mini cake pans to create the cavities inside the plantain cups: 4-½" diameter non-stick mini-cake pans and 2-½ " individual round tin cake molds. I found the smaller pans at Daiso, the Japanese version of a 99-cent store.
Published By: on December 20, 2010.