This recipe has been under contention for a while. Long story short, it was one of the top selling dishes PERIOD at the Big Ridiculous Latin Restaurant, and the owners expected me to just hand it over when I was asked to leave, despite me having developed it originally FOR FUN months before they were open. I gave up on the issue because I was leaving a friend in charge. Recently they got a new chef. He deemed the dessert “crap” and promptly removed it from the menu. (I don’t take it personally since the current chef at Tiny’s ate like two whole cheesecakes during the development stage, and upon learning more about his changes and comments have realized he just doesn’t like cheesecake.)
Before that last part went down, I’d already decided to share the recipe with you guys. It’s a little fuzzy because we were baking individual mini cheesecakes and that’s just not feasible for home cooks. And you ARE gonna need a scale. Get over it.
First, make Alton Brown’s Graham Crackers. Yes really. They’re easy, all-molasses with a nice bitterness. I figured molasses was a nice vaguely tropical ingredient. Also you can sub whole wheat flour for the graham, that’s what we ended up doing.
To make the crust and bake the cheesecake, follow the directions from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking…From My Home to Yours” (which I keep at work for trusty basic formulas like this one).
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp undated butter, melted
(I omitted the salt)
Mix crumbs with sugar by hand, then pour in melted butter and work in with fingers until evenly mixed. Press into the bottom & sides of a foil-wrapped springform pan and chill, then blind bake for 10 minutes at 350F, turning halfway through. Cool before filling.
For the filling, cream together:
12 oz cream cheese
12 oz soft goat cheese
200 g (1 cup) sugar
Scrape that shit down, no lumps allowed! Then beat in:
One at a time, silly. Scrape some more. Don’t turn the mixer up too high, air bubbly cheesecake is no bueno. With the mixer on a nice low setting, slowly pour in:
1 cup of cream
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lime juice
Scrape again before pouring into the crust. In fact, transfer the whole batter into another container to make sure it’s smooth as can be. If it’s not, strain it. But if you’ve been scraping sufficiently all along you won’t have a problem.
Here’s where you make a choice: You can use the cheesecake batter right away OR you can keep it refrigerated overnight for better results. If you use it right away it’ll be fluffier and harder to swirl in the guava purée (that’s right). If you refrigerate you’ll get guava all through the cake, not just on top, but the batter will separate slightly in the fridge so you’ll have to transfer it AGAIN and make sure to stir gently until homogenous. It’s your call, either way let the batter come up to about room temperature before using or your cheesecake will take an ungodly amount of time to bake.
You’ll need that guava purée I mentioned. If you have any Latin groceries near you, check in their freezer case. Goya makes totally fine tropical fruit purées. It’ll go by the Spanish name “guayaba.” You can also drop a ton of money on way too much purée from a company like Boiron, or go find yourself some guavas to purée. Either way you need it thawed and homogenous. Once the batter is in the pan, dribble a bunch of purée on top of the batter and swirl it in. Add more if you like. If you add a ton the extra water in it will add a lot of cooking time but you’ll end up with swirls of what is essentially guava paste at the end.
Oven at 325F, water bath at the ready. I think you’re gonna have to cover this sucker with foil lest his top burn before his middle is cooked, we baked the individual ones uncovered but they only took about 20 minutes as opposed to the hour or something that a big cake takes.
I’m assuming you know how cheesecakes work. So, bake, cool, chill, unmold, slice, eat. This goes particularly well with more acidic fruit sorbets, I served it with passion fruit but lime would also be wonderful.
Edit: Here’s a photo of a large scale version of the cheesecake as made by a former assistant of mine. Thanks Tiago!!!