Thursday, July 4, 2013

Frozen Blackberry, Honey, & Goat Cheesecake {Gluten Free & Lactose Intolerant-Friendly} Plus A Whole Foods Giveaway



I'm going to start by wishing you all a Happy 4th of July! At the present moment, I have retreated north away from the heat of the Los Angeles to the beautiful shores of Lake Tahoe where I will be sipping clamatoes (don't hate) and eating lots and lots of food. But the history geek that lives inside me will also be in awe of the meaning of this holiday. On this day in 1776, the first Congress of the United States approved the Declaration of Independence, a document unlike any other in the history of the world, both in its eloquence and its contents. A document that paved the way for the constitution that created the beautiful nation we know and love today. Let's just take a moment to think about how amazing that is.

....Now, to the cheesecake!


I don't shy away from the tangy flavor of goat cheese, which is probably due to the fact that a small plate of pungent Greek feta was at the center of our dinner table during every meal throughout my childhood. As I got older and started going to wine bars, I discovered the delicious flavor combination that is blackberries, honey, and goat cheese. Not through the actual taste of the wine itself of course (that would be an incredibly funky blend) but through the cheese plates I compulsively ordered whenever I saw them on the menu. Something about the creamy yet tangy cheese, the rich and mildly tart berries, and the smooth and intoxicatingly sweet honey creates a combination of flavors and textures that is truly unique in its tastiness.


So, I decided to combine them in cheesecake form, and the good thing about using goat cheese in a cheesecake is that most individuals who are lactose intolerant are able to eat goat cheese without issue, since the stomach is able to break it down much easier than cow's milk. I used coconut milk, honey, and coconut oil to thin out the filling a bit and made a crust out of almond meal, coconut oil, and egg, and some honey to add a nice nuttiness to it. I reduced the blackberries over low heat with some honey and spices for the topping. When combined, it created a wonderfully smooth and creamy cheesecake with a fun little goat cheese tang.


I was able to chat a bit with the folks over at Whole Foods Market about the ingredients used in this cheesecake, particularly about the cheese and berries, and gained a lot of insight into the importance they place on sourcing local items. The Team Leader of the cheese dept was able to tell me the name of a southern California goat cheese farm right off the top of his head, and the Team Leader from produce informed me that all of their produce is sourced within a 250 mile radius, which is pretty incredible given the amount and variety of produce carried. And while I'm sure this varies depending on the availability of local produce in your area (southern California is an ideal growing climate), the commitment is there, and it's very reassuring to know that there is a chain grocery store that sources locally whenever possible. I also love that the folks who work there know the stories and sources behind the products in their department and can actually answer random questions like "where's the nearest organic goat cheese farm?"

And the kind folks at Whole Foods have been generous enough to offer up a giveaway for a $75 Whole Foods gift card! To enter simply use the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck everyone, and have a wonderful weekend!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Honey Almond Crust

1 egg, whisked
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 and 1/4 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Goat Cheese Filling

3/4 lb mild goat cheese, warmed to room temp
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Blackberry Topping

12 oz blackberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Line the sides of an 8-inch in diameter  and 3-inch tall springform cake pan with a long 2" wide piece of parchment paper. Line the bottom with an 8" circle of parchment paper. Set aside.

First, prepare the blackberry topping. Combine all of the ingredients in a small thick-bottomed saucepan and simmer over low heat for 45 min until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

To prepare the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together all ingredients until a  coarse dough forms. Press the dough into the bottom of the springform pan and even it out. Poke it in a few places with a fork, place in the oven, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator to chill.


To prepare the filling, mix together all of the ingredients except the vanilla bean. Then scrape the pulp of the vanilla bean out into the bowl and set the husk aside (you can discard the husk or place it in a bottle of booze to infuse it with vanilla flavor). Mix until the filling is smooth and consistent in texture.

Scoop the filling into the cake pan and use a spatula to smooth out the top. Place in the freezer for one hour, then remove it and spread the blackberry topping over the cheesecake layer. Place in the freezer again and allow to freeze overnight.

Remove it from the freezer and allow to soften for 15 minutes before removing the sides of the springform pan and the parchment paper wrapping. Slice and serve immediately and freeze any leftovers.



100 comments:

  1. Eva, I really enjoy your photography! Gorgeous lighting. I wish our Whole Foods was able to source within that radius but we are Pennsylvania. ;) Still, I do appreciate the knowledge of the workers at my store. Thanks for doing this!

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  2. Looks amazing! Thanx for sharing this! The almonds are a great idea.

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  3. Wow, that looks delicious! I love a classic cobbler too, but being lactose-free, I may have to give this a shot.

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  4. YUM! Love goat cheese so much but have never tried it in cheesecake. I'm so happy berry season is almost here where I am. I could munch on blueberries all day like candy!

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  5. I like sipping clamatoes too once and a while! Also, this looks FAB! My fav berry dish is plain ol' strawberry shortcake :)

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  6. I love goat cheese and fruit together! I'll be making this cheesecake soon!

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  7. This looks so delicious, would be perfect with some crackers.
    Tahoe at this time is perfect, so enjoy eating, walking around and the hikes are so good too.

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  8. Once again.. You make foods that I wouldn't normally choose so appetizing. I looked at the mussels you presented last week and was like "dang". Do you photograph for food magazines because it is just amazing. I am not a foodie, but your presentation and craft of cooking and baking is incredible. As far as fruit and desserts, I guess apple pie..never had a berry dish before. I usually est berries in my cereal, though.

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  9. The local sourcing of whole foods is comforting, especially away from the west coast where mindfulness about food is not necessarily as present. Amazing photos of the cheesecake!

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  10. This looks great. I love any kind of fruit cobbler.

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  11. I love roasted berries - they add great flavor to everything from galettes to ice pops and are a simple treat as part of a parfait.

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  12. Looks great love to save some moola on my favorite site

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  13. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try it out!! :)

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  14. Huckleberry apple pie is my favorite

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  15. thanks for posting a gluten-free recipe that is not only wholly healthy, but looks delicious too. and thanks for the giveaway, I'm lucky enough to have a Whole Foods in the neighborhood.

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  16. oh my gosh looks delicious. crossing my fingers for that gift card!

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  17. Acai Bowls are THE best! Topped with granola, hemp seeds, and berries (Strawberries and blueberries) yummm :D

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  18. this looks delicious - I have never made a cheesecake with goat cheese before but I'm certainly considering it after seeing this creation. my fruit way to eat berries is fresh topped w/ some ice cream and a bit of granola.

    fruitcrmble AT Comcast DOT net

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  19. I pretty much love everything with berries. But Mile High Strawberry Pie is my absolute favorite.

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  20. This sounds delicious - a really modern, grown-ups combination. Which is such a treat in our peanut-butter/Oreo stuffed times. Beautiful!

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  21. You're so lucky you've escaped LA! It's unbearably hot!

    And wow, this cheesecake is gorgeous. I love using goat cheese in these dessert-type dishes. And thanks for the awesome giveaway! Blueberry crumb bars is my favorite berry-based dish!

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  22. What a recipe! It seems delicious!

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  23. This looks AMAZING! My favorite berry dish is probably strawberry shortcake :)

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  24. I love a good berry sorbet ... freeshhhhh

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  25. nothing better than blueberry cobbler!!

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  26. This really looks delicious. (The photography is great, too.)

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  27. This seriously sounds like heaven.
    I can't pick favorites, but here are two things I love:
    For sweet, Raspberry Bars.
    For savory, Vanilla-Blueberry Compote with Goat Cheese and Fresh Berries. And Brie-Stuffed Apricots, Drizzled with Honey and Crushed Pistachios.
    Okay, that was three. I can't help it.

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    1. Wow, wow, and wow. I can't WAIT for next year's apricot season to try those brie-stuffed ones. They sound incredible! And regarding our convo about those little grey aphids, I am so happy to hear that they don't affect cauliflower! I was thinking of growing them this fall but figured I shouldn't since they'd likely be infested like the broccoli, but now I am definitely going to buy some seeds and give them a good planting!

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  28. This looks so delicious - I can't wait to try it! I love goat cheese, and any kind of berry, but I've never put them together in a cheesecake. Yum!

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  29. Goats cheese and honey is beautiful, I love it but all my friends hate it! They also tend to hate me after I've had some because apparently my breath stinks! (: Goats cheese cheese cake is definitely going on my to-do list, thanks very much for sharring!
    from Em x

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  30. Strawberry quick bread!

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  31. My favorite berry baked dish is definitely a blueberry or a mixed berry crisp.

    wimbley73@aol.com

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  32. I have a strawberry pie recipe that I love. I'm anxious to get out and pick some fresh berries.

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  33. Wow, this looks incredible! So tasty. :) My fav berry dessert is probably strawberry shortcake!

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  34. I tend to lean toward berries with a bit of sugar and cream, but as a kid I liked to make strawberry schrod (sp) tort. Lately, jams appeal so the berries are around for winter. However, with a friend's birthday coming up, this may serve as the birthday dessert.

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  35. Looks fabulous. I am such a sucker for cheesecake.

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  36. there's absolutely nothing wrong with clamatoes on Lake Tahoe. :) and this looks so beautiful. Basically anytime you say "goat cheese" to me i'm thrilled. ;)

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  37. This looks great. I'll have to make it next time I have gluten free guests!

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  38. My favorite berry dish is blueberry bars. Oh, and smoothies, I love smoothies!

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  39. This looks perfect!! Finally a "just goat cheese" cheesecake :)

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  40. I love goat cheese, and mated with blackberries and almonds - will make this as soon as I can. For the church Christmas Eve one year I mixed goat cheese, cinnamon, and dried cranberries together, then stuffed this into pitted Medjool Dates. Tangy, creamy, tart, spicy... Everyone loved them, ate every one of them. No lactose or nuts was a plus.

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  41. This looks beautiful. Perfect for the heat.

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  42. I have strawberry and peanut butter pie!

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  43. I like strawberry shortcake!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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  44. Just stumbled across your blog...love your recipes & photography yum! Being from Montana, I'd have to go with huckleberry coffeecake for a great morning pick me up!

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  45. Berries. Goat cheese. Almonds. What could be better? Mmmm!

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  46. Strawberry Shortcake. There's no beating it!

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  47. Strawberry Shortcake. There's no beating it!

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  48. My favorite berry dish is without a doubt my aunt's triple berry crisp. It contains raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. We always add whipped cream on top if we're feeling dangerous. :)

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

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  49. my favorite is blackberry cobbler!! so delicious!

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  50. I love blueberry/raspberry coffee cake with a streusel topping.

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  51. Homemade blueberry swirl vanilla ice cream.

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  52. I cannot wait to try this recipe. It sounds wonderful!

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  53. This looks delicious! Goat cheese is my absolute favorite and your photos are stunning as usual :]

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  54. I am such a fan of goat cheese! One of my favorite dishes to make with berries has to be panna cotta!

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  55. Ahhhh! Thank you for sharing something so delicious and creamy, yet gluten-free and with goat cheese!

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  56. I'm dairy, soy, and gluten-free and I have been dying for cheesecake. I actually don't like my desserts to be very sweet, so this recipe is seriously speaking my language! Thank you thank you thank you!

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  57. One time I had a blueberry lemon basil cobbler with ice cream that was to die for!

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  58. Wow this sounds (and looks... your photographs are stunning!) so divine. My wife loves loves loves goat cheese, so I can't wait to make this for her!

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  59. favourite berry-based dish: blueberry pancakes!
    -zosia

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  60. Homemade blueberry jam. Yum!

    -tc
    counting_shipwrecks at yahoo dot com

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  61. i am a fan of a simple cherry pie :)

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  62. I like just about anything with berries. My absolute favorite item is probably blueberry cobbler (made by my granny of course).

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  63. This would be amazing with currants or lingonberries too!

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  64. I'm a sucker for berry cobbler.

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  65. This combines two of my favorite things: goat cheese and cheesecake! I've never put goat cheese in a dessert before but after seeing this, will have to try this recipe out!

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  66. Looks delicious! Can't wait to try it!

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  67. i absolutely love goat cheese and have been eating with salad. this cheesecake is right up my alley. thanks for sharing

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  68. Mieka Buckley-PearsonJuly 9, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Looks absolutely delicious! Will definitely be trying this. Favourite berry-based dish would have to be a chocolate berry tart (especially when berries are local and in season)!

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  69. I like fresh berries with yogurt and a little granola. A cheesecake with goat cheese - what a great idea - can't wait to try it. Thanks. kcannon@anwsu.org

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  70. Currently it's a blackberry basil ice cream my parents made with me during their visit a couple weeks ago!

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  71. That looks delish! My favorite berry dish - would have to be blueberry waffles.

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  72. Sharing this recipe with my friend who owns Gothberg Farms & sells her fabulous cheeses at Farmers Markets & gourmet shops.

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  73. I love blackberry cheesecake! I'll definitely have to try this one!

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  74. Yes! So nice to see a 'goat cheese' cake that's just goat cheese. All too often they want cream cheese or ricotta or something else too and I can't have cow dairy. Can't wait to try this!!

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  75. I love blueberry coffee cake - I have one in the oven right now!

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  76. Very Berry Cream Pie! Love it! I can't wait to try this recipe too. Me & Goat Cheese? Yeah.

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  77. Dolores Restrepo MaciasJuly 10, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    looks delicious & sounds healthy! Thank you!

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  78. I love these homemade Honey Yogurt Berry Pops!! http://joylicious.net/2011/07/01/honey-yogurt-berry-pops-2/
    And this sounds lovely as well!! Can't wait to try it :)

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  79. As I've been living in France for the past six months, I have grown to adore the honey, blueberry, goat cheese combination. Can't wait to try this out!

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  80. Strawberry Ice Cream has to be my favorite "berry dish"... if it qualifies! I didn't know I loved it until this year, but it's at the top of my list now, and will probably continue up there!

    I would definitely be willing to try this cheesecake, it looks scrumptious :)

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  81. Going to try this. Never used Coconut Oil. Where do you find it ?

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    1. I bought mine at Trader Joe's, but I know Whole Foods and most other "health food" stores carry it.

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  82. This looks so amazing and refreshing! I can't wait to try this for my lactose-sensitive friend and my Paleo friends!

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  83. I pretty much eat berries daily... so delicious and soooo good for you. My favorite way to enjoy them lately is by topping my homemade Greek yogurt with blueberries and a drizzle of honey. Super simple. Super delicious.

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  84. My favorite berry-based dish is pavlova with juicy strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries on top...but this goat cheesecake also looks mouthwatering!

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  85. I make a wonderful blueberry lemon cookie!

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  86. My favorite berry concoction is an open faced berry galette or frangipane. but I can't wait to make this for my man's birthday this weekend!

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  87. Oh my! This looks so beautiful :) The flavoring in this recipe is perfection.

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