Tourteau de Chèvre

Sometimes I like a recipes because it presents me with questions. It makes me think about how and when I might serve it,  or what I might serve it with. It gets me thinking. This recipe for Tourteau de Chèvre from Dorie Greenspan’s latest masterpiece is one of those recipes. It is a cheesecake, but is definitely not the sweet creamy cake you might be expecting. It is more complicated. It is dry and isn’t very sweet. You can pick up a piece and eat it out of hand. It is also absolutely delicious.

I love it as part of a cheese course— a pre or post dinner treat. I also like it paired with something for dessert. Dorie suggests a drizzle of honey. I served it with a dish of concord grape sorbet. What do you want to do with it? Some cooked or fresh fruit would be nice. Are there sauces that would work? A dessert wine? These seem like good questions to have and I know that each of you will have an idea forwhat you want to do with this delicious cake.

For all of you sticklers out there, yes it is true that it France the top of this tourteau would probably be black and perhaps shaped a little differently. My home oven doesn’t get hot enough to make it black, but I promise this is just as delicious.

Grape sorbet recipe to follow. Wow, it is Autumn.

Tourteau de Chèvre (from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan)

  • Tart Dough (see below)
  • 5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 9 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400° F. Generously butter an 8-inch springform pan. line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle that’s about 10 1/2 inches in diameter. Fit the dough into the springform pan , pressing it against the bottom and up the sides. It will pleat and fold in on itself as it climbs the side—do the best you can to straighten it out, but don’t worry about it, since perfection is impossible here and not really important. Put the springform in the fridge while you make the filling.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites with the salt until they start to form soft peaks. Still whipping, gradually add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and beat until the whites hold firm, but still glosssy peaks. If the whites are in the bowl of your stand mixer, transfer them gingerly to another bowl.

With the mixer—use the paddle attachment now, if you’ve got one—beat the egg yolks, goat cheese, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch, and vanilla until very smooth and creamy, about a minute or two. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir one quarter of the whites into the mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest of the whites. Scrape the batter into the crust and put the springform on the lined baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350° F. Continue to bake for about 35 minutes more, or until the top, which will have cracked, is dark brown and firm; a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the tourteau rest for 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the sides of the springform. Cool the cake to room temperature before serving. The cake will deflate as it cools.

Tart Dough

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ice water

Put the flour, sugar, and salt int the processor and whir a few times to blend. Scatter bits of butter over the flour and pulse several times to blend. Scatter the bits of butter over the flour and pulse several times, until the butter is coarsely mixed into the flour. Beat the egg with the ice water and pour it into the bowl in 3 small additions, whirring after each one. You’ll have a moist, malleable dough that will hold together when pinched. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball, and flatten it into a disk.

Chill the dough for at least 3 hours.

45 comments to “Tourteau de Chèvre”

  1. This looks amazing. I love how moist and cheesy it looks on the inside and how golden it is on the outside.

  2. Wow – this looks like my Mom’s cheese souffle, which was always awful, smelled like burnt eggs. But this sounds VERY different and in fact, delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

  3. Oh goodness…this looks completely sublime. We’d like it for the cheese course, pre dinner and post probably…and then again for dessert. And then again for breakfast.

  4. I’m usually not much of a dessert person; the exceptions being not-too-sweet-cheesecake and berry (or lemony) sorbet (or plain berries) and there they are right there together! So pretty and delicious looking!

  5. This looks amazing!! And my cow-dairy allergic friend has a birthday coming up… I’ve been trying to think of something goaty I can make her (I will sub goat butter for the crust). :D :D :D Thank you for sharing this.

  6. I would like this served with some kind of fruity sauce… maybe a tart cherry… with a touch of red wine?… maybe a reduction, so the flavor is strong, but drizzled sparingly. Should the sauce be extra sweet to compensate for the dessert not being so sweet?

  7. I haven’t seen her new cookbook, but I’ll go out on a limb and say there is no way Dorie’s looks anywhere near as good as yours. And I agree with Renate that a tart cherry sauce would be a nice compliment, or maybe a blackberry compote. Just lovely!

    *Heather*

  8. Wow, this looks incredible. I wonder how it would pair with a fig spread, or something else that would go well with a creamy, slightly savory cheese. Beautiful.

  9. Wow, this looks incredible. I wonder how it would pair with something like a fig spread, which goes so nicely with salty, soft, slightly savory cheeses. Beautiful!

  10. The word chevre is in this, so it must be good. There was once a goat cheese cheesecake that was like sweet, warm, oozy goodness. Though it was good, this is studier and much easier to eat.

  11. very interesting…i had honestly never heard of this cheesecake & after googling i saw photos of the blackened top…what does that blackened top do to the taste tim?
    i am very excited to try & recreate this recipe (as i am going to dorie’s signing in connecticut in november!)

  12. Thanks for sharing this! I just might have to get the book for myself. Anyway, it reminds me of a more austere version of an old Gourmet recipe for blue cheese cheesecake, which was incredibly rich and decadent–perfect for when drinks and hors d’oeuvres take the place of dinner! I like that the torteau could stand in for dessert–I also think figs would be a great accompaniment!

  13. OK I love this, and it has to be good. A question – do you think quark might work here in place of goat cheese?

  14. Gorgeous! makes me wish I had the ingredients on hand to make it right now. no goat cheese in house right now.

  15. OmG, u know i was jus gng thru exactly this page and am baking somethin from the section tomo!!
    Ur pic looks exactly like Dorie’s , compliment to u both, u excel and Dorie’s recipes are always perfect!!
    Love the Sorbet pairing so so muc!!

  16. Looks gorgeous. I love Dorie. Now if only my husband would get over his dislike of goat cheese…

    To keep with the cheese course idea, I imagine this would be great with a quince or a fig compote (have you tried Rare Bird Preserves fig earl grey jam? wonderful stuff).

  17. Hi Deeba,
    I’m not sure about quark, it is usually wetter than goat cheese and I think the extra moisture could cause trouble. Worth a try? Let me know if you do! There is an amazing recipe for quark souffles in Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich that you should try.

  18. this looks great! I love the idea of making it part of a cheese course. How interesting! I have a feeling I’ll be thinking about this dish for days. Thanks for the inspiration, as always!

  19. i would just love this all by itself, right this second. YUM.

  20. je voudrais!

  21. It looks so luscious!

  22. As summer said, your cheesecake looks exactly like the one in my book — bravo! But then, your food is always beautiful!

    I’m so glad you liked the tart/cake. It’s an interesting and very unusual recipe and one that I find intriguing.

  23. This looks amazing, and also pretty much like what we in Germany call Cheesecake = “Käsekuchen” which is actually made with quark. Maybe the quark you get in the US is wetter than than the regular one we get here?

  24. Beautiful!

  25. kellie b & nana g says:

    October 10th, 2010 at 11:43 am

    this was easy to make and even easier to eat! what a great find! my mom and i LOVE it!

  26. I’ve never seen anything like this and now feel like I’ve been missing out! Do you think it would work to go all out savory on this – serving it with a little arugula salad or something? With a sweet element like figs or strawberries?

  27. you’re killing me. i HAVE to make this.

  28. intriguing…i can even see it as a savory cake… by adding some rosemary maybe and reducing or eliminating the sugar, served along some candied golden beets, or caramelized onions, as an appetizer? or anything that goes well with goat cheese really.

  29. Sivan Harlap says:

    October 12th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    I want this so bad.

  30. I just found your blog.

    I am at work.

    I whispered “Oh my god” out loud when I saw this post.

  31. I think that you’re on the right track with the grape flavor! I’d be inclined to try oven-roasted red grapes as an accompaniment, maybe with a little bit of honey too. Thanks for sharing!

  32. This looks so delicious, Tim! I can’t wait to try it out.

  33. Tim, I’ve been wanting to make a savory cheesecake with goat cheese… you beat me to it! And you know what? I’m glad you did. It’s beautiful and now I don’t have to dig for a recipe. Thank you! Love Dorie Greenspan. She was at the BlogHerFood conference I attended in SF recently, and I was so star-struck that I never did work up the nerve to say hello to her. Kicking myself now… she seems so nice. But those events, while great, can be a bit overwhelming and I think I was on sensory overload. Next time, I hope.

  34. I made this as a birthday cake for my friend who is allergic to cows milk. I used goat butter in the tart crust and added a little more sugar to make it most definitely sweet and cake-like. 20 people. All gone within ten minutes. Compliments all night. Happy me.

    ps. I covered it with strawberries, and it was a perfect accompaniment.

  35. This looks a lot like a ricotta cake from The Silver Spoon, which I love for its cakey rather than cheesecakey texture. I’m intrigued by the chevre. I think I’ll need to try this. Lovely photos, as usual.

  36. Howdy – This was great. First time making a recipe from
    your site.

    I did a couple modifications for a 9-inch spring form pan.
    I upped the eggs to 6 and added a couple more ounces of
    goat cheese (or maybe 3? I went a little nuts).

    For the crust I did my standard pate brisee (2 cups of flour, 1.5 sticks butter)
    because I didn’t read the recipe close enough. It turned out fine with a bit
    more crust. I too have a boyfriend named Bryan.

  37. Hey Ryan, glad you tried this (or a version of it) and thanks for letting me know. Keep me posted on your baking progress…and yay for Bryans!

  38. you’re killing me. i HAVE to make this.

  39. Further confirmation that I NEED Dorie’s new book! Thanks for sharing this recipe…it’s right up the alley of what I like: cheese, not too sweet, rustic and charming. Thanks for sharing! (p.s. I’m so glad to have found your blog. It’s gorgeousness.)

  40. I love it because it can be savory or sweet – I served it with a rhubarb/strawberry sauce – fabulous!

  41. Man, I am loving this new favorites feature that refreshes all the time! Just brought me over to this cake and I can’t wait to try it.

  42. This might seem like a really dumb question (I’m a 17 year old newbie foodie here) but is it alright to use a sharp goat’s cheese for this? I’m not really sure what kind of cheese to use for this… are there any other types of cheese that can be substituted? I really want to make this, the texture of the cake is beckoning me!

  43. Hi Jennifer, not a dumb question! You’re looking for a soft goat cheese, it looks like ricotta and is spreadable. It is sometimes sold in a little tub, sometimes in a log. I’ve never seen them labeled as sharp or mild, so you might be looking at an aged goat cheese, which you don’t want. I would save the recipe until you can find the goat cheese, there isnt a great substitute.

  44. I used 4 oz. of fresh soft sheep’s milk cheese w/ 5 oz. of the goat and it was probably the best baked item I’ve ever made.

    The sheep’s milk cheese gave it a mild but fuller flavor, highly recommended.

    Thanks for this awesome recipe, I plan on trying the roasted grapes suggestion to go w/ it (maybe with some honey and thyme).

  45. I just picked up some concord grapes at the farmers market, looking for what to do with them and came across this post. Now I just have to make this tourteau as well!

What do you think?