Knowing how to bake is a life skill that any entertainer or hostess should ideally have. To help you learn cooking and baking techniques, recipes, and skills, Sur la Table offers a variety of fun and informative cooking classes. During one of their recent cooking classes, we learned how to make a delicious Crème Fraiche Cheesecake recipe (from the cookbook, My Paris Kitchen) that takes the cake.
As a recent Mother-Daughter outing, we took a cooking class at the Sur la Table store in Los Gatos, California. During this particular class, we learned how to de-bone a chicken (and prepare a Brick Chicken dish), how to whip up a Gazpacho with Herbed Goat Cheese Toasts, and even how to bake this Crème Fraiche Cheesecake (that has meringue filling) topped with fresh berries.
Crème Fraiche Cheesecake Ingredients
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp ice water
- 10 oz fresh goat cheese
- 2 tbsp crème fraiche
- 1¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Cognac or brandy
- 5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
- Scant ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Honey, for serving (optional)
- Fresh berries tossed with sugar, for serving (optional)
One of the best things about taking cooking classes at Sur la Table is that the Chef instructor guides you through each step of the recipe, answers questions about food preparation techniques, and even teaches you how to use the equipment, like the KitchenAid Mixer we used for this recipe.
Crème Fraiche Cheesecake Instructions
- To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the chilled butter and beat on low until the butter is crumbled and the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the egg and ice water and beat until the dough comes together. Gather the dough and shape it into a flat disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 15-inch circle. Fit the dough into a 9- to 10-inch springform pan, lifting the sides of the dough and releasing it to ease the dough into the corners of the pan without stretching it, then press it gently to adhere it to the sides. Trim any overhang with a sharp knife.
- To make the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the goat cheese with the Crème Fraiche (or substitute Sour Cream), half of the sugar, the vanilla, and the Cognac on medium speed until well combined. Replace the paddle attachment with the whip attachment and add the egg yolks. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, then mix in the flour.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold their shape. Add the remaining sugar and whip until the whites hold their shape when you lift the whip attachment. (The Chef taught us that this is called a “Stiff Peak”). Fold one-third of the whites into the goat cheese mixture, and then fold in the remaining whites in two batches, just until you no longer see any streaks of egg whites in the batter.
- Scrape the batter into the dough-lined pan and smooth the top. Bake for 20 minutes without opening the oven door. Decrease the oven temperature to 400°F, and continue to bake for 15 minutes. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack, and then carefully remove the sides of the springform pan. Slice, and serve the cake at room temperature. Traditionally, torteau fromager is served without accompaniment, but it’s good with a drizzle of honey or a mixture of sweetened fresh berries.
Whether you want to learn how to improve your cooking and baking skills, are interested in planning a fun-filled date night activity with your beau, or even want to get your favorite gal pals together for a girls’ night activity, the Sur la Table cooking classes are held nationwide at stores throughout the country. Each class provides you with all the ingredients, cooking tools and utensils, and instruction you need. Plus, you get to know your classmates while working on each recipe as a group, which makes for good camaraderie.
Sur la Table hosts everything from Pizza and Macaron classes to Bread and Pasta Workshops. To find a cooking class near you, check out their calendar and location schedule online. Once you get started on these cooking classes, you’ll be hooked!
For more delicious recipes and ideas, check out the Entertaining section on Inspirations & Celebrations.
Shop The Guide
[Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links included.]