Feeding Friends: Gluten-Free Cheesecake with Fresh Figs and Honey

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Traveling alone can be hit or miss in terms of the company you keep. (Read my rant on 22-year-old Australian backpackers here.) So I was pleasantly surprised when I came away from my trip to San Sebastian with some truly amazing new friends.

Halfway through my trip I decided to venture up to the French Basque country just across the border. After an unfortunate bus journey from Biarritz to Bayonne, where I had accidentally booked my hotel, I ventured down to Ascain where Susan Creamer, the COO of San Sebastian Food, invited me to a traditional Irish Sunday roast at her home.

IMG_4639 IMG_4659 It’s always a treat to get to step into someone’s home when traveling. And our 9 hour lunch under her fig tree was a particularly sweet taste of Susan’s world. We drank Rioja and Irish coffees and pisco sours and talked all about food and Basque living. Susan’s best advice: I should find a nice Basque boy and marry him immediately. Which made me think she was not only an Irish transplant in Spain, but also Jewish.

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The whole cast of characters from San Sebastian Food joined us at the table, including the creative director, Aiala Hernando, who, in addition to her many apparent talents, has racked up a whopping 38K followers on instagram. I loved getting to know her and hearing about how she moved from the fashion world to food, where she’s worked as a stylist for big name publications like Conde Nast Traveler. Then I found out she was only 23, and felt all at once old and unaccomplished.

Luckily, I immediately hitched my wagon to her star and convinced Aiala to share her amazing taste and gorgeous imagery with you guys! We put our heads together to come up with this gluten-free cheesecake recipe using fresh figs, which should just be coming into their own in Susan’s backyard.

fig-cheesecake2 fig-cheesecake4 Though Aiala is now lactose intolerant, this cheesecake was the first thing she baked for her other half. She will never forget his face when he tried it, and keeps making it so she can see it again and again.

I’m so thrilled to share this cheesecake recipe and introduce you to such a bright young talent in the food world. Aiala is coming to New York in November and going to be teaching a few workshops on food styling. I’ll keep you posted on those, and we will no doubt have more delicious collaborations to share once I take her out in my town!

Xo
Phoebe

Recipes fig-cheesecake3

Gluten-Free Cheesecake with Fresh Figs and Honey

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Serving Size: 8 servings

Gluten-Free Cheesecake with Fresh Figs and Honey

Recipe by Aiala Hernando.

Ingredients

    For the base:
  • 6 ounces (150 gr) crushed gluten-free cookies
  • 4 ounces (125 gr) mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons (40 gr) butter, melted
  • For the cake:
  • 1 pound (500 gr) soft cream cheese, at room temperature
  • (125 gr) sugar
  • 6 ounces (200 ml) cream
  • 2 ounces (50 gr) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon (4 sheets) of gelatin
  • 8 fresh figs, halved
  • ¼ cup organic honey

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine the crushed cookies, mascarpone and butter. Mix them until a dough comes together. Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In another mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, cream and mascarpone and gently stir together.
  3. In a small bowl cover the gelatin with just enough boiling water to cover. Add it to the cheese mixture.
  4. Pour the cheese mixture on top of the base through a strainer and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours.
  5. Arrange the raw figs on top and drizzle with the honey.
http://feedmephoebe.com/2013/08/feeding-friends-gluten-free-cheesecake-with-fresh-figs-and-honey/

Aiala Hernando is a food stylist / photographer, culinary educator and consultant. She came to food via art and photography and several years working in the fashion world. After absorbing all these visual influences, her passion for fine dining and art have lead to a timeless, organic and colorful food style. She currently runs the creative direction of gastronomic tourism firm San Sebastián Food.

More delicious fig recipes for Food Network #Summerfest here:

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Roasted Fig Greek Yogurt Chai Spiced Sorghum Parfait
Devour: A Perfect Pairing of Figs and Pizza Dough
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Fig and Grand Marnier Jam
Red or Green: Roasted Fig, Beet and Orange Salad with Maple Syrup and Jalapeno Vinaigrette
Dishing: Fig Lassi (Fresh Fig Yogurt Smoothie)
Weelicious: Homemade Fig Bars
Virtually Homemade: Fig and Plum Crostata
The Sensitive Epicure: Figs with Goat Cheese, Honey, and Thyme
Domesticate Me: Flatbread with Fresh Figs, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese
Taste With The Eyes: Frozen Fig with Rose, Almond and Rosemary
Daily*Dishin: Fresh Figs with Lemon Cream
FN Dish: Go Big with Fleeting Figs

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20 Responses to Feeding Friends: Gluten-Free Cheesecake with Fresh Figs and Honey

  1. Pingback: Palate Pleaser: Frozen Fig with Rose, Almond, Rosemary • Taste With The Eyes • where the image is meant to titillate and inspire the cook

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  3. Pingback: Go Big with Fleeting Figs — Summer Fest | Cooking Bookmarks

  4. Wow! So gorgeous! I want to dive into that cheesecake.

  5. Jeanette says:

    Stunning Phoebe! Fun using cookies in the crust.

  6. Steph says:

    beautiful shots, phoebe! this looks almost too delicious to eat…almost!

  7. Frankie says:

    I’m going to print out the photo and eat it anyway.

  8. I just went on vacation …reading your blog! Thank you for taking me along! I’m going to make this glutin-free cheesecake for Rob’s birthday next week. Thank you, amazing Phoebe! xo

    • yay Debbie! I’m so glad. You’ll have to let me know how it turns out. I translated the recipe from metric system, so some of the amounts might be a little inconvenient for US ingredient packaging. But it’s a no-bake recipe, so should be fine. Hope Rob loves it! xx

  9. Denise says:

    Totally bummed I missed this week as figs are one of our favorite summer time indulgence. This recipe for cheesecake looks (and sounds) amazing!

  10. Pingback: Fig & Grand Marnier Jam | napa farmhouse 1885

  11. Vicki says:

    I plan on making this gorgeous looking cheesecake for a dinner party this weekend….can it be made in advance, then brought to room temp and topped? Thanks, Vicki

  12. Pingback: 7 Best Gluten-Free Holiday Cake Recipes | Feed Me Phoebe

  13. Vicki says:

    Hi Phoebe. The cake was really good, and easy to make, although I had to do some last minute conversions. For example, I learned that 1tbsp of gelatin powder equals 4 sheets. That seemed to work fine. My crust seemed a bit too buttery/cheesy but no one complained! I prepared it the night before, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving, then decorated it with the figs and honey. It looked gorgeous and sliced very easily. Thanks so much for the recipe.

    • Vicki – thanks so much for the feedback! I will definitely update the recipe to say 4 sheets. Since Aiala lives in San Sebastian, I had to do some conversions, but wasn’t sure about the gelatin. I’m glad that everyone enjoyed it! xo

  14. Pingback: Marie Claire: My Change Your Life Cooking Guide | Feed Me Phoebe

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