I’ve been experimenting a lot with herbs lately. Last year, I planted an herb garden and much to my surprise, it yielded more herbs than I knew how to use. So, in addition to learning how to dry and save them, I’ve been throwing them on just about anything that made sense.
HerBS AND YOGURT AND CAKE, OH MY.
As you know from other posts, Yotam Ottolengi is one of my all-time favorite chefs and cookbook authors. He has single-handedly turned me into a part-time vegetarian, which says a lot since I grew up as a meat and potatoes kind of girl.
That being said, I trust him implicitly when it comes to food combos and this one definitely delivers. Sure, I can see why you might be hesitant to throw something green on or in a perfectly acceptable dessert, but why not be adventuress? The worst-case scenario is that you will spit it out and vow to never make it again.
A LITTLE THYME GOES A LONG WAY
To be fair, there isn’t a ton of thyme in here, However, you do want to be careful with it in regards to its preparation. First, make sure you get rid of any and all of the stems. Noone wants to bite into an unexpected twig during dessert. Second, you want to chop the leaves as fine as you can. I would even recommend a few crunches with a mortar and pestle. Again, this is a texture thing. Whole leaves no matter how small, do not make an interesting addition to pie crust.
NO BAKING REQUIRED
Like most cheesecakes, this one doesn’t require any baking. Just be sure to squeeze as much liquid out of yogurt as you can. Otherwise, it will settle into your crust while it sets. It’s really a fairly simple process. And apart from getting your hands a little wet and yogurty, it’s really the only thing that requires effort. Everything other step is a breeze. Bon Appetite!
Adapted from Ottolengi SImple: A Cookbook
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons thyme leaves, finely chopped
14 oz cream cheese at room temperature
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 lemon, finely zested to get 1 teaspoon
5 ¼ oz white chocolate
3 tablespoons honey
Line a 9-inch springform cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Line a sieve with a clean kitchen towel and set above a bowl. Spoon in the yogurt, then draw up the sides of the kitchen towel. Squeeze the yogurt into a ball, pressing out as much liquid as you can. You want to end up with about 1 2/3 cups of thickened yogurt. Set aside until required. Discard liquid.
Mix the graham crackers, sugar, 1 tablespoon thyme and melted butter together and press into the bottom of the cake pan to form an even layer. Set aside in the fridge to set.
Whisk together the cream cheese, strained yogurt, confectioners’ sugar and lemon zest until smooth and combined; this can be done with a hand or stand mixer.
Next melt the chocolate. Place a heat-proof bowl (such as stainless steel) over a saucepan of simmering water. Continuously stir until chocolate has melted. Spoon the melted chocolate into the cream cheese mixture and whisk until combined.
Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cookie base evenly, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until set.
When ready to serve, warm the honey in a small saucepan with remaining 1 ½ teaspoon thyme until thin and runny. Remove from the heat and drizzle over the cheesecake.
Release the cheesecake from the pan, divide into 8 slices and serve.