Some people dare to criticize traditional cheesecakes for being too fatty and rich. While we are not one those people, we do sometimes enjoy lighter versions of this dessert, such as the one offered by Gontran Cherrier. While we do, in theory, believe it is possible to preserve the delicious flavors of a cheesecake using a much lighter batter, we need to see the evidence before being convinced!
This cake is made of a crumbly crust topped with a light, lemony mousse made of fromage blanc (a soft, white cheese – similar to yogurt but smoother, creamier and without the acidity), with a creamy lemon center. Its surface is sprinkled with lime zest.
Gontran Cherrier’s Cheesecake has a diameter of 76 mm and a height of 26 mm. The specimen we purchased weights 95 grams and costs 4.30 euros.
The cake emits aromas of lime and butter, which mingle pleasantly. In the white mousse, we discern both the discreet taste of fromage blanc, and that of lemon. Though the latter is certainly the stronger of the two, is remains rather mild, and devoid of any sharp acidity. The mousse, which is only lightly sweet, comes off as very light in the mouth – being much less heavy than the usual cream cheese.
At the heart of the fromage blanc mousse hides a more intensely lemony cream. Though it does not have the consistency of a cream per say, being slightly airy and mousse-like, it is however more rigid than the fromage blanc mousse. It is also more intensely acidic, as well as sweeter. As for the crust, it seems to be made of crushed and reassembled biscuits, and has a granular and crumbly texture. It tastes strongly of butter flavor. It is somewhat soggy where it touches the mousse, but remains crisp underneath – thus creating a pleasant textural gradient (regardless of whether this ws intentional).
This Cheesecake by Gontran Cherrier adapts the codes of the conventional cheesecake to create more nuanced flavors and lighter textures. This lightness is wisely paired with citrus notes, which energize the dessert. The lemon also further emphasize the freshness of the fromage blanc, by counter-balancing the richly buttery crust. We appreciate the equilibrium in flavors thus created. One way of further perfecting this dessert would be to make the lemon cream at the center more unctuous, in order to create a true contrast in texture with the surrounding mousse. In addition, the crust – which comes off as rather basic – could benefit from having crunchy elements incorporated within, or the inclusion of brown butter, or a different baking method to give it discreet smoky notes.
Score: 3.7/5 Good
22 rue Caulaincourt, 75018 Paris, France