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Weekend Recap: Southern Reinvention at Belle Chevre

This past weekend, Cooking Light joined Tasia Malakasis at her brand new artisan creamery in Elkmont, Alabama. Tasia is the great mind behind Belle Chèvre. You might remember reading about her in our Food Revolution article from last November.

Tasia recently opened a newly-remodeled 8,000-square-foot creamery and tasting room right behind her cheese shop in downtown Elkmont. To celebrate, she hosted a Southern Reinvention, a day of food, music, fashion, and fun for folks from near and far. We dished up Salted Caramel Goat-Cheese Cakes made with, of course, Belle Chèvre chèvre (get the recipe below). We also highlighted how Southern favorites can be made light with our Creole Deviled Eggs.

Salted Caramel Goat-Cheese Cakes -- These little party bites also freeze well: Chill them, remove from pans, and freeze in an airtight container for up to a month. At room temperature, they thaw in 20 to 30 minutes.

Salted Caramel Goat-Cheese Cakes

Adapted from our Salted Caramel Cheesecakes Hands-on time: 40 minutes Total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

CHEESECAKES 30 vanilla wafers 2 tablespoons canola oil Cooking spray 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar 2/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt 8 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened 6 ounces goat cheese, softened 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/3 teaspoon table salt 2 large eggs

TOPPING 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon butter 1/3 cup evaporated milk 1/2 teaspoon flake salt or coarse seat salt

1. Preheat oven to 300°.

2. To prepare cheesecake, place wafers in a food processor; process until finely ground. Add oil; pulse to combine. Coat 36 miniature muffin cups generously with cooking spray. Spoon about 1 packed tablespoon crumb mixture into each muffin cup; press crumbs firmly into bottom. Bake at 300° for 9 minutes or until browned. Remove pans from oven; cool on wire racks

3. Wipe food processor clean. Place brown sugar, yogurt, cream cheese, and goat cheese in processor; process until smooth. Add vanilla, table salt, and eggs; process until smooth. Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into each muffin cup. Bake at 300° for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers of cheesecakes barely move when pans are touched. Remove pans from oven; cool on wire racks to room temperature. Cover pans; refrigerate cheesecakes 2 hours or until well chilled.

4. While cheesecakes chill, combine granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly (about 3 minutes). Continue cooking 12 minutes or until the color of light brown sugar (do not stir). Remove from heat; carefully stir in butter and milk (caramelized sugar will harden and stick to spoon). Place pan over medium-high heat until caramelized sugar melts. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; cook caramel to room temperature. Cover and chill 1 hour or until slightly thickened.

5. Run a thin knife around outside edge of each cheesecake. Carefully remove cheesecakes from pans; place on a platter. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon caramel over each cheesecake. Sprinkle cheesecakes evenly with flake salt.

Serves 36 CALORIES 89; FAT 4.6g (sat 2.1g, mono 1.5g, poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 2.4g; CARB 9.7g; FIBER 0.1g; CHOL 19mg; IRON 0.3mg; SODIUM 102mg; CALC 30mg

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