More Than a Culinary Artisan

Friday, April 17, 2015

Geneva Schlabach carries the essence of what makes a home cook more than just a culinary artisan. This petite and dynamic co-host of farm-to-table dinner parties bursts with passion for encouraging people to pursue their dreams. The genuine love she displays in cooking and creating, along with the knack for initiating engaging conversations has guests vying for a coveted spot at her table. With a master chocolatier certificate from training received at the prestigious L'Ecole Du Grand Chocolat Valrhona in Tain-l'Hermitage, France, Geneva has critiqued and developed recipes for fine chocolate confections and mouth-watering desserts. In addition to managing a former company, Geneva Chocolates, she has worked as a designer of beautiful spaces, creating an atmosphere of love and hospitality. Her kitchen reflects these qualities.  Come inside for a look!  (Scroll to the bottom for two favorite recipes.)

The kitchen is an inviting place where family gathers, creativity happens and culinary magic is birthed.
A beautiful cookbook on display encourages creative inspiration as well as recipe ideas.
A wire baker's rack keeps pots, pans and dishes within easy reach in a kitchen where cabinet space is at a premium
The pantry shows off Geneva's organizational abilities using clear stackable containers to store baking ingredients.
Geneva's cupboards carry an assortment of beautiful dishes in all shapes and sizes.
A loaf of freshly baked bread sends a warm and inviting aroma through the house.
Sharp knives and an array of cutting boards keep this cook happy.
This kitchen table is a popular gathering spot for family or friends while cooking is in progress.
A vintage salt well keeps a supply of eggs at room temperature, ready for a spur-of-the-moment baking idea.
A sideboard holds extra plates and baskets of linens while a canvas photograph serves as a conversation piece.

Geneva shares two favorite recipes with us for this Friday Feature Kitchen post.  One of them is for brownies, which is a recipe every home cook should have up her sleeve. From feeding an entire football team to providing a tasty treat for a summer picnic, these brownies are just the ticket! The next one is a recipe for cheesecake that will quickly become your favorite. It's made with goat cheese instead of the traditional cream cheese.  The result is a much creamier and genuinely addictive texture!

Belgium Chocolate Brownies
Belgium Chocolate Brownies

¾ C. Butter

1 C. Sugar
1 ½ C. flour
½ C. Belgium Cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 ½  C. Belgium dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter.  Add sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, eggs and vanilla.  Stir until well blended.  Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips. Spread in 9 x13 pan.  Sprinkle remaining ½ cups dark chocolate chips on top of batter.  Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until knife inserted comes out clean.  Do not overbake.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake 
Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Meyer Lemon Sauce

Pistachio crusted goat cheese cheesecake topped with Meyer lemon cream sauce and candied pistachios.

Pistachio crust:
1 heaping cup shelled, roasted, and salted pistachios (See Recipe Notes)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 (11-ounce) log goat cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons good-quality honey
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
3 large eggs

Meyer lemon cream:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice, from 3 to 4 lemons (See Recipe Notes)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
Candied Pistachios:
1/2 cup shelled, roasted, and salted pistachios, finely chopped
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
For the pistachio crust, combine pistachios and sugar in food processor and process until almost a fine meal. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the melted butter; the mixture should resemble wet sand. Press firmly into a springform pan.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes until set. Cool completely before filling.
For the filling, lower oven temperature to 300°F. Combine the goat cheese and sugar in a mixer and cream together. Add the sour cream, honey, vanilla, and salt and mix for about 30 seconds to a minute, scraping as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition. Place the cheesecake pan on a sheet pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until cheesecake is barely set. (just a bit “jiggly” in the middle when moved slightly.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill for several hours before serving.
For the Meyer lemon cream, cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the eggs and yolks and beat for 1 minute, until well combined. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and continue mixing until incorporated. (The mixture will become curdled and lumpy upon adding the lemon juice, but it will smooth quickly upon heating.)
Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 165°F on an instant read thermometer; the mixture should be just thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Transfer to another bowl and press plastic directly on the surface. Let cool at room temperature until ready to serve. (Lemon cream will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Candied pistachios:
Spread chopped pistachios on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or sheet of parchment paper. Whisk the brown sugar and hot water to dissolve. Pour the mixture over the pistachios and toss to combine. Bake in a 350°F oven until golden and toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Once cool, crumble the pistachios for serving.
Serve each slice of cheesecake with a bit of the Meyer lemon cream sauce and sprinkle with candied pistachios.  Light and delicious!
Thank you for joining us for a peek into Geneva's kitchen!  We look forward to seeing you next week as we take an inside look at the spaces where life, beauty and great food intersect.

A breakfast scramble of eggs topped with fresh tomatoes and cilantro.
Copyright: Naomi Gingerich, Farm-to-Table Feasts

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