Have you ever been to an event, or had something so absolutely yummy, that a year later you are still dreaming about it? Well… this is exactly what happened to me. You see boozy friends, about a year ago I got invited to Vondeling to try out their brand new food pairing – now guys if you are a lover of cheese AND wine, this is a MUST for you! A savoury cheesecake and wine pairing. That’s right folks – I repeat: S-A-V-O-U-R-Y cheesecake!!!
There are like literally a million different types of food and wine pairings on offering within the Cape Winelands. Friendsies, we are talking everything from ice creams and sorbets, chocolate to nougat, braaibroodtjies and pizzas, cupcakes and macarons and yes there is even a music and wine pairing. In order to stand out – you kinda have to do something different. Right? Soooo….Vondeling managed to do just that! I mean doesn’t the word SAVOURY cheesecake make you want to drop everything for that taste sensation experience?
Like really think about it for a minute. Foods such as the likes of Salmon, Chicken, Biltong and Salami just doesn’t belong in the same category as cheesecake, but OH MY WORD!! How absolutely delicious – Vondeling’s cheesecakes are luscious, rich, decadent, and OH SO HEAVENLY. It is like being wrapped in a huge velvety blanket, but instead around your shoulders, it is wrapped around each and every taste bud. Comforting!!
Arriving at Vondeling
Vondeling is situated in Voor-Paardeberg, a tiny Western Cape wine region that is extremely charming and a little undiscovered. This was my first visit to Vondeling, and guys it is beautiful. It has a completely different terrior than Stellenbosch or Franschhoek.
As you arrive at Vondeling you are greeted by 360º of breathtaking views of both mountains, fynbos and vineyards. In one of my previous articles you may have read that Vondeling is huge in preserving and protection their natural heritage. They are also a Conservation Champion of the WWF and very proud member of the Paardeberg Sustainability Initiation.
As you make your way to Vondeling’s tasting room, you can’t help noticing the St. Clement’s Chapel. It is like stepping back into the late 1800’s with its thatched roof, stained windows and the perfect backdrop of the Pardeberg mountains. Making Vondeling the perfect Country I do!
Experiencing Vondeling’s Savoury Cheesecake and Wine Pairing
I am sure your mouth is watering as much as mine and can’t wait to see all the delicious cheesiness we are about to experience, so further adieu, lets indulge straight away
Salmon & Spinach Cheesecake with Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc
Who doesn’t love salmon and cream cheese? This cheesecake took me to salmon heaven! It was rich and creamy and absolutely decadent. I could seriously eat this every day for lunch! The wine of choice was Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc – you couldn’t not have asked for a more well rounded and perfectly balanced wine!
Vondeling Sauvignon Blanc has a delicate pale straw colour with a tinge of green on the edge. On the nose this wine takes you on a trip down a summery memory lane with notes of peach blossoms, white pears and a hint of passion-fruit and a zesty lime. What you get on the nose comes straight through on the palate along with guava, pineapple, a floralness of potpourri and hint of nettle.
Next on the menu: Delicious Chicken & Pepperdew Cheesecake paired with one of my top 5 white blends – The Babiana
Aaah chicken and pepperdew – Yummilicious!! FREE RANGE Chicken just so you know. (A healthy chicken, just taste so good!) The pepperdew is pretty much a staple in every South African kitchen. Using pepperdews really adds an extra level of complexity to the cheesecake – as you get a little bit sweet and a tiny touch of heat coming through from the pepperdews. The wine of choice is my favourite the Babiana. (Read my review on this gorgeous wine) “Please sir may I have more?”
Moving on: Salami and Extra Cheesey Cheesecake with Baldrick Shiraz
Dang it!! The Salami used in this cheesecake is absolutely to die for! It had such big and bold flavours – you could taste it was handmade out of love. I could have just eaten the salami! Yes, it was that good! Having said that – the cheesey cheesecake was pretty good too. I can never say no to anything with a little extra cheese in it. The wine of choice: Vondeling Baldrick Shiraz.
I may have mentioned before that I am not generally a Shiraz fan but this was a really good Shiraz! It had nice body, and not overly spiced. The wine a gorgeous deep purple colour with hints of scarlet. This wine smells like a delicious warm autumn pudding. Warm and comforting! On the nose you get ripe plums and mulberry which are uplifted with cherry blossom and violets, while infused with subtle cinnamon and touch aromatic white pepper.
The palate is soft and gentle. The tannins is fresh but yet well rounded. The aromatics continue into the palate with added blueberry, a hint of roasted black olives and soft-spoken sweet spice of vanilla. A versatile, vibrant medium-bodied wine to go with any meaty or venison dish!
Last by not least: Biltong Cheesecake with Vondeling Monsonia
By this time I was in seven heaven and my taste buds was on a psychedelic trip of flavours. Biltong cheesecake needs no introduction. Another great South African flavour! Ok, to be honest – I was enjoying the Monsonia to much to notice this cheesecake – I could hardly get another bite in. (Yes the portions are generous!) Monsonia: another great wine from Vondeling. It is a blend of Shiraz (67%), Mourvédre (21%), Carignan (8%) & Grenache (4%).
The wine is a vibrant ruby red colour with a dash of purple. The nose is bright with violets that are infused with dark fruit with just a hint of earth and wood smoke. Sweet spices abound, rich in cloves, subtle nutmeg and aromatic coriander. The palate is alive with red berry fruit and has a chocolaty richness with undertones of wild herbs. A big and bold wine with a long lingering finish. This is the perfect winter wine to cuddle up by a fire, wrapped in a fleecy blanket and a good book.
So guys – do yourself a favour. Once lockdown is over and things are kinda back to a “normalcy” make sure you attend the next savoury cheesecake pairing at Vondeling. I promise you it is worth the experience and your taste buds will thank you. 🙂
My Boozy Kitchen Vondeling Inspired Savoury Cheesecake
A savoury cheesecake is a mouthwatering option to offer your cheese and wine loving friends. You guest will thank you for it and you can thank me later. 🤣
I am sure after reading the above, not only is your mouth watering, but your mind is racing with like a gazzilion ideas.
You can play around with a number of different types cheeses, meats, herbs, and vegetables. Just think about all the different flavoured cream cheese’s you get. The world is at your fingertips. The sky is the limit! You can go crazy!
Just remembered…. about 10 years ago I played around with a brie and white chocolate baked cheesecake and it was pretty amazing. It was borderline savoury. I really enjoyed it. The recipe can be found here but please don’t look to hard! 🙈
So getting back to the recipe I added caramelised onions, a little pepperdews, bacon, white cheddar cheese (infused with black pepper and garlic), smoked ham cream cheese for that extra flavour of smokiness.
To be honest I was not to overly excited about the base. The cheesecake at Vondeling had this gorgeous pastry like base, and it was really REALLY delectable. I will next time try and find a different pastry, maybe something shortcrust-like instead of using biscuits.
In the above picture you can see that I finely crushed the salticrax biscuits. Here once again you can play on different flavours like, Mediterranean herb, roasted garlic and rosemary, or black pepper instead of using the the plainly salted.
I also added the the caramelised onions to bottom of the base instead of incorporating it into the cheese mixture. Then what would a kitchen be without a little kitchen mess!
A few tips for a crack free baked cheesecake:
- All ingredients should be room temperature. This way it will mix easier and prevents lumps.
- Makes sure all ingredients are mix super well before adding the eggs. Don’t over mix when the eggs are added.
- Never open the oven door while the cheesecake is baking no matter how tempted you are. A sudden temperature drop will cause the cake to crack.
- Bake your cheesecake in a water bath. I cover my springform pan with foil to make sure it is leak proof.
- Once the cheesecake is cooked, simply turn the oven off and crack open the door. Leave the cheesecake inside for about 1 hour. Again sudden change of temperature will cause the cake to crack.
If you made this recipe or attempted your own version of a savoury cheesecake feel free to comment below. Until next time. Chow Chow! xxxPrint Recipe
Bacon, Onion and Pepperdew Cheesecake
- 200 grams Salticrax
- 60 ml Butter Melted
- 200 grams Bacon Diced
- 3 240g Tubs of Cream Cheese (Smoked Ham Flavoured) (room tempreture and softened)
- 60 ml Pepperdews sliced
- 100 ml Caramalised Onions
- 3 Eggs (Room Tempreture)
- 375 ml Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese
- 60 ml Cream
- Preheat Oven 180°C
- Empty contents of the Salticrax into a food processor and blitz until you have crumbs.
- In medium bowl, mix the crushed crackers and butter until well blended. Press evenly in bottom of 25cm springform pan. Pop in the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Once it has reached golden brown – remove from oven and allow for it to cool- set aside for later. Turn the oven down to 160°C
- Taking a skillet on medium heat – cook your diced bacon until cooked. Remove bacon to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside for later.
- In large bowl, or mixer beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add whipping cream, eggs beat until creamy. Don’t over work the mixture. Stir in cheedar cheese, pepperdews and bacon until well blended.
- Taking the pan with the baked crust spread the caramalised onion evenly over the crust. Now spoon over the egg and cream cheese mixture over the onions.
- Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until center is set. Run knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen. Cool completely at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 24 hours. Remove side of pan. To serve, cut cheesecake into thin wedges. Garnish with freshly snipped chives.