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Grand Cru Cheesecake with Concord Grapes and Grand Cru - Pistachio Tuile

Santé Congratulates Amanda Gargano, Winner of the 2012 Roth Grand Cru® Getaway Contest

The Roth Grand Cru® Getaway Recipe Contest has awarded talented chef, Amanda Gargano, the Grand Prize for her original cheesecake recipe, Grand Cru® Gruyere Cheesecake with Concord Grapes and Grand Cru®-Pistachio Tuile.  Executive Chef at Traditions Restaurant at The Plains at Parish Homestead, Oneonta, New York, Amanda’s prize includes a trip worth $10,000 to her dream culinary destination.

Amanda grew up in an Italian restaurant family. Though she knew she wasn’t cut out for a life of pizza dough tossing and marinara stirring, she did know that cooking was in her blood.  Amanda’s love for good food grew while she worked as a demonstration chef at Marshall Field's Marketplace Cafe in the Chicagoland suburbs, and her skills and experience flourished from attending and graduating in 2008 from Kendall College's School of Culinary Arts in Chicago. Her passions include pastry and butchery, although never together. Amanda interned at The Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, and eventually landed in the mountains of upstate New York, where she currently oversees the Dining Services Department at a high-end retirement community. Not only is she able to show her creativity there, but she gets to showcase her passion for food.

Amanda likes to use cheese in cooking because it is so versatile. It can be used to add creaminess, saltiness, depth of flavor…you name it. She loves that there are so many different varieties of cheese and finds it interesting to experiment with different kinds in cooking and baking.

While Roth Cheese has an entire line of dazzling cheeses to add to many recipes, Grand Cru® is Roth’s signature cheese. Made with the freshest milk in imported copper vats, it is aged in cellars for at least 4 months. Robust and full-bodied, this award-winning cheese melts beautifully to become any cook’s best friend.

When Amanda was coming up with the recipe for the Grand Cru® contest, she knew that she wanted to do something different and unexpected. Hence, the birth of the cheesecake recipe.  Amanda says, “It was fun to play with creating the right balance of sweet and savory- it is a dessert, after all, not a cheese course.”  She tried to use the Grand Cru® in as many different ways as possible within the recipe and ended up incorporating it not only in the actual filling, but also in the crust and the garnish. She offers, “It took several tries of experimenting with the ratio of cream cheese to Grand Cru® to get it right, but finally the robust taste became pronounced enough.”  Knowing that the cheesecake had savory qualities as well as sweet, she decided to do a play on a wine and cheese pairing by instead topping the cheesecake with the Concord grape sauce. The Grand Cru®-Pistachio Tuile introduced nuts and a sprinkling of coarse sugar to the dessert, both of which helped to tie the whole idea together.

Grand Cru® Cheesecake with Concord Grapes and  Grand Cru® - Pistachio Tuile

By Chef Amanda Gargano

Yield: 1 (8 inch) cake – approx. 8 servings


1 pound  Roth Grand Cru®, shredded

1 pound cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar 5 eggs, room temperature

2 egg yolks, room temperature

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste


1/2 cup Roth Grand Cru®, shredded

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons butter, melted

8 whole graham crackers

Concord Grape Sauce

1 cup Concord grape jelly

1/4 cup Concord grape juice

2 cups fresh Concord grapes, seeded and skinned

Grand Cru®-Pistachio Tuile

1 cup Roth Grand Cru®, shredded

1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon sanding sugar


Preheat oven to 450° F. 

In mixer fitted with paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes, making sure to scrape bowl and paddle. 

Reduce speed to medium and add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, allowing each egg to incorporate before adding the next. Add sour cream and vanilla paste.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in shredded Roth Grand Cru®. 

Transfer filling to refrigerated crust. Bake in a water bath for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F and bake an additional hour or until cheesecake is set but still wobbly in the center.

Turn oven off and allow cheesecake to continue cooking in warm oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for approx. two hours. Top with Concord Grape Sauce, wrap and refrigerate. Top with Grand Cru®-Pistachio Tuile before serving.


In food processor, pulse graham crackers until coarse crumbs are formed.

Transfer crumbs to mixing bowl; add sugar, cinnamon and Roth Grand Cru®. Mix well, then stir in melted butter. 

Press crumb mixture in bottom and 1-inch on sides of an 8-inch springform pan. Refrigerate.

Concord Grape Sauce

In small pan, whisk together grape jelly and grape juice until warm and incorporated. 

In separate bowl combine jelly mixture with concord grapes and toss to coat. Allow to cool.

Grand Cru®-Pistachio Tuile

Preheat oven to 350° F. 

On a sheet tray lined with a silicone liner, thinly spread shredded Roth Grand Cru® in a small circle approx. 3 inches in diameter.

Top cheese with pistachios and a pinch of sanding sugar. 

Bake tuiles approx. 6 minutes or until just browned around the edges. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack.



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