Monday, May 10, 2010

Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte

For this weeks BWD: Baking with Dorie Challenge, it was Elizabeth's pick again and she decided on Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte on Pages 240 - 242 in Dorie Greenspan's book

When Elizabeth emailed me her second pick I was very happy since everyone in my house loves a good cheesecake. In fact, I have so many collected cheesecake recipes that I still want to try out. I could probably blog for  a whole month straight about this topic. I mean, what is not to love about cheesecake? Usually, you have slightly sweet crust, and then the creamy, delicious, melt in your mouth ever so scrumptious cheesecake filling.

This cake is pretty easy as far as cakes go. It is made entirely in a food processor and comes together quite quickly, minus the time for chilling the crust and baking.

The crust is almost like Dorie's sweet tart crust, but instead of powdered sugar, the recipe calls for regular sugar and then some. Again, you have to be careful not to overwork the dough, but as usual, Dorie's instruction are precise, and easy to follow. The dough is pressed in a springform pan, then chilled for about 30 minutes before being baked. After baking, a berry jam is spread onto the still warm crust. I decided to go with black currant fruit spread, and I loved how it turned out.

The filling on the other hand is a departure from regular cream cheese cakes. It uses a mixture of cottage cheese, cream cheese, and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. I have to say that I truly prefer this over an all cream cheese filling. For me, it cut some of the richness that traditional cheesecakes have, and since I was raised on Quark cheesecakes, it reminded me of my mom and childhood.

My whole family loved this cake, and even though I had intended to send some of it with my husband to work, it never happened. It was gone before I could blink an eye, which in my house means it was delicious.

For our next BWD in two weeks (the 24th of May) it is my pick with Tender Shortcakes on Page 423 and 424.

Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte

For the crust:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling:
1/3 cup thick berry or cherry jam (I used 1/2 cup black currant fruit spread)
9 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 ounces (1 cup) cottage cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

Getting Ready: Butter a 9-inch springform pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

To Make The Crust: Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse just to blend. Toss in the pieces of butter and pulse until the mixtures resembles coarse meal. Stir the egg yolks and vanilla together with a fork, and, still pulsing the machine, add them and continue to pulse until the dough comes together in clumps and curds - restrain yourself, and don't allow the dough to form a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface. If you want to roll the dough, gather it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about 20 minutes before rolling. (I like to roll this, and all sweet crusts, between sheets of plastic wrap.) Or simply press the dough into the pan. The dough should come about 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the springform. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Fit a piece of buttered aluminum foil against the crust, covering it completely. Fill the crust lightly with rice, dried beans or pie weights and slide the sheet into the oven. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5 minutes or so - you don't want the crust to get too brown. Transfer to a rack to cool while you make the filling. Lower the over temperature to 350 degrees F.

To Make The Filling: Stir the jam, and spread it over the bottom of the crust - it's okay to do this while the crust is still warm.

Put the cream cheese and cottage cheese into the food processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times, for 2 minutes, until you've got a smooth, satiny mix. Add the sugar, salt and spices and process for another 20 seconds. With the machine running, add the eggs and process, scraping the bowl as needed, fin a final minute. Pour the filling over the jam.

Bake the cake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the filling is uniformly puffed and no longer jiggly. Gently transfer the springform pan to a cooling rack and allow the torte to cool to room temperature, during which time the filling will collapse into a think, elegant layer.

Run a blunt knife between the crust and the sides of the pan, then open and remove the sides of the springform. If the sides of the crust extended about the filing and you don't like this look, very gently saw off the excess crust using a serrated knife. Chill the torte slightly or thoroughly before serving and, if you'd like, dust the top with confectioners' sugar. 

Adapted from: Dorie Greenspan


  1. Great job! Your Torte looks wonderful! I am still in the process of making mine (the crust is chilling right now) & hope it comes out looking as pretty as yours!
    Thanks for the special mention! ;-)

  2. So pretty! I love the contrast of the jam and the tart.

    Oh! Black current jam! I bet that was wonderful! And I agree 110%, the cottage cheese *did* cut down on the richness that can often overtake regular cheesecakes.

  3. Forgot to say: thanks for typing out the recipe this week!


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