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Sunday, June 5, 2011

hidden (straw)berry cream cheese torte.


Want to know a secret? This cream cheese torte has fewer calories. Not that it matters of course. I've already consumed more than enough calories from cakes and whatnot to last me a whole lifetime. But of course I won't. Stop eating the sweet stuff, I mean.

This recipe uses almost a 50-50 ratio of cream cheese to cottage cheese, which makes it less calorific. I even used low fat cream cheese and cottage cheese, making it even healthier. At least that's what I tell myself so that I can eat another slice. Or maybe two more slices. The best part is, you probably won't notice the difference from using the full fat stuff!

If you've read my earlier blog posts, you would know that I absolutely abhor cheesecake. It's that slight tanginess from the cream cheese and sour cream in traditional cheesecake recipes that puts me off. And most of them are too rich too, not to mention being very very bad for fitting into your old jeans. I guess it's mostly the tang because I can't stand other cheeses as well. Like feta, goats cheese... Actually, the only cheese I somewhat adore is fresh buffalo mozzarella. I don't mind non-tangy cheeses in a gooey molten state but once they cool and harden, I wouldn't even go near them. Nuh-uh.

Whoops, I digressed. Anyway, this cheese torte is enough to change my idea about cheesecake. And the recipe is by Dorie! Surprise, surprise! She never lets me down. In the original recipe, she uses a cookie crust recipe but I chose to use a digestive crust instead because it's easier and I already have some digestives. After the crust is baked, you need to layer on some good strawberry jam. I bet you could use any berry jam you like. And then, you have the custard, laced with little sprinkles of nutmeg and cinnamon. The spices take a little getting used to but once you do, you'll find that it makes the torte more interesting. I also put in a little bit of vanilla just because. It's very important that you process the cottage cheese such that it's lump-free. 

I found the custard to crust ratio to be insufficient but then again, it is a torte after all. I can't believe I'm saying this but I want some more cheese torte! I swear, Dorie is a magician.

One last thing, if you happen to have any reliable recipes for bake-sales, please hop over here. Your input is greatly appreciated!

Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte

(Source: Dorie Greenspan “Baking: From My Home to Yours” pp. 240-242)
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
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 ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)
Getting Ready:
Butter a 9-inch spring-form 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 mixture 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. Or simply press the dough into the pan. The dough should come about 1-1/2 inches up the sides of the spring form. 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 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 oven 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 30 seconds. With the machine running, add the eggs and process, scraping the bowl as needed, for 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 spring-form pan to a cooling rack and allow the torte to cool to room temperature, during which time the filling will collapse into a thin, elegant layer.
Run a blunt knife between the crust and the sides of the pan, then open and remove the sides of the spring-form. If the sides of the crust extend above the filling 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 confectioner’s sugar.

want a bite?


  1. I've never used cottage cheese in baking (or in any other capacity) but I do like the idea of it. Plus, you process until smooth so it would probably work well with the cream cheese. Your torte looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing on A Well-Seasoned Life's Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  2. What a cool recipe. I never would have imagined that it would have cottage cheese in it. It sounds so delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe at These Chicks Cooked Recipe Spotlight. Have a good one!

  3. yum! what a neat recipe! It looks delicious! I found your blog through a link party and i LOVE it! I love making new blog friends! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks!

  4. Oh, this looks and sounds wonderful. I love anything cream cheese.

    Thank you so much for linking up with Sweet Tooth Friday! I hope to see you again this week.