For this week’s installment of TWD, the lovely April had the honor of picking our recipe. Boy, did she pick well, Hidden Berry Cream Cream Torte. She and Michelle are going to kill my hips, thighs, butt.. good lord. (Okay, so all those areas flat lined a long time ago… I bake way too much and the 3 kids didn’t help any. Man, I wish my skin was elastic like Heidi Klum’s. Pop out child after child, back to back and never know. Damn you Heidi! If I didn’t love you and your Project Runway so, Id hate you!) On my week’s to choose, you’ll be seeing multi-grain muffins and yogurt. Riiiight, who am I kidding. Like calories are ever a thought in what I bake.
On to the torte…
OMG is it good. Jaos and I waited till the kids were in bed to break it out. Sitting at the table alone, which is such a rarity. He was very impressed with the looks of it. But I could tell when he bit into it, he was in love. First thing out of his mouth was, “I didn’t know homemade cheese cake could taste like this.” Man, he knows how to compliment a girl. I agreed, it is ever so good. His only request was to put more jam on bottom next time. I had use my Gram’s homemade strawberry and there was a barely there layer at the bottom. I may try to put a little more next time. I have no complaints, nothing I would change, other than more jam. This torte is perfect. And easy to make to boot.
I was concerned with my crust, because it was so crumbly. It pressed into the pan, but the sides were barely staying. I shoved it into the fridge, then the oven, praying it would turn out. After its first bake, it looks odd, greasy, uneven. I tried to quickly and gently even it out before I put it in naked for the 5 minute bake. After the 5 minutes, it looked fine. WHEW!
The jam and filling parts were simple, simple. Then back into the oven for 65 minutes. When I checked, it was puffy and had a few cracks, but wasn’t jiggly anymore. Out it came to sit. And I took Dorie’s notes on chilling it for an hour before eating. I like my cheese cake cold. Good call. It was perfect.
Great simple recipe, for a delightful torte. I will definitely be making it again. Keeper!
*For some reason the very tips of the slices kept falling off when I went to photograph. I figured I was going to eat it anyway. I might as well go for realism. ha!
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 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 grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)
Getting Ready: Butter a 9-inch springform pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out 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 springform. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
Fit a piece of a 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 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 springform 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 springform. 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.