This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Tara of Smells Like Home: Traditional Madeleines. Unfortunately, I don't have those cute little madeleine molds, and my husband would kill me if I bought another specialty baking pan to squeeze into our tiny little kitchen, so I opted to make one of the previous TWD recipes.
I joined TWD after its third week running, so between the two weeks I wasn't able to participate in and the first three weeks' worth of recipes, I had the following recipes to choose from: Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread, Quintuple Chocolate Brownies, Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte, Marshmallows, and Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake. Being a cheesecake lover, I decided to try the Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte.
I have to admit that part of what drew me to this torte was the photo in the book. Unfortunately, mine looks nothing like the one in the book. It browned quite a bit on top and didn't look quite as elegant as Dorie's. Apparently, two out of the three bakers who made this torte (yes, the TWD group used to be that small!) had the same problem as well. Maybe next time I will cover mine with foil in order to get it as pure and white as Dorie's? Aesthetics aside, this torte still tasted great. It was smooth and creamy, and the jam on the bottom was just the right amount of tart and sweet (and based on reviews, I increased the amount of jam in the recipe). It was much lighter than cheesecake, probably owing to the cottage cheese in the filling. I would definitely make this again, especially if I was in the mood for something creamy, but not too heavy.
Thanks Tara, for picking this week's recipe. I've always wanted to make madeleines, and I really wish I could have participated, but maybe next time! Make sure you check out the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll to see everyone else's cute madeleine cookies.
Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte
from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
For the Crust:
1 3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the filling:
1/3 cup thick berry or cherry jam (I used 1/2 cup raspberry peach champagne jam)
9 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz (1 cup) cottage cheese, at room temperature
3/4 Cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
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 mail. Stir the egg yolks and villa 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 ti 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.
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 oven temp for 350 degrees.
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 60-70 minutes, or until the filling is uniformly puffed and no longer jiggly. Gently transfer the spring form pan to a cooking 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 pan. 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.
Yield: 8 Servings.