Good morning! Wednesday already, can you believe it, some weeks I do not know where the time goes. This week is whizzing by and I feel as if I am continually trying to catch up. What about you, how is your week shaping up?
I love baking, I find it relaxing and satisfying. I enjoy seeing the raw sugar, flour and eggs turn into a cake, a pie, cookies and more. And I absolutely love seeing the faces of the recipients who are typically people that I know do not bake or have no one to make things for them. Often they will tell me that the cookies remind them of their mom or their grandmother and that is a nice feeling.
Dorie Greenspan is one of my baking idols, she is the author of Baking with Julia and makes everything seem easy. Not to mention that there is a large population of the blog world that enjoy her recipes as well as baking in clubs like Tuesday’s with Dorie of which I have followed for years.
I am baking this year from her book Baking: From My Home to Yours and this Hidden Berry Torte is one of the first things I have made. The crust is so good that I am embarrassed to say I ate the dough raw, yes I know one should not eat dough with raw eggs but it was that good. Once it is baked the crust is like a sweet shortbread and honestly you could just eat that and call it a day. Initially I was taken in by the photo of this torte but then shied away from making it for sometime because of the cottage cheese of which I am not a fan. I should have known that mixed with cream cheese and sugar this would turn into a silk, creamy, sweet filling that the perfect compliment to the berries and the crust.
This torte may just be my new favorite dessert!
Hidden Berry Torte
Recipe from Baking by Dorie Greenspan
13/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup thick berry or cherry jam
9 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 (1 cup) ounces cottage cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
2 large eggs at room temperature
Butter a 9″ spring-form pan, and dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment or silicon mat.
Put the flour, sugar and salt in the food processor and pulse just to blend. Toss in the pieces of butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal. Stir the egg yolks and vanilla together with a fork and still pulsing the machine, add them to the machine and pulse until the dough comes together in clumps and curds. Do not let the dough come together in a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface. If you want to roll the dough, gather it together and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes before rolling. Or you can press the dough into the pan and about 11/2 inches up the sides. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Center the rack in the oven and preheat to 375. Fit a piece of buttered foil into the bottom of the pan and fill with rice, beans or pie weights, then place pan in oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes. Don’t let the crust get too brown.
Lower the oven temperature to 350.
Stir the jam ad spread it over the bottom of the crust in an even layer, you can do 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. Process for 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and satiny. Add the sugar, spices and salt, 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 cake is puffed and no longer jiggly. Gently transfer spring form pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature. During the cooling the filling will collapse and form a thin layer.
Run a blade between the crust and the sides of the pan, then open and remove the sides of the spring-form. Chill the torte slightly or thoroughly before serving.
I made my own berry jam and then added a layer of raspberries to the bottom. Also, when I made the crust I had a little problem with the dough. I was lazy and pressed it into the pan and it was sticky and did not look pretty. Next time I will roll it as suggested. Then I missed the direction where it said to chill the dough once in the pan. In the end the crust turned out fine, just not so pretty.