Tuesday, May 19, 2009
twd: unauthorized rewind: hidden berry cream cheese torte
crust + jam
This week's TWD recipe, Mango Bread, chosen by Kelly of Baking with the Boys, did not appeal to me. I'm not a huge fan of mangoes (though now I'm having a flashback to the character Mango of old SNL days...) and I've been trying to avoid tropical fruits because of their food miles...(I'm really missing fresh pineapple!)
Not wanting to go a week without some Dorie magic, I decided to bake one of the recipes the group completed before I joined. I deliberated between snickery squares and hidden berry cream cheese torte, asked a few of my TWD tweeps for their input, and settled on the torte.
This was actually a perfect dessert to bring to this month's wine club, since the theme was Wisconsin wines. Now, if you don't know much about Wisconsin, you probably know that we're famous for cheese. And so the torte matched the local flavor theme and provided a not-too-sweet foil for the cloying wines.
I made quite a few changes to the recipe. I used the standard sweet tart dough recipe instead of the crust listed with the torte, partly because I had just made it for the lemon tart and it was sooo good. I also planned on making the torte in a 9 inch tart pan rather than a springform pan and i realized I would have excess crust with the other recipe.
Change two was to use ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese. All of the cottage cheeses at the market were loaded with gums and other additives, and I try to avoid those when at all possible.
For my berry layer, I selected a jar of whole cherry jam from Door County, one of the outdoor jewels of this great state.
hiking the eagle trail at Door County's Peninsula State Park
The torte is simple to make and very delicious--the texture is a little grainier than a traditional cheesecake, in part because of the ricotta substitution. The torte was a hit at wine club. A raved about the crust, and the slim slices disappeared quickly.
bad lighting, but tasty torte
I ate the two pieces I brought home over the next few days, and I found the flavors and textures improved as the torte rested. The crust stayed crisp, the cherries melted into the cheese, and the subtle sweetness was a perfect pairing with a cup of darjeeling tea.