Viennese Cheesecake

Viennese Cheesecake

I first had this lovely dessert in Vienna, in the form of a slender, towering piece of torte with delicate fluted pastry edges, topped with a light dollop of cinnamon infused cream.  It was heavenly, very light, not too sweet and filled with a spiciness that seemed to hark back to that most romantic of times, the Belle Époque when the cafe industry was just finding its place in society and the art of constructing elegant meals suitable for artistic company was at its height.  So... in the tradition of the Grand Salon, here is my ode to Viennese Cheesecake.

 

For the Base:

1 cup plain flour

¼ cup ground almonds

¼ cup caster sugar

4 tablespoons butter

1 egg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of salt

A little cold water

 

For the filling:

1 ½ cups cottage cheese

¾ cup cream, beaten to soft peaks (or use ½ cup double cream)

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon ground almonds, toasted

3 tablespoons vanilla infused caster sugar

3 eggs, beaten

⅓ cup raisins soaked in Kirsch

1 tablespoon candied peel, soaked in Kirsch

Freshly grated nutmeg

½ cup flaked almonds

Icing sugar

 

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C

 

For the Base:

In a large mixing bowl, rub together the flour, salt, butter, cinnamon, cloves and sugar into a fine breadcrumb, then mix through the egg with a little water.  Once the pastry comes together in a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Once chilled, roll out thinly and line a fluted pie tin, allowing for a little shrinkage of the pastry.

Blind bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes, then set aside while the filling is completed.

 

For the filling:

Combine the eggs, sugar  and cheese, mixing in the nutmeg and candied peel well.  Add the almond meal and baking powder and fold through the cream.

Lastly fold through the raisins, allowing the Kirsch to slightly marble through the cheese mixture.

Pour the filling into the prepared flan case, marble through a little additional Kirsch and scatter flaked almonds over the surface of the cake.

Generously sprinkle icing sugar over the cake and bake for around 30 minutes, or until just set in the middle.

Turn off the oven and leave the cake to cool in the oven.

Serve in slender slices on an elegant plate, with a small piped swirl of cream infused with cinnamon with a glass of liqueur.