Currently, I’m writing from the comfort of a hotel room… two miles away from my apartment. A couple of nights ago, some nasty wind took out the power in my area, and subsequently a fried circuit board has kept the power out in my building since. I’m probably going to be here a while longer, too, because a giant snowstorm hit last night, more than likely delaying the shipment of the parts they need to fix our power. Also, our car is at the dealership for repairs (actually, that’s a relief after the runaround we got regarding the warranty). The car isn’t a huge deal now, because we’re snowed in, and the hotel is nice, but staying in a hotel for going on three days with two hyperactive dogs can get old. To put it mildly, it’s been an interesting week… and I fly out for Italy in four days. Fun. I hope all of you are having a better week than me.
Thankfully, last week didn’t end so badly. It was Valentine’s Day, and before that my better half’s birthday. He’s a huge fan of cheesecake, and I’m a big fan of non-traditional recipes, so I decided to make this cheese cake torte.
The original recipe for this tasty, totally non-boring dessert came from an amazing mid-century cookbook that my great-great aunt (the most amazing 97-year-old lady you could hope to meet) gave to me. I made three little updates to the recipe: using gluten free graham cracker crumbs instead of regular ones, swapping plain greek yogurt for sour cream, and caramelizing the almonds on top instead of just toasting them.
Ingredients: (makes one 9″ round torte)
1 cup + 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon sugar
12 oz. cream cheese
12 oz. cottage cheese
1 cup plain greek yogurt (if you want an even sweeter dessert, try vanilla!)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9″ springform pan (with tall sides) or a 13″ pie pan with cooking spray.
To make the crust
A. Crush graham crackers
B. Combine with 1 tbsp. sugar, the nutmeg, and the cinnamon.
C. Lightly cover the bottom and sides of the pan with crumb mixture.
To make the filling
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly.
2. Mixing, slowly add 1 cup sugar. Blend until smooth.
3. Add sour sour cream and cottage cheese, and beat until smooth.
4. Pour this mixture into the crumb-lined pan, and bake for 1 hour (or until completely set).
5. While the torte is cooking, you can caramelize the almonds in a frying pan with 1 tablespoon sugar. Watch them careful, tossing them to make sure both sides get toasted without burning (which happens pretty quickly).
6. After the torte is finished cooking, remove it and turn the oven up to 450 degrees. Spread the greek yogurt over the top of the torte (and sides, if you’re doing this in a springform). Return it to the oven and cook for another 5 minutes.
7. It’s almost done! Top with the caramelized almonds and serve after it’s cooled.
It’s not traditional cheesecake, but it’s good, right? My cheesecake-loving husband seemed to like it. Here’s hoping the cooler on my balcony is keeping the leftovers a reasonable temperature… my powerless fridge sure wasn’t going to do the job!