Another recipe, another childhood memory from my GDR days.
I’m not sure what makes this cake Russian, although to be fair, most things in those days really were Russian. It’s called “picked” or “plucked” cake in German, because of the bits of chocolate dough that are added to the top of the cake. I can’t stand cheesecakes with a biscuit base, but this is all-baked and can even be eaten warm. It’s rich beyond belief, and delicious!
- 300 g (10.6 oz) plain flour
- 10 g (2 level tsp) baking powder
- 180 g (6.3 oz) sugar
- 60 g (2.1 oz) cocoa powder
- 250 g (1.125 cups) unsalted butter
- 5 eggs
- 500 g (2.25 cups) curd cheese – if you can find something Austrian/German called “Quark,” use this. Polish “twaróg” will work too, but it’s a bit crumblier and needs more stirring
- 200 ml (6.7 fl oz) single cream
- Couple of tsps of vanilla custard powder
- Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and cocoa powder, 200 g (slightly less than a cup) of the butter (melted) and 2 eggs to make the chocolate dough.
- Knead the dough and line a 26 cm (10-inch) springform pan with 2/3 of it, making sure it goes roughly an inch up the sides.
- For the filling, mix the curd cheese, cream, vanilla custard powder, 3 eggs, and the remaining 50 g of the butter (melted) and fill the dough-lined springform pan with it. If you want a sweeter filling, add a few teaspoons of sugar to the mix.
- Make small lumps of the remaining chocolate dough and put them on top of the cake.
- Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 50 – 60 minutes.
This makes an enormous cake that you might have to share with all your neighbors. It does keep a few days in the fridge, though.
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