After a long summer break (when I was trying out baking bread, pineapple upside-down cakes and brownies on campfire, sometimes with only mild success), the blog is back, in the colours (or better, flavours) of the autumn.
This cake is inspired by a traditional Slovene dessert, Prekmurska Gibanica (sometimes jokingly directly translated as Over Mura – a river- Moving Cake). I know, doesn’t make much sense. The original is a rich, heavy dessert, consisting of alternating layers of cottage cheese, poppy seed filling, walnut filling and apples all separated by layers of thin dough and drowned with sour cream and egg mixture. (Recipe in English can be found on this site) The result is delicious, but also the epitome of the “I just had lunch at grandma’s, I think I’m gonna die” feeling. That’s why I wanted to capture the balance of the flavors of the original, but package it in something lighter and modern. Looking at the ingredients – cottage cheese, sour cream, a cheesecake seemed the appropriate choice. The taste follows the original, but the texture is lighter and smoother, giving a whole where you can definitely eat more than just one piece (though this may not necessarily be a good thing ;). It takes a little bit longer to be made, and needs to rest overnight when finished, but it is definitely worth it.
- 200g + 100g walnut cookies (or walnut crumble, recipe below)
- 50g butter
Smash or process the cookies (bag and roller pin method provides quite some fun 😉 ), to get fine cookie crumbs. Mix them with melted butter and press them firmly over the bottom of the two cake molds.
- 125g flour
- 125g confectioner’s sugar
- 125g ground walnuts
- 125g butter
- A pinch of salt
Mix the powders. Add cold cubed butter, and incorporate it, so that the mixture forms a dough. Shape it into a sausage and leave it in the fridge for about 1h. When cold enough, cut the roll into pieces of equal thickness. You can use cookie cutters to further shape them. Bake them in a preheated oven at 200°C for 10 minutes.
- 2 apples, grated and drained of as much liquid as possible
- 30g poppy seeds
- 500g + 250 g cottage cheese
- 200g + 100g greek yoghurt
- 2 + 1 eggs
- 75g + 35g sugar
- 2 tsp + 1tsp flour
Quantities are for one larger cake mold (26cm in diameter) and a smaller one (20cm in diameter).
Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Mix together the cottage cheese with greek yogurt. Add eggs one by one, followed by the sugar and the flour, to obtain a homogeneous mixture. Add poppy seeds only to the part that will be for the 26cm mold. Wash, grate and drain the apples. Spread them evenly over the cookie crumbs base. Pour the cheesecake mixture over them and bake for about 1h. When done, let them cool overnight in the fridge, before assembling and decorating them.
Poppy seed tuiles
- 4 egg whites
- 125g sugar
- 50g ground walnuts
- 50g butter
- 2 tbs poppy seeds
Beat the egg whites with a fork. Add the powders and mix gently. Lastly, fold in melted butter. Leave to rest for 1 hour before use.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Take about 2/3 of a spoon of the batter and spread it on the paper in a circle form. Sprinkle with poppy seeds and bake for about 10 min. As soon as you take tuiles out of the oven, bend them in the desired shape (for example over a rolling pin). As they cool down, they will harden and keep their shape.
Cream to decorate
- 400ml whipping cream
- 100g cottage cheese
- 100g sour cream
- 50g confectioner’s sugar
Beat the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Beat in the sugar, cottage cheese and sour cream. Spread it around the cake to mask all sides, and use it for decoration.
Place the smaller cheesecake on top of the larger one. Mask all sides with the cream. arrange walnut crumble around the perimeter and decorate with poppy tuiles. Ta-da, you have a modern version of a Slovenian classic 🙂