Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Old Viennese Topfen Cake - Altwiener Topfentorte


The word ‚Topfen', is the Austrian name for what Germans call ‚Quark‘. These days Quark is starting to be available in many supermarkets and stores around the world. It is a European style cottage cheese that is much creamier than the drier cottage cheese that many of you are used to in other parts of the world and, with the addition of cultures, has a mild yogurt tang. In general, Quark can by used for anything that you may use crème fraîche or sour cream for.




If you follow my blog, you might have noticed that around here Quark is not only very popular for baking but also for slathering over oven-baked (Ofenkartoffeln) or boiled potatoes (Pellkartoffeln) and then topped with fresh herbs (Kartoffeln mit Kräuterquark). In Austria, Quark is often mixed with eggs and sugar and sometimes butter to form a luscious thickened cream for a variety of desserts, pastries and strudels including Quark Dumplings (Topfennockerl), Quark Strudel (Topfenstrudel), Quark Turnovers (Topfengolatsche), to name a few.




And while Quark is an essential ingredient for baked cheesecakes in the two German speaking countries, the approach to cheesecake is different. German cheesecake (Käsekuchen) often includes a pie crust to encase the baked filling, while this classic Old Viennese Topfen Cake (Altwiener Topfentorte) is made with Quark mixed with almond meal and is essentially gluten free.




The combination of good quality butter, Quark, farm fresh eggs, sugar, vanilla and almond meal gives this traditional Old Viennese Topfen Cake (Altwiener Topfentorte) an extremely light texture that will surprise you. But you will definitely need a light, quick hand when folding through the beaten egg whites otherwise you will end up with a cake on the dense side. It is always a good idea to make sure your beater and bowl are clean - free of any fats - before you start beating your egg whites to ensure a good volume results.




Old Viennese Topfen Cake - Altwiener Topfentorte
(this is a smallish cake, so it serves 6 to 8)

Ingredients
  • 120 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 120 g superfine baking (caster) sugar
  • 4 eggs (M), free-range or organic, separated
  • 120 g Quark (I use 20%)
  • zest of an organic lemon
  • 8g pure vanilla sugar
  • a pinch fine sea salt
  • 120 g almond meal
  •  icing sugar for dusting

In addition
  • a 22cm (8.5in) springform pan
  • baking parchment

Preparation
  1. Preheat you oven 180°C (356°F). 
  2. Butter the pan and dust with almond meal, shaking out any excess.
  3. In a mixer beat the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. 
  4. Add one egg yolk at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Then add the Quark, lemon zest and vanilla sugar and mix through. Set aside.
  6. Using a separate clean and dry bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. 
  7. Fold a third of the beaten egg white into the Quark mix to loosen it and then fold the rest in quickly with a spatula with a cutting motion, along with the almond meal. 
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes. 
  9. Take the cake out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely on the wire rack. 
  10. Then remove the cake from the pan, remove the baking parchment, dust with icing sugar and serve.




If you are interested in another Viennese treat, why not look HERE for my wonderful recipe for  'Viennese Whirls' - these are pretty delicious too.

Hope you enjoy your virtual, culinary trip to Austria.





13 comments:

  1. Ich würde so gerne ein Stück von dieser schönen Topfentorte haben, besonders mit den Johannisbeeren.

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    1. Dankeschön, liebe Gerlinde!
      Ich muss gestehen, dass diese nette kleine österreichische Spezialität ganz und gar lecker ist! ;)
      Liebe Grüße nach Santa Cruz - hoffe, ihr verbringt einen schönen Juli!
      Andrea

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  2. Love this cake, so very beautiful yet appearing so light and delicious!

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    1. Thank you very much, what a lovely comment! This is indeed a light cake - with a bit of tang from the Quark and sweetness from the almond meal - elegant, yet easy enough for mid-week teatime!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Andrea

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  3. Someone told me recently that they had seen quark at Whole Foods (a very expensive natural grocer here in the US). I want to see if it is true, as I would love to try it - and this Altwiener Topfentorte! Liebe Grüße ~ David

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    1. My dear friend David, oh, I heard and read sooo much about Whole Foods (mostly raving reviews, of course, with regards to their service, quality and range of products) - you would love this Torte and Mark too, I am sure. If you ever get your hands on Quark, you should buy some, bake this smallish cake and, if you get a chance, let me know wether your liked the result.
      Ganz liebe Grüße nach Tucson!!!
      Andrea

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  4. Oh Andrea, I love the sound of Quark cheese and wold love to try it...and this cake with Quark and almond meal looks delicious...absolutely love it...what a nice treat. Thanks for sharing the recipe...
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Dear Juliana, I am certain that you would enjoy this Torte - not too sweet, just a bit of natural sweetness from the almond meal plus a bit of tang from the Quark - just right for a slice with that afternoon cup of tea. :)
      Andrea

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  5. The texture looks divine, Andrea!! So beautiful, too, topped with those gorgeous currants. I'd love a slice :)

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    1. Dear Liz, what a kind compliment! Although this lovely, smallish Austrian cake contains no chocolate chips, chunks or fudge sauce and looks a bit country-like, I know you would like this one.
      Looking forward to meeting you in August, my friend!
      Andrea

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  6. This cake looks devine and I love the red currant decoration. Red currants are hard to find and expensive here. I stashed a few punnets in the freezer last Christmas.

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    1. Dear Gaye, I love serving fresh, seasonal fruits and berries with my desserts or sweet treats. Be it cherries alongside a butter cake, or, red currants (which I happen to adore because of their pronounced tartness) with this traditional Austrian Torte. They always offset the sweetness of the desserts in the most delicious of ways.
      Thank you for stopping by,
      Andrea

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