Sunday, 24 June 2018

Curd cheese cake with white vanilla chips

Russian cheesecake, Russian dessert

When I'm stressed, I bake, it's my way of coping with problems. The last night I couldn't sleep because of the blinking mouse under the bed. I could hear it rustling the papers, and actually saw it running in and out. I managed to nod off around 4am, but by 6am Sasha was already up.
I can't lift the bed, as it's very heavy, it's one of those boxed double beds.
We haven't had mice for a long time, so I need to rethink what to do about the problem. We live in a very old house, and I imagine there's plenty of space between the wooden floor boards and beams where they can live happily ever after.
Sasha is also not in a good mood, as he wanted to go out today. He spread out several picture symbols for me - walk, cafe and books (bookshop), but as his father is not here, I cannot take him out.

Last week I bought a pack of Polish curd/cottage cheese, thinking of baking a cake of some sort.
Curd cheese is a very popular ingredient in Russian cuisine, there are so many cakes and bakes which use it.

Russian dessert recipes

Curd cheese cake with white vanilla chips
400g curd cheese
150g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
zest of 1 lemon
4 medium eggs
2tbsp corn flour
250g self-raising flour
50g vanilla chips (Hershey's Premier white chips, vanilla flavour)
1 pack of cheesecake spice mix (optional)
a bit of vanilla (optional)
4tsp icing sugar + lemon juice for a thin icing

Grate the zest of 1 lemon in a deep mixing bowl.
Beat in the eggs with the caster sugar and softened butter, add curd cheese, baking powder, flour, corn flour, vanilla, spice mix and and mix well. Last end the vanilla chips, and mix them in well.
The cake batter is quite thick. Spoon it carefully in a well oiled cake tin. Put the cake tin in an oven preheated to 180C for 50+ minutes (depending on the size of the tin). Check with a wooden toothpick if it's ready. You might need to lower the temperature and bake it for another 10 minutes, until the skewer comes clean.
Once the cake is cooling out of the oven, mix the icing sugar with lemon juice to reach a not-too-runny consistency, and spread it on the top.
Serve warm or cold. It will keep well for a couple of days in the fridge, wrapped in foil.

Russian recipes

In this recipe I used a pack of Polish curd cheese - twarog, which is more grainy in comparison to the British curd cheese brands, and comes as a block rather than in a tub. The one I bought is called Twarog Tlusty (curd cheese, full fat). It is very similar to the Russian type of cottage/curd cheese I remember from my childhood.
The spice mix Kamis Przyprawa Do Sernika I Mas Serowych was another of my recent finds in the local Polish deli. This is the first time I've used it. It is a mix of sugar, vanilla, lemon and orange zest, cardamom and flavoring.
You can easily swap it for a mix of vanilla, cardamom and lemon zest.

Traditional curd cheese cake would include raisins soaked in sweet wine or tea, or/and sometimes dried apricots, also soaked and then chopped. Some cooks like adding mixed peel, or whole almonds.
Again the ratio of curd cheese to flour could vary from 50/50, to almost zero flour (just a couple of tablespoons). I used an almost double amount of cottage cheese to flour.

Vanilla chips are not found in traditional Russian recipes, but my guys do not like raisins in baking very much. Milk chocolate chips could be another possible ingredient.

Frylight Avocado Oil Cooking Spray was one of the products in the latest Degustabox food box. I use this oil, as well as the other in the range - Olive oil and Coconut oil - to spray the cake tins. I find them all useful for baking, as you can coat the inside of the tin evenly. They are particularly great for fancy bundt cake tins.

Russian cheesecake

Since I used the remains of the corn flour and vanilla chips, as well as the jelly decorations, I'm adding this recipe to the #KitchenClearout linky hosted by Cheryl at Madhouse Family Reviews blog.


  1. Ooh you know how much I love trying exotic recipes so this really appeals to me. We had a mouse in our house a couple of years ago but luckily it stayed downstairs - we eventually managed to shoo it out of the door but before then, we tried a rodent deterrent that you plug in and it emits a high pitched sound that you can't hear but rodents can't stand. We could only use it when we were on holiday and our rabbit was out of the house though, but it could be worth a try - we picked it up in Robert Dyas. I didn't fancy having traps or poison lying around, especially with the dogs and kids in the house. Hope you manage to get rid of it somehow xx

    1. Lol @ exotic, it's not exotic to me at all. :) I haven't heard of the high pitched device for mice, but not sure how far it transmits the sound. We have a little dog next door, which is yapping a lot as it is, don't want it to suffer and yap even more. And definitely don't want to use poison, if it dies under the boards and starts to stink the house out.