Burnt Italian cheese torte recipe


In the Loire Valley of France you can find burnt-to-black spherical cakes called tourteau fromagé. They are the strangest-looking things, but once you know what they are, they become a welcome sight. Blackened intentionally, this cake is a magical blend of goat, mascarpone, and ricotta cheeses, blended with rich butter and a small portion of flour. This is not even the same species as a classic New York cheesecake, but rather a creation all its own. The flavor of the delicious creamy cheeses shines through with the texture, which is a hybrid of a standard cake and a dense cheesecake.

  • Yield: 10 Servings


Shortbread Crust
  • 8 ounces (8 to 9 cookies/225 g) Classic Shortbread Cookies
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) organic unsalted butter, melted
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 8 large pasture-raised eggs (400 g)
  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (175 g) organic granulated cane sugar
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (75 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 10½ ounces (300 g) mascarpone
  • 10½ ounces (300 g) whole-milk ricotta
  • ½ pound (2 sticks/225 g) organic unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (90 g) organic sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 11/3 cups (175 g) organic unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) convection.
  2. To make the Crust
  3. Pulse the cookies into crumbs in a food processor. Add the melted butter and salt and pulse to combine.
  4. Pack the crust into the bottom of an unlined 11-inch (30.5 cm) round springform pan, and bake for 15 minutes, or until just golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the Batter
  6. Combine the eggs and granulated and brown sugars in a stand mixer fitter with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.
  7. Combine the mascarpone, ricotta, butter, condensed milk, and vanilla in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer the egg mixture to a large bowl and add the blended cheese.
  8. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt directly over the egg and cheese mixture. Using a large whisk or large spatula, fold the flour mixture together. This helps prevent the batter from splitting.
  9. Pour the cake batter on top of the baked shortbread crust and place in the oven. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until baked through and golden.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and turn on the broiler.
  11. Place the cake directly under the broiler to blacken for about 5 minutes. Do not walk away during this process! Turn the pan as the top blackens, to ensure an even burn.
  12. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool before serving. A dollop of strawberry or apricot preserves makes a lovely topper for this cake, or enjoy it as is.

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