I love Topfen. Topfen is an Austrian dairy product made of cow’s milk that is similar to ricotta but less sweet and more tangy. It’s full of protein and low in fat and is commonly used like cream cheese would be in desserts, baked goods and spreads. In Germany it’s called Quark. Cream cheese is one of my favorite ingredients on the planet and it goes to follow that Topfen is also something I really like the taste of. In Austria you will find Topfen featured in Topfenknödel (sweet dumplings), Topfennockerl (similar to mousse), Topfenstrudel, Topfentaschen (cheese Danish), Topfencreme (mousse) and so much more. One of the most delightful Topfen creations is the classic Topfentorte. Topfentorte has always been a favorite of mine in Austrian pastry shops but, as much as I like to bake, I never had a decent recipe to make it myself – until recently.
This May, after coming back from a fabulous walk and enjoying the warm, sunny spring weather, a really good friend and I were sitting on her patio and she offered me a piece of her homemade Topfentorte. It was simply perfection. Tangy and slightly sweet cream between layers of spongy and moist cake. This was it! I excitedly walked home with the recipe in hand – I was finally going to be able to make my favorite Austrian cake myself. Thank you, Ingrid! 🙂
- 5 eggs
- 150 g sugar
- 1/2 pkg. vanilla sugar or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 150 g flour
- 500 g Topfen
- 130 g sugar
- 1 pkg. vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Juice and zest of half a lemon
- 8 leaves gelatin
- 250 ml whipping cream
Line the bottom of springform pan (26 cm) with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides of the pan. Preheat oven to 180°C (convection 170°C).
For the cake batter beat eggs, sugar and 1/2 pkg. Vanillezucker using a mixer at the highest speed for 8 minutes, until very foamy. Gently fold in the flour. Pour batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Beat the whipping cream until stiff and set aside. Put the gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water to soften for 5 minutes. For the Topfen cream, beat the Topfen, sugar, vanilla and the lemon juice and zest until smooth. Remove the gelatin from the water and dissolve in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir 6 tablespoons of the Topfen cream into the gelatin then beat the gelatin mixture into the rest of the Topfen cream. Fold in the stiffly beaten whipped cream.
Split the cake horizontally in the middle. Place the bottom layer on a platter and place the springform ring around it. Pour the Topfen cream over the cake, cover it with the top layer of the cake and press down lightly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
Run a sharp knife along the inside of the ring to release the Topfen cream from the sides and open and remove the springform ring. Dust the cake with powdered sugar and serve.