Biezpienmaize or cottage cheese bread is a type of Eastern European cheesecake.
The use of cottage cheese or curd cheese in baking and pastry is extremely common in Eastern European countries and in European countries in general. We have pastries and dumplings made with curd, we have curd pancakes, breads, and cakes too.
It gives the baked goods a great texture and keeps them nice and moist. Usually, they are heavier than others, but they stay softer for longer.
The curd or cottage cheese that we use is quite different from the cottage cheese that I have found here in the UK. Cottage cheese here is quite more liquid and is usually seasoned with salt. The curd that is used in baking is quite dry and crumbly and has little to no salt added to it.
You should be able to find it in most Eastern European grocery stores. The cottage cheese I use has a fat content of 9%. It is the most used in baking, but you can certainly get away with other fat percentages if you have no other choice.
This recipe can be changed and adjusted. If you don’t like raisins, then leave them out or replace them with other dried fruits. If you want to make this gluten free and remove some of the sugar and butter, then don’t use the biscuit base. This cheesecake can be made with or without it and it’s good either way. My mom makes it without the base pretty much every time and I still love it.
The berries can also be changed to your liking.
Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature before you start making this cheesecake. Using cold ingredients will throw off the baking time.
This recipe fits perfectly in a 20cm x 6cm (8in x 2.5in) round cake tin. You can make it in a larger tin if you want to or you can bake it on a rectangular tray.
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the biscuit base –
120g (4.25oz) white flour
80g (2.8oz) softened butter
40g (1.4oz) sugar
5g (0.17oz) baking powder
200g (7oz) fresh or frozen berries to sprinkle on top of the base
For the curd mix –
500g (1.1lb) cottage cheese
250g (8.8oz) ricotta
50g (1.75oz) sour cream
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
100g (3.5oz) sugar
20g (0.7oz) vanilla paste
40g (1.4oz) corn-starch
3 lemons worth of zest
100g (3.5oz) raisins
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C (356F) fan off.
- Make the biscuit base. Cream the butter, sugar, and baking powder until pale. Add the flour and mix until there is no dry flour left. Sprinkle the dough into the non-stick paper lined cake tin and press it into shape to fit the bottom of the tin in an even layer.
- Beat the egg whites and sugar until they become thick. By hand this will take around 6 minutes. If you have a mixer, use it to save time and energy.
- Mix the egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest, corn starch, and sour cream until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the ricotta and mix well. Add the raisins.
- Using a spatula break down the cottage cheese until it becomes nice and smooth. We don’t want large lumps of it in the cheesecake. This could also be done with a food processor.
- Combine the cottage cheese with the rest of the ingredients.
- Finally mix the egg white mass with the cottage cheese mass until nice and smooth.
- Spread the berries on to the biscuit base and press them lightly into the dough.
- Pour in the cottage cheese mix and give the cake tin a few taps against the table to even everything out and get rid of any air bubbles.
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour. Once it starts browning you can cover it with some tin foil to prevent it from becoming too dark.
- Test the doneness of the cake by measuring the internal temperature. It should rise above 75C (167F). It took me 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Leave to cool down completely before removing from the tin.
I like to put this cheesecake in the fridge once it has cooled down and then eat it on the next day. It’s really nice when it is cold and flavours get to mingle even more over time, so it tastes better too.
Watch the video here