Saturday, 24 November 2012

Rákóczi Túrós Baked meringue cheese cake

Here is another good old curd cheese cake recipe. There are thousands in Hungarian baking! This one is a huge favourite with everyone and one of the staples you can get in any cakeshop. I have been planning to make Rákóczi túrós for a while, and recently found a Polish curd cheese/cottage cheese in Asda that is very similar to the one you get in Hungary. I was very excited to try it (Saddo). You could use ricotta too. This cake is named after the French trained János Rákóczi, the Hungarian royal master patissier. He created this cake for the 1958 World Expo in Brussels as part of a selection of Hungarian dishes to represent what is quintessentially magyar in our cuisine. Rákóczi's recipe has been changed and altered by many over the years to suit changing tastes, but I followed his basic original recipe as I think it is the best and tastiest of all. He suggests a lettuce pattern of meringue and apricot jam on top, which I think is very retro in its looks and takes too long to fiddle with. So I made a plain meringue topping that I drizzled with jam (using my new drizzling gadget I got from my aunt). You could add more filling or more meringue as you wish.

For the pastry base:
250g plain flour
60g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
grated zest of half lemon
100ml sour cream
pinch of bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt

For the filling:
500g curd cheese (or strained cottage cheese, ricotta)
3 egg yolks
2 egg whites
200ml sour cream
grated zest of half a lemon
few drops of vanilla extract
100g icing sugar
4 tbsp semolina and more for sprinkling

For the meringue topping:
4 egg whites
150g caster sugar

Mix the pastry ingredients together until you get a shortcrust pastry type of dough and rest it for half an hour in the fridge. Preheat oven to 180C and roll out the pastry to about 5mm thickness and place in a baking tray, I used a 20x30cm tray with 3cm sides. It doesn't need lining and I cut the pastry to the size of the tray base. Prick it with a fork in several places. Bake it for 10 minutes, it doesn't need to be fully baked, just dry enough for the filling to go on top. Let it cool and make the filling.
Push the curd cheese through a potato mincer. Mix the egg yolks with the icing sugar until smooth an pale, add the vanilla etxract, curd cheese, sour cream, semolina, lemon zest.  Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the filling. Sprinkle the pastry with semolina and spread the filling on top evenly. Turn the oven down to 160C and bake it for about 20 minutes or until the filling has cooked through and when tested with a wooden skewer, it comes out dry. Take it out of the oven and make the meringue topping. Beat the 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form then add the caster sugar gradually. Spread the meringue mix on top of the cheese cake and bake it ready in the oven. I turned the oven up to 180C to start with to get that crisp meringue coat going, then turned it down to 140C to let the meringue centre bake a little but still keeping that lovely marshmallow texture. It really only needs to dry up a bit. When ready, cool it down and cut into squares or slices, drizzle with apricot jam.






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