Last year Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla rallied some blogging friends to help her celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary. She was only looking for fifteen cheesecake recipes. But we posted waaaaaay more than #FifteenCheesecakes.
For the event, I made Badischer Rahmkuchen. This cheesecake comes from the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany and is not technically a “cheese” cake, but a cream cake made from sour cream, schmand (can substitute with creme fraiche), heavy cream, and eggs. I only came across this cheesecake once in Germany. I spent a weekend in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) visiting the town of Triberg with my family. Much to my surprise/delight, Badischer Rahmkuchen was a part of the breakfast spread at the hotel one morning. Twenty-one year old me thought having cheesecake for breakfast was the best thing ever. It was creamy and delicious, but a bit lighter and not as (sometimes) overwhelmingly sweet as the American version. Unfortunately, I had the cheesecake before my borderline-obsessive food photography began so there is no photographical evidence, but I did manage to take a few pictures of Triberg and the surrounding area.
Such a beautiful area on the drive through the Black Forest to Triberg
Simonswäldertal (home to a popular hiking trail)
Drei-Täler-Blick (Three Valley View)
Triberg is a small town in Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany. It is a popular tourist destination thanks to the Triberger Wasserfälle (Triberg Waterfall), one of the highest waterfalls in Germany. Triberg is also home to the Black Forest Museum and plenty of Cuckoo Clocks.
I always love the paintings on the walls and attention to detail such as the window boxes with beautiful flowers among many of the buildings.
The Triberger Wasserfälle (Triberg Waterfall) is a 163 meter (535 foot) drop over 7 cascades along the Gutach River. Technically, the Röthbachfall is higher at 470 meters (1542 feet), but the one in Triberg is generally listed as the highest since it is more accessible and popular with tourists.
View from near the top of the cascades
The Badischer Rahmkuchen has a creamy consistency without the need of a waterbath. This version has a pie crust-like base, but I have also seen other recipes use a yeast dough.
Mix the filling ingredients just until combined. Don’t beat in too much air or the cake will be more likely to fall. After pouring the filling into the prepared crust and pan, bake it in the oven just until set. The center should still wiggle a little. One of the tricks to cheesecakes that I am often too impatient for is to let the cake slowly come to room temperature. You want to avoid major temperature shocks. Leave it in the turned-off oven for 10 minutes before opening the door slightly and allow to rest for about 30 minutes. Let sit on the wire rack until room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator for up to a day. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Schmand (Smetana) is a light sour cream product popular in Central and Eastern Europe. I have not been able to find it locally, so I used creme fraîche. Don’t have creme fraîche available either? It is actually easy to make your own by adding 2 tablespoons cultured buttermilk to 1 cup heavy cream and allowing it to sit at room temperature for a day before refrigerating.
I topped the cake with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, but cinnamon sugar is also very popular.
Badischer Rahmkuchen (Baden-Style Cheesecake)
Adapted from Bake to the Roots
200 grams (~1 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
70 grams (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) powdered sugar
8 tablespoons (110 grams) unsalted butter, chilled
1 tablespoon water
400 grams (1 3/4 cups) sour cream
200 grams (3/4 cup) schmand or creme fraiche
200 mL (7 fl oz) heavy cream
40 grams (5 tablespoons) cornstarch
100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Powdered Sugar or Cinnamon Sugar
To make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Dice the chilled butter and cut it into the mixture using a dough blade, forks, or your fingers until coarse and no pieces are larger than a pea. Mix in the egg to form a smooth dough and, if needed, add the water to help bring it together. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line a 10 inch springform pan with parchment. Grease the bottom and sides with butter.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a circle large enough to cover the bottom and about 1 1/2 inches (3 cm) up the sides, about 1/4 inch thick. Place evenly into the pan, pressing the dough into the edges and evenly around the sides. Prick the bottom a few times with a fork.
To make the filling: In a large bowl, mix together the sour cream, schmand or creme fraiche, heavy cream, eggs, cornstarch, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract until just combined and smooth. Pour into the prepared crust and pan. Bake in preheated oven until set with the center slightly wiggly and the top golden, 40-45 minutes. Turn off the oven, but leave the door closed for 10 minutes. Open the door slightly and allow to rest for another 30 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.