Swedish cheesecake – Småländsk ostkaka

Swedish cheesecake with whipped cream, blackberries and jam.

I know, I know. The photo is really bad and doesn’t do this dessert any justice. This Swedish cheesecake, originating from the province of Småland, is probably far from any cheesecake you’ve ever had. It’s not at all like the smooth biscuit based New York cheesecake. This cheesecake is grainy, full of toasted chopped almonds and has a very vague taste of bitter almond. And it’s absolutely lovely! Serve it lukewarm with berries, jam and whipped cream. This cheesecake needs to be served directly from the pan it was baked in as it’s not really sliceable.

To make Swedish cheesecake you need to make your own cheese, but don’t let that scare you off. You’ll need rennet and in Sweden you’ll always find it at the pharmacy. If I’m not wrong, bitter almonds are banned in the US. They are poisonous, but only in very large quantities so don’t worry as they are very common in European baking. If you live in the US you can substitute with almond extract.

    Småländsk ostkaka – Swedish cheesecake from Småland
    (Based on a Gert Klötzke recipe. I significantly increased the amount of almonds, increased the amount of egg and used vanilla infused sugar).
    Serves 6-8

    Day 1:
    3 litres of milk (at least 3 % fat)
    75 g flour
    2 tsp rennet
    Day 2:
    400 ml double cream
    3 eggs
    90 gram sugar (vanilla infused).
    2 small bitter almonds, finely grated
    100 gram blanched almonds, roasted and chopped

    Mix 200 ml milk with flour and rennet to a smooth batter. In a big pan, heat the rest of the milk to 35 degrees C. Add the flour mixture and stir until it reaches 37 degrees C. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Carefully separate the whey from the cheese using a very fine sieve and/or cheese cloth. Let it continue to drain in the fridge over night.

    The next day combine the cheese with the rest of the ingredients. Pour the batter into a buttered pan. Bake the cheesecake in 165 degrees C until it has a nice and golden colour, approximately 30-40 minutes. Make sure it’s completely baked but not overbaked.

    Serve lukewarm with jam, berries and whipped cream.

12 Responses to “Swedish cheesecake – Småländsk ostkaka”

  1. Paula
    October 4th, 2010 22:06

    looks so delicious!

    have a nice time!

  2. LindaMary
    October 5th, 2010 17:01

    This looks and sounds delicious!

  3. Sara Kanwal
    October 7th, 2010 22:54

    Hey !

    wow!!! this recipe is making my mouth water ! :D it is sooooooo yummy :) am gonna ask my mum to try this out for us :)

    i just keep eating good food & visit nice food blogs and food sites, so here is one other i came across :) http://www.cookingreal.com

    :) they say that they are new but :) they are doing nice job ! :)

  4. Irene
    October 10th, 2010 11:04

    I’m going to Sweden next weekend and I hope I can find this cake somewhere, because it looks amazing and I’d really like to try it! Doing it at home… I’m not ready yet :)

  5. Mattias, Bakemyday.se
    October 10th, 2010 21:05

    Jahapp, då var man beroende av den här bloggen också. =)

  6. Paulette
    October 23rd, 2010 11:02

    I tried to look up the word rennet but no luck. I suppose in swedish ostlöpe, right?
    Sugar (vanilla infused)? do you mesn that you mix sugar with some fresh vanilla pods or the vanilla beans (small dots one)? Where do I get the recipe in swedish? Thanx/ Paulette

  7. Dagmar
    October 25th, 2010 21:37

    Irene: I hope you were able to taste it when in Sweden!

    Paulette: Precis, det är ostlöpe (som du kan köpa på apoteket). Varje gång jag har skrapat ur en vaniljstång så lägger jag den i en burk med strösocker. Sedan fyller jag på burken med fler stänger allt eftersom.
    Om du googlar på småländsk ostkaka och Gert Klötzke så hittar du recept på svenska. Dock hade jag i betydligt mer mandel och extra ägg jämfört med hans recept. Han använder dessutom ingen vanilj.

  8. Patricia
    December 16th, 2011 07:26

    Does the milk have to be raw (unpasteurized, unhomogenized)milk? My mother made this every Xmas growing up (Swedish grandma) and always had my dad get raw milk to make the curds. Selling raw milk is illegal in Wisconsin so I’ve only managed to find it twice in last 30 years..

  9. Dagmar
    December 16th, 2011 14:57

    Patricia: I used absolutely normal milk, i.e. pasteurized!

  10. Elena
    December 23rd, 2011 04:45

    Thank you ,Dagmar!
    i want to prepare this dessert too in near time., because i read a really good feedback about this traditional dish.
    It seems, your recipe is authentic.
    Can I replace a part of double cream with ricotta, for example ( 400 ml of double cream is too much for me….).

  11. Dagmar
    December 24th, 2011 00:59

    Elena: I would not substitute with ricotta, rather I would substitute with single cream if that suits you better? Ricotta will change the texture and flavor too much. Good luck!

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