Russian Chocolate Cheesecake (also sometimes known as curd cake) is pretty much a combination of chocolate cake and cheesecake. In other words, heaven. It’s called Russischer Zupfkuchen, which means “plucked” or “picked” cake (in German… more on that in a bit) because of the bits of chocolate cake that adorn the top. And guys, it’s good. Really good. Rich and satisfyingly indulgent.
Nobody seems to know if this cake actually comes from Russia. It appears to really be a German cake that’s just called Russian cheesecake, possibly because the torn pieces of dough supposedly resemble rooftops of Russian churches in Moscow. In any case, with a cake this good, it doesn’t really matter where it originally came from.
Most recipes call for “curd cheese” or Quark, which is a fresh cheese similar to what Americans know as cottage cheese. You could use drained cottage cheese in this recipe for a more traditional experience, but the cream cheese lends it a delightful creaminess and a slight tang and we think it works really nicely.
If you’re planning to serve this cake to guests, a springform pan is a great choice. It makes it easier to extract the entire cake for a nice display. It tastes just as good scooped out of a rectangular pan though, so don’t worry yourself too much.
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