I am finally back after an amazing trip in Lapland north of the Arctic Circle accross Sweden and Norway to celebrate this New Year with a couple of friends (you are welcome to check out my pictures on Instagram).
We were lucky to experiment dogsledding (I had done that before but this time was my first driving the sled on my own, so much more fun!) and we also saw some stunning northern lights. Living the Swedish dream at its best! I am now back in Stockholm for good and the snow has come here too. This real Swedish winter reminds me of when I moved to Sweden almost 5 years ago now – I moved on the 13th of January 2010. It will soon be my 5th year "Stockholm" anniversary!
With the trip still fresh in my mind, I felt like sharing a typical winter Swedish recipe with you today, a recipe involving saffron. The Swedes love to use saffron in their Christmas/Winter baking (check out my Swedish Saffron Buns "Lussekatter" recipe). A few weeks ago, before the Christmas break, I was invited to bake a special dessert for a corporate event. One catch though: it had to be a lactose-free dessert. My experiments led to this saffron cheesecake after some adjustments with the ingredients and the quantities I used. Don't worry, if you're not lactose-intolerant, you can also use normal butter and cottage cheese. It works just as well.
In total I baked no fewer than 4 saffron cheesecakes in December! It was an amazing success with everyone and it really became a favorite among both my Swedish friends and the others. The saffron adds this little special luxury touch in this slightly sweet dessert while the cottage cheese softens it overall and provides some freshness. A festival of flavors for your taste buds in a very easy recipe. Be prepared to fall in love with this saffron cheesecake!
I want to dedicate this soft recipe to my dearest grandfather who just passed away a couple of days ago just after turning 94. We will all remember his smile and his extreme kindness. Rest in peace, grandpa, we will always love you!
Ingredients (serves 8):
- 5.3 oz (150g) lactose-free butter, at room temperature
- 8.8 oz (250g) gingerbread cookies, preferably lactose-free as well
- 1g saffron
- 1 sugar lump
- 1 tsp rum (or other liquor)
- 26.5 oz (750g) lactose-free cottage cheese
- 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup fresh berries
- 4 fresh mint leaves
1. Melt the crushed gingerbreads with a food processor. Add in the melted butter and mix with the gingerbread crumbs.
2. Line with a baking paper the bottom of a form with a detachable edge, 10 inches in diameter. Press the gingerbread crumbs into the form and cool for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
3. Dissolve the saffron with the sugar lump and the rum.
4. In a large bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, saffron and granulated sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition.
5. Blend the preparation with a stand mixer for 2-3 minutes so that no lump remains.
6. Preheat the oven to 390 F. Pour the saffron cream evenly over the gingerbread bottom and bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely and then store for at least 2 hours before serving so that it solidifies. Just before serving, decorate with the fresh berries and some fresh mint leaves.