A light and easy cake, chock full of Ziger.
Here’s a reminder, partially borrowed from my post on Ziger Malfatti.
Ziger, known as sérac in the French part of the country, is made from whey, a byproduct of cheesemaking.
(Quick cheesemaking refresher: add enzyme-rich rennet to milk to make it curdle. The solids (curds), separate from the liquid (whey). The curds are used to make cheese and the whey is then discarded or used to make other things, like Rivella.)
To make Ziger (and also Ricotta and other similar cheeses), acid is added to the liquid whey and the proteins coagulate. Generally Ricotta is softer and creamier, while Ziger has a firmer, crumblier texture and equally mild flavour.
Normally you need to ask for Ziger directly from the cheese counter, or your local dairy. Don't get it confused with the green Glarner Schabziger, which is something quite different. For those in the neighbourhood, my mother-in-law says the best Ziger comes from the Käserei in Unterfrittenbach, which you can buy at the Jakobsmarkt in Zollbrück.
This cake was inspired by similar Italian ricotta cakes, as well as the Zigerkuchen that is often found in Alpine cooking, sometimes studded with berries. The blogger zum fressn gern, always full of ideas for animal byproducts like Ziger (and offal), has a similar version of the Zigercake, but with ground almonds and butter added to the batter.
My husband Sam, likes the slightly dry texture of the Ziger. For a moister version, swap out the Ziger for Ricotta.
400 g Ziger
80 g sugar
the zest and juice of one lemon
2 shots booze
flaked almonds, to garnish
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4.
Line the bottom of a 24 cm (9 inch) springform pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides.
Place the Ziger in a clean tea towel and press lightly to drain out some of the excess moisture.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon zest and juice. Whisk in the ZIger—this will be thick and hard to stir. Use an immersion blender to smooth out the mixture.
Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until stiff and glossy. Fold into the Ziger mixture.
Spread into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the sides start pulling away and the top turns very lightly golden.
During the last five-ten minutes of baking, spread the flaked almonds on a baking sheet and lightly toast them in the oven.
Once the cake has cooled, garnish with the toasted almonds.
I used a Yuzu Limoncino from Distillery Studer for the booze in this recipe, though other lemon or citrus liqueurs (Grand Marnier, Cointreau) would also work.
This version has a slightly dry texture because of the nearly fat free Ziger. For a richer version, swap out the Ziger for Ricotta.