Another must-have traditional Czech dessert: today, I am sharing the recipe of míša řezy. If this dessert looks very simple to prepare, its particularity is based on the traditional cheese that is used to make it: tvaroh.
Míša řezy combines textures and flavors in multiple layers. It usually counts:
Tvaroh cheese: the secret to a successful míša řezy recipe
Tvaroh is a fat cheese with a grainy texture usually produced by local farmers. It can easily be found in any grocery store in the Czech Republic. However, it is more difficult to find abroad. I had the chance to find the famous tvaroh in an Austrian grocery store near my home. The tvaroh strongly resembles cottage cheese that is frequently used here in North America. However, it is much denser and more compact than cottage cheese.
In fact, the cottage cheese I find in Montreal does not exceed 4% fat. Tvaroh is actually 40% fat! Do not try to substitute it for another cheese to make míša řezy! I always make two attempts when I try my recipes, and I confess I initially tried the recipe for this dessert with a 4% cottage cheese.
Verdict: it was a disaster! I could not slice the cake neatly. The cheesecake layer was so liquid that all the cream spilled on the sides. So I was eager to get the tvaroh mentioned in the original recipe. However, be careful not to beat the cream (do not blend it in a food processor) as you would make the tvaroh too smooth.
Tvaroh, at the center of traditional Czech recipes
Tvaroh is normally sold in packages of 250 grams. There are several kinds, including tvaroh měkký (soft curd), tvaroh odtučněný (skimmed cheese), tvaroh nízkotučný (sour milk and low fat), tvaroh polotučný (sour milk with 50% fat content), tvaroh tučný (tvaroh with whole milk) and finally the tvaroh tvrdý na strouhání.
Although tvaroh is often compared to cottage cheese, it is very different in its compact consistency. The cottage cheese we know (quark cheese) is called čerstvý sýr in Czech.
Tvaroh is obtained by a boiling process of unpasteurized cow or goat curd with kefir. It is the precipitation of milk protein (casein) that produces the granular texture that is the particularity of tvaroh. Its confection takes between 24h and 48h and some even venture to realize it at home as Mike did for his Polish cheesecake, the sernik. Tvaroh is used in several Czech pastries including kolache or the traditional bread pudding with cheese, apples and raisins called žemlovka. It is used to stuff fruit pancakes or to prepare other desserts such as mléčná rýže, a pastry cream made from rice milk or pudink (pudding).
Be aware that if you can not get the authentic tvaroh, you should get a cheese that contains 35% fat minimum. Cream cheese can do the trick, but the taste of the cream and its texture will be a little different. Another substitute, if you can get some, is farmer’s cheese, but it is not exactly tvaroh either. So try to get the authentic tvaroh to test this traditional recipe.
A grandmother’s claim mentions that a nursing mother who is breastfeeding should put some tvaroh in her bra to protect herself from mastitis (inflammation of the nipple). Well, this would have to be confirmed by doctors… If nostalgia hits you and you miss the fresh air of the streets of Prague, I invite you to check our other recipes of Czech desserts like kolache, bublanina or kremrole!
Enjoy your meal !
This recipe is validated by our culinary expert in Czech cuisine, Kristyna Montano. You can find Kristyna on her food blog CzechCookbook.com.
- 6 eggs
- 6 tablespoons caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 teaspoons cocoa powder (100% cocoa)
- 4 tablespoons butter (to grease the mold)
- 1 tablespoon flour (for the mold)
- 1 cup butter m slightly softened + 3 tablespoons for the mold
- 1 lb tvaroh (creamy quark, farmer's cheese, or 40% fat cottage cheese), very cold
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 4 oz. dark chocolate (50% cocoa)
- ½ cup butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
Preheat convection oven to 350 F.
Separate the eggs.
Beat the egg whites until stiff.
Mix the baking powder and the flour.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar for 2 minutes. Add the oil and the flour and baking powder mixture.
Add the cocoa powder while sieving and beat for a few seconds to combine.
Delicately incorporate the egg whites into the mixture.
Butter the bottom and sides of a rectangular springform pan (20x16 inches and 2 inches high). Dust bottom with flour.
Pour in the dough and bake for 12 minutes.
Set aside until completely cooled.
Beat the tvaroh (or creamy quark, or 40% fat cottage cheese), butter and sugar until obtaining a homogeneous mixture.
Pour this mixture over the entire surface of the cooled biscuit and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
Melt the butter.
Pour the chocolate into the butter. Gradually add the milk while stirring. Stir until reaching a smooth consistency.
Pour the frosting on the tvaroh mixture and spread evenly over the entire surface.
Refrigerate the míša řezy for 6 hours before serving.
Dip the blade of a large knife in boiling water for a few seconds, wipe it dry, and immediately cut 12 equal slices.