|Alternative names||Swedish cheesecake, Swedish curd cake|
|Place of origin||Sweden|
|Region or state||Hälsingland and Småland|
|Main ingredients||Rennet, milk, cream, sugar, eggs, almonds, bitter almonds|
|Cookbook: Ostkaka Media: Ostkaka|
Ostkaka, "ost" meaning "cheese" and "kaka" meaning "cake" in Swedish (the definition of "kaka" includes "cookie" but is a wider concept), also known as Swedish cheesecake or Swedish curd cake, is a Swedish dessert that has its roots in two different parts of Sweden, Hälsingland and Småland, though there are some differences between ostkaka from Hälsingland and ostkaka from Småland.
The dish has a rather firm consistency and subtle, creamy taste with a hint of almonds. It is usually eaten lukewarm with different jams, typically cloudberry, cherries or strawberry though lingonberry is often used, as well as fruits, whipped cream or, more rarely, ice cream. The reason for eating ostkaka while it is lukewarm is that if eaten too warm, the delicate flavors of the ostkaka will not come through, and if eaten too cold the consistency will be too firm and heavy.
Despite the similarity in literal translation, ostkaka should not be confused with cheesecake which is a layered cake. Swedes typically call the latter by its English name, sometimes making it "American Cheesecake", to avoid confusion. Though even then, Scandinavian restaurant menus sometimes confuse the two.
It is then baked in an oven and served warm - never hot, as this will nullify some of its flavor.
Traditionally, the Småland variety is cooked in a large copper pot. This gives rise to a tradition of allowing guests to take their portions from the centre of the Ostkaka, thereby avoiding any traces of copper that may have leached into the mixture where it is in contact with the pot.
Since the process of curdling milk is somewhat complicated, alternative recipes intended for home cooking instead use cottage cheese as a base to simulate the texture of the dessert.
Since 2004, the "Day of Ostkaka" is celebrated on November 14 in Sweden.
It was established and is promoted by the "Ostkakans vänner" ("Friends of Ostkaka"), a non-profit organization founded in the spring of 2003.