Adapted from the Tasting Room in the East Village
Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
1 1/2 cups ground almonds
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, more for pan
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
4 egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 pint sour cream
Bee pollen (optional).
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine almonds and brown sugar. Melt butter, then stir in. Butter bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan, then press nut mixture into bottom but not up sides.
2. In a small pan, warm cream cheese over low heat. When very soft, remove from heat, and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites and 1 cup sugar until they hold soft peaks. Fold in cream cheese and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Pour into pan, and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out only slightly moist; cake should not be brown.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together sour cream, remaining sugar and vanilla. When cake comes out of oven, increase setting to 450 degrees, and carefully spread mixture over cake. Return it to oven for 5 minutes. Do not overcook or it will crack or turn brown. Remove, and let cool in pan. Chill in refrigerator. To serve, run a knife along edge of pan, and remove sides of pan. Cut into wedges, sprinkle with bee pollen (if using), and serve.
Yield: 8 servings.