Layered Cheese Torta with Pesto

24 oz Cream cheese, softened
24 oz Unsalted butter, softened (do not substitute)
Basil sprigs
Thin French bread slices
Bite-size crisp fresh vegetables

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixer bowl and beat until very smooth and creamy. Line a 10-cup straight-sided plain pan or a clean flowerpot, with plastic wrap, draping the excess plastic wrap over the rim.
Spread about 1/8 of the cream cheese mixture in the mold. Add a layer of about 1/7 of the pesto. Repeat the layers ending with the cream cheese mixture. (Make thicker or thinner layers if desired but divide the cream cheese mixture and pesto into the desired number of portions before beginning to layer and be sure to begin and end with cream cheese mixture.)
Fold the ends of the plastic wrap over the top layer and press lightly to compact the layers. Refrigerate for 1 to 1½ hours or until firm.
Uncover the top layer and invert the torta onto a serving plate. Remove the plastic wrap carefully. Cover the torta with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Garnish the torta with basil sprigs and serve with French bread and fresh vegetables.

Yield 20 to 25 servings

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