Käsekuchen [Quark Cheesecake]

Is anyone else now well and truly ready for summer to arrive? We have had a few hints of what may be coming our way over the last couple of weeks with the sun breaking through the dark grey clouds and I for one cannot wait. A few weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to take part in a campaign for Inghams called Ingham Foodie Finds. The brief was to come up with a summer recipe from one of their holiday destinations. What a combination, holidays and food, my two favourite things. The brief was the perfect excuse to start thinking of summer bakes.

Side-view

Having to choose a country to base this recipe on was easy; I’m half German, spent many a summer there as a child, love the food and also just really want to explore more in terms of German baking. My Oma (German grandmother) would often pull great cakes out of the oven to have in the afternoons with a hot chocolate. One of my favourites was eierlikörkuchen which I have blogged about here. I began to reminisce about my holidays in Germany and I really wanted to create a cake that encompassed many great memories of my time spent there during the summer.

Top-View

As a child growing up we used to split our summer holidays between visiting grandparents in the UK and my grandparents in Germany – it was brilliant, everything you would want as a child. In Germany we would spend so much of our time with our very close in age cousins who lived upstairs exploring the forests and eating all the red currants and gooseberries in the garden. When we went into the woods we would pick wild berries, eating more on our walk than we would take home. Any fruit that did make it back would be given to my Oma who would swiftly take it off our hands and create the most fabulous dessert. One of my favourite desserts was a simple mix of quark, cream, icing sugar, lemon juice and the fruit (recipe, if you can call it that is coming soon). This cake takes those flavours but is presented as a celebration cake. A lovely whisked sponge with a hint of lemon, with a lovely creamy cheesecake filling. I have filled mine with raspberries but it would be perfect with any berry.

Close-up

There are quite a few steps to this recipe but they are simple enough, I would just encourage having everything ready and at hand when you make the cheesecake filling. I decorated this with some lightly sweetened whipped cream and fruit but you could just simply dust it with icing sugar. It will be best on the day you make it but will last in the fridge for a day.

Quark-Cheesecake

Quark Cheesecake
[Adapted from Mary Berry & Dirty Kitchen Secrets]

Cake:

  • 125g caster sugar
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 1 lemon, zest only (keep the juice for the cheesecake filling)
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 2 free range eggs, separated
  • 100ml double cream, softly whipped
  • 500g quark, drained (see note below)
  • 150g raspberries, plus extra for decoration
  • 8 leaves platinum gelatine
  • 1 lemon, juices (from above)

Decoration:

  • 150ml double cream
  • 1tsp icing sugar plus extra for dusting
  • Mixed summer fruits

Preheat the oven to 180°c. Grease and lightly flour (or use cake release) a 20cm springform round tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.

Put the sugar, eggs and lemon zest in a heatproof bowl and place over a barely simmering pan of water. Whisk the mixture until it has gone thick and creamy, leaving a ribbon trail. It should at least double in volume.

Sift in the flour in two stages, folding it in very gently trying to keep as much air in as possible. Once all the flour is mixed in fold in the cooled melted butter. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 30 minutes, until the cake is coming away from the sides and is golden brown.

Take it out of the oven, leave it in the tin for a few minutes before turning out to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool enough to handle split the cake in half.

Whilst that is cooling, soak the gelatine in cold water whilst preparing the rest of the ingredients. Whisk the egg whites until you have soft peaks and set aside. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a separate bowl, add the lemon juice and cream and mix again. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine and heat it gently in a small pan (do not let this boil). Whilst beating  the egg yolk mixture pour in the melted gelatine, beat until smooth. Stir in the quark and once combined gently fold in the egg whites.

Place the clean 20cm cake tin ring on a serving plate and place one half of the cake on the bottom, pile the cheesecake mix on top before placing the other half of the cake on top. leave to set in the fridge for at least one hour.

In the meantime whip the cream with icing sugar and prepare the fruit for the top. Once ready to serve take it out the cake from the fridge, pipe the cream on top place the fruit in the middle and dust with icing sugar.

Note about quark cheese:

I have found that straight out the pot quark cheese can be quite soft so I put it in a muslin cloth and drain it for a couple of hours in the fridge which helps keep the filling firmer.

Ove-the-top-view

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