German Cheesecake
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German Cheesecake

I have been wanting to make this German cheesecake after reading great reviews on dianasdesserts.com for a long time. The main ingredient of this recipe is a cheese called quark or keifer which I could never find in India so I just postponed it till an opportune time. I made this dessert recently for a dinner with my in-laws and this little piece of heaven was a total hit. Diana's recipe does mention substitutes for quark and I quote "There are 3 substitutions that can be used for the Quark in this recipe if Quark is not available. One is to use farmer’s cheese, another is to purée cottage cheese in a blender or food processor, and the third is to purée eight parts of ricotta cheese with 1 part of sour cream in a food processor. "For viewing the recipe and reviews on her site, please visit http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipes.recipeListing/filter/dianas/recipeID/2244/Recipe.cfm

Sunanda Sharma

Ingredients

12-serving
  1. 1.5 Cups Flour
  2. 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  3. Pinch Salt
  4. 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Sugar
  5. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Rind
  6. 1 Egg (beaten)
  7. 1/4 Cup Sugar
  8. 100 Grams Butter
  9. 3 Eggs (separated)
  10. 3/4 Cup Sugar Granulated
  11. 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Sugar
  12. 100 Grams Butter (room temperature)
  13. 500 Grams Quark cheese or Keifer
  14. 6 Ounces Heavy cream
  15. 1.5 Teaspoons Cornstarch
  16. Pinch Salt

Method

120 mins
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    Some points to note: i. Keifer cheese in US comes in a 450 gm pack so I used that and increased the amount of whipping cream by one oz. ii. To make vanilla sugar, I added pure vanilla paste to normal sugar and mixed it well before using. This is just a shortcut and other methods are preferred :)

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    Iii. The crust of this cheesecake resembles that of a pie crust, so gentle handling is recommended to not make it too hard. But at the same time, it is very difficult to handle. Diana mentions in her recipe that she rolled out the dough twice to make it manageable but I had to do that thrice :)

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    For the crust,Sift the flour. Add the baking powder, lemon rind, salt and vanilla-sugar and sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture gets the consistency of crumbs. Add the beaten egg and knead to a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in cling foil and chill in the fridge for an hour.

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    Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C). Keep aside a 9 inch sprinform pan.

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    Roll the dough out once (approx 11-12 inch disk of uniform thickness) on a well floured surface, make into a dough and roll again. Repeat if its still unmanageable :)

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    Place the dough in the springform pan and press it gently against the base and sides, almost till the top of the pan. Put the pan in the fridge till you prepare the filling.

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    Beat egg yolks with sugar and vanilla sugar until pale. Add butter and whipping cream, beating after each addition. Add the cheese and stir until its combined well in the mixture. Set aside.

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    Beat egg whites in a clean bowl until foamy. Add salt and beat till stiff peaks.

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    Gently fold in the cheese mixture in the egg whites, adding cornstarch a little at a time.

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    Pour the filling in the prepared crust and gently even it out. Trim the excess dough leaving about an inch on the sides.

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    Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until golden brown. It took about an hour and 10 mins for me. The cheesecake at this point will be very well risen.

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    Cool the cheesecake with the oven door open for about 15 mins. During this time, it will sink dramatically (see pictures).

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    Take it out of oven and let it cool on a wire rack for about one more hour. Refrigerate for a few hours (better overnight) before serving.

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    Mine was served with sliced strawberries and everybody had seconds and thirds of this little piece of heaven. Thanks Diana! :)

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