Cherry Streusel Cheesecake

Wine and cheese afternoons during working hours are fine and classy, but not worth attending if they are not crowned with a nice cheesecake. That will be my contribution to the party, it’s all about cheese after all.

Cheesecake is a Science in its own right. There are so many ways of making it as cultures involved: New York style, British style, cuajada-based, baked, twice-baked, refrigerated only… even the Japanese have a trendy variety.

I’m starting with a German cheesecake, which typically uses quark and a fresh dough base instead of buttery crushed cookies. Quark is cheese curds, i.e., the proteins that coagulate when enough acid is added to milk.

This new recipe series (look for cheesecake on the right!) is not intended to be a rigorous comparison, we would need a controlled, blinded studyfor that, and cheesecake is good, yes, but in moderation. Let’s instead record the results as case studies, and maybe in a little while we fancy a nice retrospective analysis base on literature data.

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Cherry Streusel Cheesecake

For the Shortcrust Pastry

  • 1 egg
  • 300 g flour
  • 150 g butter
  • 80 g sugar

Combine the ingredients until the dough is homogeneous.

Wrap in cling film and let it cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan.

Roll the dough and place on a 30×20 cm baking tray lined with backing paper.

Bake for 15 minutes, and increase the oven temperature to 180°C fan once the tray is out..

For the Streusel

  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g sugar
  • 100 g flour

Put the ingredients in a bowl and rub them using your index finger and thumb until the consistence resembles breadcrumbs.

Let cool in the fridge, covered.
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For the filling

  • zest of one lemon
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 180 g sugar
  • 750 g quark, 0.1% fat
  • 4 eggs
  • 80 g butter
  • 75 g wheat semolina
  • 1 tsp backing powder 
  • 1 pack of vanilla pudding powder (37g)
  • 350 g sour cherries (pitted)

Mix the quark, sugar, egg yolks and lemon (zest and juice).

Add the melted butter.

Combine the vanilla pudding powder, backing powder and semolina and mix with the quark.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed and fold into the quark filling.

Finally fold in the cherries (drained and lightly dried by tapping with paper tissue).

Pour the filling on the shortcrust pasty and extend carefully.

Finally sprinkle the streusel on top and bake at 180°C fan for 30 to 35 minutes.

Let cool and cut in squares.

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Cherry and Cream Cheese Cake

There is a place called Heerstaβe, and one of my regular websites suggests one should see it in bloom at least once in a lifetime. The japanese cherry blossom trees start blooming around mid April and stay gorgeous for about two to three weeks, and I happened to be in Bonn last week, just too late. One could still see some of the pink flowers on the trees, but mostly a copious pink carpet and flowery cars. Beauty is fleeting, it’s better just to focus on the taste.

Cherry and Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Cherry and Cream Cheese Cake

For the cake
  • 250 g of butter
  • 300 g sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1.25 tsp baking soda
  • 1.25 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 350 g flour
  • 300 ml sour cream
For the cherry and cream cheese filling
  • 200 g softened cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp morello cherry conserve 

For the Almond Topping

  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 70 g sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 160 °C fan and butter a ring cake pan (bundt pan) of 25 cm diameter.
Prepare the vanilla sugar almond topping by thoroughly combining the sugar and vanilla and then stirring in the sliced almonds.
For the cake batter: cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Next add the combined and sifted baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour and finally the sour cream. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are well incorporated, but don’t overbeat.
To make the cream cheese filling: beat cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar until creamy.
To assemble: place half of the batter in the tin, followed by some cherry jam and the cream cheese on top (careful to leave a couple of cm on each edge so that the fillings do not touch the tin sides) . Cover with the remaining cake batter, tap the pan to remove trapped air and sprinkle the vanilla sugar almonds to finish it up.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for 1 hour before remoulding.  To do so, run a thin palette knife carefully around the edge and center to loosen it, and invert it gently on a cooling rack.
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Black Forest Cupcakes

The centenary cake I was talking about a few days ago has produced an immense amount of baking literature around it. Together with the original recipe, I tried a BBC twist in the form of cupcakes. Tbh, I saved a little drizzle of the cherry kirsch sauce just for it, because this recipe was calling out loud: try me!!!

Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes

  • 125 g softened butter

  • 175 g caster sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 200 g self-raising flour

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

  • 125 ml milk

  • 100 g 70 % dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 150 °C fan and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating, and then sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix until well combined. Finally fold in the milk and melted chocolate. Spoon  the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Whilst still hot, pierce the cakes with a skewer and carefully pour about a teaspoon of kirsch liquor over each one. When completely cold, pipe cream onto the cakes, top with a glacé cherry, drizzle with the thickened kirsch and sprinkle some chocolate.

Black Forest Cupcakes

Black Forest Cupcakes

  Black Forest Cupcakes
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Black Forest Cupcake

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte Centenary!

The Black Forest Cake is 100 years old today. Viel Glück zum Geburtstag!

It seems that it was baker Josef Keller who first decided to mix cherries, kirsch and cream in a cake and, although he was born near the Black Forest in Germany, he first served it in the Café near Bonn where he worked at the time.

I couldn’t think of a better way of celebrating the day than with an attempt to reproduce the recipe at home.

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

This recipe comes from Chefkoch.de, so it’s the proper German version!

For the cake

  • 5 eggs
  • 175 g sugar
  • 10 g of vanilla sugar (I used a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead…)
  • 125 g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g cornflour
  • 15 g cocoa powder

Line the bottom of a 23 cm round tin (don´t grease the edges or it won´t rise!) and preheat the oven at 160 °C fan. Whisk egg whites, together with two tablespoons of the sugar, until stiff. Beat the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar and vanilla. Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and cornflour, sift and fold into the egg mixture.

Spoon into the tin and bake 25 to 30 minutes.

For the cherry filling

  • 350 g cherries in kirsch
  • 250 ml of the kirsch cherries juice
  • 30 g cornflour
  • 25 g sugar
  • 3 tbsp kirsch liquor

Drain the cherries. Mix the cornflour and sugar and add 4 tbsp of the drained kirsch juice to make a paste. Bring the rest of the kirsch cherry juice to boil, remove from the heat and slowly add the cornflour-sugar paste. Mix with a spoon until the paste starts to thicken, bring back to the heat, add the drained cherries and continue to mix with the spoon until properly thickened. Add a little bit of extra kirsch liquor now if you want it more intense. Remove from the heat and let cool down.

Kirsch Cherries

For the cream filling

  • 800 g double cream
  • 40 g sugar
  • 10 g vanilla sugar (or a bit of vanilla extract…)

Mix all ingredients and whip the cream.

I was researching online which is the best method to get really stiff whipped cream, and apparently using a hand-held blender seems to be the answer… So that’s what I did, no gelatine or oder additives.

For decoration

  • Chocolate shavings
  • Glacé Cherries (I wanted to save every single one of the kirsch cherries for the filling…)
  • (Plus some of the cream above mentioned)

Once cold, cut the cake in 3 tiers and sprinkle some kirsch liquor over them. Add the cherry filling over the first tier, and then whipped cream. Place the second tier, spread more cream on top (no cherry this time, this cake is a cream-lover paradise!) and finish with the third tier. Cover the cake in cream and decorate with chocolate sprinkles and cherries.

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

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Guten Appetit!