Cheesecake in Germany is traditionally made with quark – a light & creamy soft cheese much lower in fat than cream cheese. It is not the easiest ingredient to find in the UK but can be substituted with fromage frais which I have used in this recipe. It is a wonderfully creamy, melt in your mouth cake best served cold on a hot summers day with a selection of fresh fruit and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
Originally from Germany, cheesecake has been part of my growing up – my mum loved to make it for us kids and the bakery next to my Grandma, where I spent a lot of my summers, used to have a flatter version of cheesecake which was delicious as well – Grandma always made sure to bring some whenever she visited!
Last time my mum surprised me with cheesecake, she followed a recipe by Tim Maelzer – the German equivalent to Jamie Oliver. The recipe was printed in one of her favourite magazines to promote his cookbook ‘Heimat’ (homeland) – a marketing strategy that certainly worked on me as it is now on my wishlist 🙂
Tim Maelzer’s added eggnog to his recipe which makes it even creamier but if this goes a step too far for you, just use sour cream instead of eggnog. Otherwise, it is a very traditional recipe for German cheesecake which has a shortcrust base instead of crumbled cookies used in the American cheesecake version but of course, it would work with a cookie base too.
As already mentioned, fromage frais is much lower in fat than cream cheese (the only version I could find in my local supermarket was even fat-free) and has a high protein content which will make you feel fuller for longer, this cake is also low in sugar which makes it an almost guilt free treat that is not too sweet!
If you cannot find quark or fromage frais, I read that ricotta is another alternative, however, I have not tried this yet but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work.
This recipe has been adapted from Tim Maelzer’s original recipe. Printable recipe at the end of this post!
Ingredients: 250g plain flour, 40g icing sugar, 5 medium eggs, a pinch of salt, 100g cold butter (plus extra to grease the cake tin), 125g sugar, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 kg fromage frais, 200g double cream, 150 ml eggnog (or 150g sour cream instead).
Mix 150g plain flour with 40g icing sugar and a pinch of salt.
Add 100g cold butter (cut into cubes) and 1 egg yolk (keep the egg white for later)
Bring it all together, form a ball, flatten it and wrap in clingfilm – leave it in the fridge for 3o minutes
Add 1 kg Fromage Fraise, 200g double cream, 150 ml eggnog (or 150g sour cream) 4 eggs and 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste to a large bowl and whisk it all together
Then mix in the flour and sugar mixture
Preheat the oven to 180C, grease a round baking tin (about 26cm in diameter) and take the dough out of the fridge.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface, slightly bigger than the baking tin, carefully move it to the baking tin and line the base with it. Place the base in the preheated oven and bake on the lower part of the oven for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes take the base out of the oven and immediately brush with some of the egg white that you have put to the side earlier.
Add the rest of the egg white to the cheese mixture and add to the baking tin – bake in the oven for 1 hour.
After 1 hour take the cake out of the oven and let it cool down completely before you take it out of the baking tin – store it in the fridge until you are ready. Sprinkle with a little bit of icing/powdered sugar and serve with a selection of fresh fruit. Enjoy!