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German Cheesecake

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German cheesecake or Käsekuchen recipe: light, creamy quark cheesecake topped with pearled meringue.

German Quark Cheesecake

German Cheesecake

The famous German cheesecake or Käsekuchen, a traditional quark cheesecake that can be served with or without the meringue topping. I prefer it with the topping, it makes everything complete.

I think I might have mentioned it before but I will say it again. I think Germany makes not only the best bread there is on this planet, but the best cakes as well.

Think about Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Gateau), Zwetschgenkuchen (Plum Cake), Streuselkuchen (Streusel Cake), Marmorkuchen (Marble Cake) and so on.

German Cheesecake

 

Quark Cheesecake – Käsekuchen

The German cheesecake makes it also to the top of the list, everybody in Germany loves it, everybody knows it, everybody makes it (or buys it).

You can have it in any bakery or cafe, it comes either as it is or with different types of toppings – fruit, sour cream or meringue topping.

It is the meringue topping that gives this particular version the name of Tränchenkuchen (tears cake).

I usually make the cheesecake with canned mandarins on top, that’s the way my son likes it best, but after seeing this version once, I knew I had to make it myself, it just looks so pretty with those sugar tears on top… 🙂 And Bruno loved it anyway, even without the mandarins.

German Cheesecake

What is quark?

  • I used low-fat quark to make the quark cheesecake.
  • Quark is a fresh dairy product, traditional in the cuisines of German-speaking, Scandinavian and Slavic countries. Quark is protein-packed, (½ cup has 11 g protein in it) and is super healthy, especially the low-fat kind.
  • Quark is very cheap and very common in Germany, but maybe not that easy to find in other countries. However, most larger supermarkets probably sell quark nowadays, I really hope you can find it because making this German cheesecake with quark is really worth it!
  • Quark is similar to Greek yogurt, but less tart in taste and slightly stiffer. When it comes to consistency, I think strained yogurt comes closest to quark. When it comes to taste, cottage cheese is a close approximate, however, quark has a slightly stronger taste and is very smooth, while cottage cheese has those little balls in it.
  • Usually, I would recommend a substitute for quark, but in the case of this German cheesecake, I think you either make it with quark or let it be.
  • This is supposed to be an authentic, traditional cake, that is why no major substitutions should be made. And quark is the main ingredient after all.

Vanilla pudding powder:

  • I use vanilla pudding powder from Dr. Oetker, the one that needs to be cooked with 500 ml/ 2 cups of milk. (Amazon affiliate link)
  • However, you will not cook it in this case, just add the powder to the quark mixture.
  • The vanilla pudding powder can be replaced with the same amount of cornstarch. In this case, add some more vanilla extract to the filling to intensify the vanilla flavor.
German Cheesecake

How to bake a quark cheesecake?

I always use the metric system for weighing the ingredients: it is precise, clean, and quick, buying a kitchen scale is really worth it!!! (Amazon affiliate link). I bought mine for less than 10 Euro and I’ve been using it for years now.

I also listed the cup measurements because I know that many people only use that, however I cannot guarantee the best results if you insist of measuring in cups… I know from experience that a cup of flour is not always a cup of flour, if you know what I mean.

And measuring butter in a cup is impossible if you ask me. Not to mention the mess caused by cup measuring… 🙁

German cheesecake step by step:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of a springform (26 cm/ 10 inch diameter) with parchment paper and butter the ring.
  • Place all the pastry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you obtain crumbs. Turn the crumbs on the working surface and knead very quickly to form a ball of dough.
  • Roll the pastry on the lightly floured surface and place it in the prepared springform taking care to cover the margins of the form as well.
  • Place the quark in a large bowl and whisk it shortly until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and pour the mixture into the springform. The mixture is pretty liquid, but that is how it is supposed to be.
  • Bake the cake for about 70 minutes. After about 60 minutes start preparing the meringue.

Meringue:

  • Place the egg whites and the icing sugar in a very clean bowl and start beating them using very clean whisks.
  • After the 70 minutes of baking time are up, take the cake out of the oven and top it with the meringue. Place back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Don’t leave it for more than 10 minutes or the tears will not form anymore.
  • Don’t expect to see the tears already while the cake is still in the oven, the tears will form during cooling.
  • Let cool down a little bit, then go around the edges with a knife to release it from the ring. Leave to cool completely on the bottom of the springform.

As all cheesecakes, the German cheesecake is best served the next day.

Source: Chefkoch

German Cheesecake

 

MORE CHEESECAKES?

Romanian Easter Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake

Crustless Cheesecake

Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Passion Fruit Cheesecake

PIN IT FOR LATER!

german cheesecake with meringue topping
slice of german cheesecake with meringue topping

German Cheesecake

Yield: 12-14
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

German cheesecake or Käsekuchen recipe: light, creamy quark cheesecake topped with pearled meringue.

Ingredients

  • Pastry:
  • 200 g/ 7 oz/ 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 70 g/ 2.5 oz/ ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 egg (medium Germany, large US)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Filling:
  • 500 g/ 1.1 lbs/ 2 ½ cups low-fat quark
  • 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 packet Dr. Oetker vanilla pudding powder (See note)
  • 1 egg (medium Germany, large US)
  • 2 egg yolks – keep the egg whites for the meringue
  • 230 ml/ 7.7 fl.oz/ 1 cup heavy/double cream
  • 230 ml/ 7.7 fl.oz/ 1 cup milk
  • 150 ml/ 5 fl.oz/ scant 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • Meringue:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons icing/ powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of a springform (26 cm/ 10 inch diameter) with parchment paper and butter the ring.
  2. Place all the pastry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you obtain crumbs. Turn the crumbs onto the working surface and knead very quickly to form a ball of dough. Roll the pastry on the lightly floured surface and place it in the prepared springform taking care to cover the walls of the form as well.
  3. Place the quark in a large bowl and whisk it shortly until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients - sugar, vanilla, vanilla pudding powder, eggs, egg yolks, heavy cream, milk, vegetable oil - mix well and pour the mixture into the pastry-lined springform. The mixture is pretty liquid, don't worry about it.
  4. Bake the cake for about 70 minutes. After about 60 minutes start preparing the meringue.
  5. Place the egg whites and the icing sugar in a very clean bowl and start beating them using very clean whisks. After the 70 minutes are up, take the cake out of the oven and top it with the meringue. Place back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes (only 10 minutes or you will not have the tears or sugar pearls anymore).
  6. Let the cake cool down a little bit, then go around the edges with a knife to release the cake from the ring. Leave to cool completely on the bottom of the springform. The tears will form while the cake is cooling down.

Notes

I use the Dr. Oetker vanilla pudding powder, the one that needs to be cooked with 500 ml/ 2 cups milk. However, you will not cook it in this case, just add the powder to the quark mixture. The vanilla pudding powder can be replaced with the same amount of cornstarch. In this case, add some more vanilla extract to the filling to intensify the vanilla flavor.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 109mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 0gSugar: 29gProtein: 9g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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