The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

German Cheese Cake - Käsekuchen for Ex-Pat's

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hanseata's picture
hanseata

German Cheese Cake - Käsekuchen for Ex-Pat's

Americans and Germans have a lot in common. One is their love for cheese cake. Though both pastries taste great, Käsekuchen is distinctly different from its US cousin.

Cheesecake crust is made with cookie crumbs, very practical, and a good recycling of even stale cookies. German Käsekuchen has a short crust, more fuss, but buttery decadence.

The real difference, though, is the filling. American filling, made of mild, more neutral cream cheese, can be varied with many different flavors (like Limoncello-Cheesecake). Käsekuchen is made with quark, a fresh cow milk cheese that is less creamy, more acidic, and contains more water.

Quark (curd cheese), the base for many different types of European pastries and desserts is unfortunately hard to find in the US, or outrageously expensive - and it doesn't taste the same.

German Käsekuchen with sour cherries - my husband's favorite

Though in desserts quark will be often paired with fruits, German cheese cake bakers tend to purism, the filling might have raisins, and sometimes other fruits, like sour cherries or apples.

Another important difference: German Käsekuchen is notably less heavy and dense than its somewhat massive American counterpart (in spite of the short crust!).

Though I do like American cheese cake with its seemingly endless variations, I love my German Käsekuchen. But how to re-create it in this sadly quark-less country?

Here is how I did it - and you can, too!

No quark needed to make this Käsekuchen, lighter and less dense than it's US cousin

 

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

cheesecake is Lucy's favorite and she beats the whites separate to make a lighter one too!  Lemon is our favorite.  It should be perfect match with the sour cherries.  Your German cheesecake really made Lucy's ears perk up!

I see lots of folks are without power up your way and it is a good thing yours is still on and we hope it stays that way,

Lucy has never made cheesecake with a short crust - preferring a mix of Oreos, chocolate bourbon cookies and chocolate sugar wafers but I'm pretty sure I would like the short crust just as much and so would she...

Happy New Year Karin

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Fortunately we here in Bar Harbor were spared from the power outages, though we had ice rain, too. But a few miles from here lots of trees came down, worse than in 1999.

Please, convince Lucy to go back to her German roots and try a short crust cheese cake. She will not regret it!

Happy New Year to you (and Lucy) too!

Karin

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Karin.

Those cheesecakes really look wonderful!

My mother's cheesecake may have been more like yours than the so-called "New York Cheesecake." She made her's with a mixture of cream cheese and Hoop cheese, which is a little tart and a little bitter. It was less rich and more tart and flavorful than an all cream cheese cheesecake. I wish I had her recipe!

I wonder if you have ever compared American hoop cheese or farmer's cheese to quark. I can get both of them locally.

David

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Thanks, David!

I never had Hoop cheese, but farmer's cheese should come close to quark (unless it is the dense kind that you can slice). Your mother's recipe really sounds, as if this mixture emulated quark.

Karin

 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Looks great Karin.

Jeff

hanseata's picture
hanseata

you should try it!

Karin

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I will.

Jeff

kensbread01's picture
kensbread01

Looks Dellllicsh...  I'm not a fan of American-style cheesecake, maybe this is a better alternative.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Thanks!

My stepdaughters don't like heavy American cheesecakes, either, but they do like my lighter German version. You might, too!

Karin

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

From your description of the cheese, it sounds very much like the Mexican queso fresco (fresh cheese). I've used it as a direct replacement for cream cheese. It gave me a stronger, more tart flavor. I like the taste better than the cream cheese version, but it is more difficult to cream smoothly.

cheers,

gary

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

My mother made cheesecake with hoop cheese which also needed creaming. It seems to me that I remember her doing something like forcing it through a strainer in the old days. In later years, I believe she creamed it in a food processor. 

David

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I think it is similar, and quark, (unless it's the cream version) also needs something to make it smooth. Like the egg yolks in my cake, or the additonal heavy cream, in the original recipe. Or, when making savory mixes with herbs, condensed milk.

Happy Baking,

Karin

 

isand66's picture
isand66

This looks great Karin.  My wife was looking to make a German style cheese cake after eating some in Epcot center a couple of years ago.

Thanks for sharing.

Ian

hanseata's picture
hanseata

And today I bought a Leinenkugel Orange Shandy at the supermarket. My next bake!

Karin