‘German’ NY Cheesecake with a cherry topping


I have to admit that I’m starting to get a little bit bored of the limited choice of ‘winter fruit’. European winters are that little bit too long. Luckily, there is preserved fruit from the summer and even luckier I found some, in form of a jar of cherries in cherry juice, in the back of my food cabinet the other day.

Jars of cherries in cherry juice don’t seem to be that commonly used in England it seems but in Germany we use them in cakes or as dessert and waffle toppings all the time. That’s why I always try to have a jar of cherries in my larder at home in London too. This time I used it as a cheesecake topping…

I have been missing New York lately and thought of making a New York Cheesecake. However, I wanted to reduce the fat content a tiny bit, so I gave the cake a little German treatment by replacing some of the full fat cream cheese with some no fat Quark. I also used a little less sugar than the average American receipe would suggest but these are no drastic adjustments so it’s still a rich and sweet enough cake to enjoy and think of New York.

You’ll need

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 eggs
  • 125g flour
  • 1 pinch of baking bowder
  • 250g quark
  • 600g cream cheese
  • 1 jar of cherries (around 650g) and its juice
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • Grease a 26cm round spring cake tin.

For the base of the cake, cream together the butter, 60g of the sugar and ½ tsp vanilla essence, using an electric whisk. Combine the baking powder with the flour and add this, along with 1 egg to the mix. The resulting dough is a little thick and sticky but should be plyavble enough to be spread into the cake tin in an even layer.

Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees/ gas mark.

Whisk the remaining eggs and 120g sugar with 1 tsp of vanilla essence until fluffy, then fold the quark and cream cheese under.

Pour this cream onto the cake base and bake the cake on the lowest rack for a total of 45-50 minutes BUT after 20 minutes, take a knife all around the cake edge to loosen it from the cake tin and repeat this after 40 minutes again. This is the best trick to ensure the cake doesn’t crack!

A cheesecake also cracks when it gets moved too quickly from hot to cold, so once your baking time has been reached, turn the oven off and open the oven door but don’t take the cake out until it has fully cooled down.

For the cherries, pour the cherries into a sieve set over a bowl to catch the cherry juice. Heat the juice until it starts to boil, then add the cornflour mixed with a little bit of cold water, and stir it in to thicken the juice. You need to let the juice come back to the boil for at least 1 minute and should see it getting thicker and darker. Add the cherries and let the mix cool down before spooning 2-3 tbsp of it on the cake and serving the rest in a little bowl alongside the cake.

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