Baking | Quark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
Stephen King

Quark Mousse with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries.Oi, hello November, when did you arrive? It’s the onset of winter here in Northern India, and we are waking up to beautiful, cool and nippy mornings. The winter haze has begun to set in, the flower beds have been prepared for winter plants, the sapling lovingly planted, and  the warm weather finally shooed away. The winters here are mild as compared to up North, so we see butterflies and flowers in abundance. This is possibly the best month here, and one of my favourites. This time of the year is packed with birthdays, anniversaries, festivals etc so there is always something to bake for, always something to look forward to!

Quark Mousse with Roasted Balsamic StrawberriesCouldn’t get enough of the Quark Mousse I made a short while ago, and the roasted balsamic strawberries in the freezer were far too tempting to let be. I made some mini quark cheesecakes with brandied burgundy cherries a short while ago, and by some quirk of stupid fate they never really downloaded into my PC, and I deleted the pictures from the camera. Really kicked myself because I had a field day taking those pictures, so much colour and so much fun.Copious tears shed on Mr PABs shoulder, and he convinced me to make the cheesecakes again. ‘This time they’ll come out even better, and so will the pictures, he assured. I recall him inquiring a couple of times last week if there was some left, so I figured he had an ulterior motive! Whatever … so I set off to make some more quark, and this time around decided to use my roasted balsamic strawberries that I had used in this Quark Mousse with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries.

Quark Mousse with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries.Never got anywhere last week as life was far too busy, and I had some urgent projects to complete. In the midst of my disappearing week, my Dad decided to take a tumble at home and bust his forehead with his glass frames! He tried to do a quick-fix on his own but was caught and bundled off to the hospital! Uff, dropped the cake as is, put off the oven, and it was off for stitches. But he’s a trooper, a brave soldier, and  now he’s fine, back on his feet, with few tell signs, but for a funny black eye! In all that, the poor quark got forgotten as there was no time to make my precious dessert.Quark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries In any case, it was now my parents anniversary and a quick change in plans meant that the quark was now part of a cake! No recipe as usual, other than the quark and of roasted strawberries, I literally threw together 2 three egg sponges. The sponge cake recipe an old faithful one … 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour as there was no time for books. Thankfully, I’m slightly more organised now, so I normally have the right size tin liners and side strips cut and stored.Roasted Balsamic Strawberries & Quark Cheese Mousse CakeThe sponges came out fab – light and airy. I made the filling like the earlier mousse. It’s like thick whipped cream and makes for a great filling. No need for gelatin or any stabilizer, and also fewer calories compared to a full cream filling. The sponges were cut into 2 each horizontally, given a quick brushing of a sugar lime syrup, then slathered with filling between layers, and then on the sides too. I left it covered in the fridge overnight for the flavours to mature. Would think about the topping tomorrow!

Quark Mousse with Roasted Balsamic StrawberriesThe sides weren’t particularly tidy as I would have liked them to be, so I did a melted chocolate lace border to cover up the mess. Doodled a pattern on a piece of butter paper of the size of the circumference, and piped melted chocolate from a baggie over it. Just when it was beginning to set, I took the chilled cake out of the fridge and wrapped the butter paper gently but firmly around the cake. Back into the fridge it went, and the paper was peeled off in 15-20minutes. Simple and fun! {I’ve done a similar lace border with white chocolate in this Strawberry Bavarian Cream Cake; pictures of the steps shown}

Quark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic StrawberriesIt was too high as I didn’t bother measuring the height in my hurry, but no harm done. I just randomly knocked the excess off once it was around the cake, leaving some for effect.  Whipped low fat cream on top, some thickened balsamic roasted strawberries in the centre, white chocolate shavings, some dark chocolate curls and I was done! Fun, great fun! I love extempore cake decoration for home events. No pressure to deliver, just wholesome fun!

Since the cake used roasted balsamic strawberries, which amounts to ‘fruit in baking‘, I am adding it to the Monthly Mingle this month, hosted by yours truly! If you are baking with fruit this month, do send it in to Monthly Mingle posted HERE.

Quark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic StrawberriesQuark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries
Sponge Cake {Make 2 sponges. Recipe is for 1 7.5″ cake}
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 a vanilla bean scraped {or 1 tsp vanilla extract}
1/2 cup plain flour
Line 2 X 7.5″ round tins with baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla bean until thick and mousse like {about 7-10 minutes}
Gently fold the flour in, making sure you don’t lose volume. {I just dump the whole flour in in one go since I have made this cake so often. You can add it gradually, 2 tbsp at a time, to make sure it mixes through}
Turn the batter gently into the prepared tin, and bake until done for about 20-25 minutes, or till the tester comes out clean.
Cool on racks for 5 minutes, turn out from tins gently, and allow to cool completely.
Quark Mousse Filling
Inspired by BBC Good Food
400gms quark cheese {Homemade recipe here}
200ml low fat cream {25% fat/Amul}
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 cup roasted balsamic strawberries {recipe here} {Reserve 1/4 cup for topping}
I drained my homemade quark for 2 days in the fridge.
Beat the quark cheese with powdered sugar and scraped vanilla bean until smooth. Taste and adjust sugar if required.
Whip the cream to soft peaks, and fold into the whipped quark cheese.
Add the roasted balsamic strawberries {reserving 1/4 cup for topping}, and gently fold in to mix through.
100ml low fat cream
2-3 tbsps powdered sugar
Whip cream with sugar to medium peaks.
Add 1/8 tsp gelatin to reserved 1/4 cup balsamic strawberries, and gently simmer, stirring all the while till thick and jam like. Leave to cool completely.
1/4 cup balsamic strawberries and 1/8 tsp gelatin. Mix through, and then simmer on low heat till it becomes thick and jam like.
Lime-Sugar Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Juice of 1 lime
Boil for 5 minutes till sugar melts. Add the lime juice. Allow to cool.
Assemble Cake:
Slice the sponges horizontally into two. Brush each layer with lime-sugar syrup as you work. Sandwich the layers with the quark mousse, and cover the sides with it too.
Add a lace border if you like. Cover the top with whipped cream, and top with some jellied roasted balsamic strawberries.
Finish the top and edges off with chocolate shavings etc.
Chill well before serving so that the flavours mature.

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  1. beautiful Cake Deeba. One day I will do the chocolate border too..its so elegant. gorgeous. And glad to hear ur dad’s all right.
    zurin´s last blog post ..A ROSELLE CORDIAL My Profile

  2. That is a stunning cake!
    Jessica @ How Sweet´s last blog post ..The Great Pumpkin Round UpMy Profile

  3. This cake is splendid and looks delightful!



  4. Wow.. A beautiful cake indeed. Belongs to the gallery :) Great job.
    Faith´s last blog post ..Roasted Grapes with Shallots &amp ThymeMy Profile

  5. Wow – that cake is absolutely stunning. If it tasted anywhere near as good as it looks, I am sure it was pure heaven!

  6. I love your blog so much… These pictures are unbelievably amazing. I felt in love with this cake, really :))
    Can I ask you, what camera are you using?
    Jurgita´s last blog post ..nepretenzinga svogūnų sriubaMy Profile

  7. Deebah….do I get butterflies in my cake or are they just for decor? 😉
    Peter´s last blog post ..Lobster Macaroni &amp CheeseMy Profile

  8. As ever, I am in awe! When I set out to make something this beautiful I end up being impatience and just throwing it together. Ah, looking at this work of art inspires me to create something as fabulous! And poor dad, oof I hope he is better! What a good daughter you are. And hands full, and you still turn out an incredible dessert!

  9. Oh, what a story. There was no way you were going to let this cake go, no matter what. You are a baking force to be reckoned with. The chocolate lace really makes the cake look even more special and I love how the fruit is studded in the filling.
    Irina@PastryPal´s last blog post ..How to become a Professional Pastry ChefMy Profile

  10. Fabulous Deeba!! The sponge looks perfect! In spite of all odds, u have created another beauty on PAB!! You are truly awesome lady!!
    suma´s last blog post ..Chips Nu Shaak – Batata Nu Shaak And An AwardMy Profile

  11. Oh my goodness, that looks lovely! I just adore quark, but can’t find it anywhere here! I became obsessed living in Germany, and I miss it so much. I’m drooling over this cake!
    Joanna´s last blog post ..Cioccolato!My Profile

  12. What a great cake to celebrate your parents’ anniversary. Glad to hear your father is well after that fall and got to enjoy this beautiful cake. I can’t believe that you made most of it by improvising!
    my little expat kitchen´s last blog post ..Have I told youMy Profile

  13. I loved the lacy cake sides… beauty!
    Miriam/The Winter Guest´s last blog post ..Trinxat- Catalan cabbage and potato dishMy Profile

  14. mmmmm! Deba this look absolutely amazing and delicious I love strawberries!, amazing! gloria

  15. Aren’t you glad you reinvented this dessert? The cake looks magnificent! Great work, Deeba!

  16. the cake is so beautiful.
    Jess @ Bakericious´s last blog post ..Chocolate Cream Cheese MuffinsMy Profile

  17. Wow, so appetizing from the texture of the cake to the chocolate decorations to the amazing balsamic roasted strawberries. Great cake, Deeba!
    Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets´s last blog post ..Cold Mung Bean Noodles with Chili Vinegar Sauce Guest Post on My Cooking HutMy Profile

  18. Hi Deeba,

    I’ve come by your space a couple of times already. Somehow, I never got myself to pen down out here. I know you have heard this umpteen number of times already, but what you have going here is SPECTAULAR! When I see your work out here, my passion for baking seems pretty dormant and so very novice. I have so much to learn from you, and I will – for you are doing a great job sharing the knowledge you have with all us aspiring bakers-to-be!

    Kudos, again.

    Deepti Pawar´s last blog post ..Saucy Indo-Chinese Coriander Garlic ChickenMy Profile

  19. Deeba this is beautiful, I can’t imagine you not making something perfect. Someday you’ll have to take a picture of a failure, so we have proof you are human! :)


  20. Oh, what a beautiful cake! I’ve been meaning to make your recipe for quark and now have no excuse not to. Your chocolate border is the perfect finish.

  21. oh my Deeba ! this looks lovely! i love the chocolate artwork, truly inspiring. now i want to bake a cake!

  22. Wow, I wish I could do a lovely lace border to cover up a bit of a mess on my cake…
    But in my case that would include the entire cake :(
    I am glad your Father was OK…and Happy Anniversary to your parents.
    Everything looks beautiful and the balsamic strawberries add such a lovely touch :)
    Magic of Spice´s last blog post ..Roasted Pumpkin Seed and Halloween FunMy Profile

  23. I remember one of your comments on my blog a while back and mostly because I found it so cute. You wrote that , “how sweet is your husband to help you with your photos n cooking!” Well! his intentions r mostly what you are claiming Mr. PAB’s intentions are :-) And I don’t blame him. That cake is so gorgeous that anybody would want to have more n more.
    Prerna@IndianSimmer´s last blog post ..Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  24. That is really gorgeous. The colors are beautiful.

  25. i love the fusion of balsamic and strawberries. it is something so delicious. this cake looks absolutely amazing!
    the urban baker´s last blog post ..Marie-helens Apple CakeMy Profile

  26. What a very elegant cake! The design and colors blended so well. What I love most from this cake is a hint of sweet and slight sourness of the strawberries. This cake is perfect for my mom and dad’s upcoming anniversary!

  27. Love to see the combo of Mousse with strawberries in it. A perfect indulgence from the cake mistress. Lovely clicks,.

  28. Aaah the cake i ve been waiting for! it looks great Deeba m sure it tastes divine too…i will try my luck again n this time i m thinking that i will make the quark cheese myself..wish me luck! i need it :)…loved the way you described the november mornings..i m originally from Lahore, Pakistan so i can totally relate to everything :)…thank u so much for the lovely post!

  29. This is one of the mos beautiful cakes I have ever seen! I love the combination of flavors!
    lulu´s last blog post ..Бу!My Profile

  30. Judging from your photos Deeba, and reading the recipe – it was definitely well worth making it again! Beautiful pictures.

  31. Bakeolicious says:

    What a beautiful cake, simply stunning.

    I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my new baking photo gallery showcasing the beautiful baking, sweets and desserts.

  32. Deliciously chic presentation Deeba! I love those swirls that you do-they’re really your signature! And your photograph of the butterfly is just absolutely stunning! 😮
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last blog post ..Bistro Bruno- BalmainMy Profile

  33. This looks so delicious I feel like running out and making the cake right now. The only think keeping me from doing that is the fact that I will be traveling tomorrow. Promise you that I will do this.
    I did have a question on the buttermilk used for the quark. Did you use the substitute (vinegar + milk) or is there something else that could be used for this in India?
    Reshmy Kurian´s last blog post ..Mascarpone Cheese- Chocolate and Coffee in a Cake What more could you wantMy Profile

  34. Hi Reshmy, Thanks for your inspiring comments. You would be only able to set quark with cultured buttermilk, not a substitute. I discovered chaach at a couple of outlets last year. In effect it is cultured buttermilk. In Gurgaon it is available in 2 brands – Mother Dairy and Amul. Do you get either in Mumbai?

  35. Wow thats another wonderful creation …gorgeous!!!

  36. wow simply beautiful amazing as ever, remember Dehli in Jan nippy but can wear lovely scarfs lol

  37. Balsamic strawberries sound so great in this! Beautiful cake too. The chocolate lace is just lovely. Hope your Dad is feeling better.
    lisaiscooking´s last blog post ..Black Pepper TofuMy Profile

  38. My goodness, the cake looks awesome! And you even have the homemade quark recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it. I’m heading over to the recipe . Thanks again, Deeba. And wishing you & your family a Happy Diwali ! Enjoy and have lots of fun & food as well.
    Blessings, Kristy
    kristy´s last blog post ..Chinese Birthday Bun @ Sao BaoMy Profile

  39. Beautiful cake Deeba. Glad your dad is on the mend.
    Lora´s last blog post ..Monster Finger Cookies With Ghetto Fabulous Fingernails &amp Octobers LOL Food Blogger PostsMy Profile

  40. My My what a pretty looking cake, brilliant presentation, those pink strawberries and deigned chocolate Loving it Deeba :)
    Ananda Rajashekar´s last blog post ..Happy Diwali – Caramelized Fig TartMy Profile

  41. Quark quark quark! I have to put that in my shopping list!
    pigpigscorner´s last blog post ..Christmas Giveaway from Hotel Chocolat Say Yes to Chocolates!My Profile

  42. Deeba, the chocolate swirls are simply fantastic!!! you are soo artistic!

  43. penny aka jeroxie says:

    What a beautiful cake! the designs are so pretty.
    penny aka jeroxie´s last blog post ..Salford Lads Club- Port MelbourneMy Profile

  44. Such gorgeous looking cake! I want to reach out to my computer screen and grab a slice! I could almost taste it from here!
    faithy´s last blog post ..The BostiniMy Profile

  45. Deeba! I am so, so impressed, You whipped this up (pun intended) and it looks spectacular as if you’d been slaving over it for ages, especially the chocolate border. I can’t believe you got that effect by “just knocking a few off”. Bravo! And glad to hear your dad is better.
    shaz´s last blog post ..Impulse Buy- Green almondsMy Profile

  46. Very impress! I always love your cake and your foto 😉
    Sana´s last blog post ..SCENT of pink with Pink velvet Cupcake SkewersMy Profile

  47. Helene says:

    We had snow before November, here in Ottawa. Time flies. Christmas is coming so fast. I am already planning for the Holidays and Cookie exchange. What a great cake for your parents anniversary. Delicious pictures Deeba.
    Helene´s last blog post ..Lemon Cornmeal Cookies – Cooking LightMy Profile

  48. Wow! What an amazing cake. Love the chocolate swirl decorations. Well done.
    Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie)´s last blog post ..Tongue TwisterMy Profile

  49. It’s so pretty cake…..I can feel the taste of balsamic strawberries… it….love it…love it……..

  50. Hi deeba, gorgeous recipe and stunning pictures…. i just read that u have deleted the pictures of some recipe both from camera and pc… It happened to me last year where our precious anniversary tour pictures were deleted from the camera and our pc was crashed losing all the pictures…..But gladly i found some software (i dont remember which one though) that could recover almost all the pictures back into the camera. You just have to download that software and then connect your camera and it will recover all th edeleted pics. If you have taken lot of pictures after that incident, it may have replaced the deleted ones, but you can try your luck…try searching for “how to recover deleted pictures from camera or something”….hope u will find ur files..
    SHABS´s last blog post ..Black Forest Gateaux BFGMy Profile

  51. Hi Deeba! thank you so much for you drop in my blog 😉
    this is an original recipe for my pink velvet cupcake skewers and hope you enjoy it.
    sana´s last blog post ..SCENT of pink with Pink velvet Cupcake SkewersMy Profile

  52. Oh wow, you have outdone yourself. This is a real beauty, and the detail on the sides are just amazing. I’ve never used quark before, but now that I see this cake, I’m tempted.
    *kisses* HH
    Heavenly Housewife´s last blog post ..Applesauce Spice Cake and How to Fix Cake MistakesMy Profile

  53. shirley@kokken69 says:

    Deeba, this is an amazing feat! I salute you. I am intrigued by the baked balsamic strawberries. Would love to try that soon.

  54. I just love the details around the sides!! Gorgeous photos :)

  55. Such a feat for the eyes!!! Wish I was there so it could also be a feast for my palate! :)

  56. “FEAST” for the eyes! Actually it was a feat to make, I’m sure!

  57. The cake sure is stunning! Just pure indulgence. I have nothing more to say. The pictures says it all. Enticing and very pleasurable.

  58. The cake looks so yummy and beautiful :) It would have taken me a whole ounce of courage to cut into such a beautiful master piece :) Hope you had a great Diwali.

    Kiran´s last blog post ..Cucumber raitaMy Profile

  59. Very nice cake and beautiful clicks.I wish I could grab one piece

  60. hi, nice post & good blog, i really like your site & bookmarked it. hope u submit your site for free in my directory. BTW have a nice day & keep blogging!!!

  61. Balsamic Strawberries & the Deeba swirl.., this is a fantastically stunning little number. Just adore it.

  62. sameena says:

    Hi Deepa,

    Once again gorgeous mousse cake…wow…:)

    sameena´s last blog post ..One lovely blog awardMy Profile

  63. Sigh, I wish I could decorate a cake this beautifully, I remember you doing some similar ones earlier in the year and they are so pretty. With your opening quote from Stephen King about starting stuff I and it being post on Nov 1st I wondered if you were about to announce you were taking part in Nanowrimo?!
    Sarah, Maison Cupcake´s last blog post ..Macaron Masterclass at Waitrose Cookery SchoolMy Profile

  64. This cake is stunning Deeba. So much o celebrate this month even if it is getting cooler.

  65. Your cake looks beautiful ! :)
    can I use frozen fruits to the roasted balsamic strawberries?
    viridianka´s last blog post ..New Years Clock CupcakesMy Profile

  66. Just wanted to give you a shout from the valley of the sun, great information. Much appreciated.

  67. Nice post. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

  68. Hi there! This recipe sounds delish and I was hoping that you might add it to my Easter and Spring Linking Party to share with my readers. If you are interested, you can go here to enter. Thanks!
    Joanna´s last blog post ..Easter Linking PartyMy Profile

  69. Chau Havekost says:

    I was very pleased to search out this net-site.I wished to thanks for your time for this excellent learn!! I definitely having fun with every little little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.

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  72. Barbara Garcia says:

    I’m speechless. This can be a very good weblog and really enticing too. Great work! That’s now not actually much originating from a novice publisher like me, nevertheless it’s all I may just say after diving into your posts. Nice grammar and vocabulary. No longer like other blogs. You in point of fact know very well what you?re referring to too. Such a great deal that you simply made me want to explore more. Your weblog has come to be a stepping stone for me, my friend.

  73. The pictures of the cakes look like they should be in a professional magazine, they look great. The roasted balsamic strawberries is a nice touch.
    Alexis´s last blog post ..How Maqui Berry Can Help DetoxMy Profile

  74. Adrienne Landau says:

    Congratulations on one of the most sophisticated blogs that I found in a long time! Its amazing how much you will be able to bring something fundamentally due to the way that is visually beautiful. You’ve created a blog space for large graphics, video, page layout. This blog is definitely a must see!

  75. Oh, this cake looks great. I’m waiting for the strawberries to ripen around here and then I’ll get baking.
    Pookky´s last blog post ..Buckwheat Pancakes with Lemon CreamMy Profile

  76. Yumm :))
    Surekha´s last blog post ..Twice Baked PotatoesMy Profile

  77. Pooja says:

    Hey, Deeba! I tried this cake today with much apprehension. Never had baked a fatless sponge before & well, to my rookie eyes the whole cake seemed akin to climbing Mt Everest! To cut a long story short, it came out awesome. I made it with one sponge & kinda cut afew corners but it was still finger licking good! Thanks a ton for giving me a keeper once again! :-)

  78. You are a cake baking and decorating master. You cakes looks so beautiful!


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