Baking |Kumquat Quark Cheesecake with a Date Almond Kumquat Base … gluten free, healthy and delicious

“The only way cheese is dessert is when it’s followed by the word cake.”
Michele Gorman

Kumquat Quark Cheesecake 1Kumquat Quark Cheesecake with a Date Almond Kumquat Base... a cheesecake that happened because I had a good batch of homemade quark even though I had Quark Mousse with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries in mind. Also because I still had the large bag of sweet moist dates that I had brought back from a recent trip to Mumbai. They needed to go somewhere, preferably someplace exciting.

KumquatsKumquatsDid I need any more reasons? Well no, but inspiration leaps out of the most colourful places! So the not so heavily laden anymore kumquat shrub had a last few kumquats that were turning a brilliant orange and had got Coco’s glad eye! How could I not play spoil sport?

Kumquats and CocoThe base of the cheesecake is inspired from one of my favourite hang outs, The Kitchn, that had shared a beautiful and ever so simple kumquat tart a while ago. Interestingly the base was made up of almonds, dates and oats.

Kumquat Quark Cheesecake 3I’ve been on a whole grain oaty sort of a drive of late, so the idea held instant appeal. The base is super simple as promised … so I had to veer off course! That is inherently me! I decided to flavour the base with some part kumquat and threw in 2 deseeded whole orange babies!

Kumquat Quark CheesecakeThen ‘the panic of the kids‘ kicked in, them who might reject any overpowering taste of dates in the cheesecake base. It was some good quality cocoa powder, a precious stash of delightful Russian cocoa that a good friend once brought, that would add taste!

Kumquats and CocoNot one to leave good enough alone, my obsession worked. I loved the way the base came together in seconds. Cheesecake filling is always fun. Now always quark, full fat home made quark, and never cream cheese. I love the way it works in cheesecake.

Kumquat Quark Cheesecake You need to plan in advance if you want to bake the cheesecake {and a few days more if you want to make quark}. Let the cake chill in the fridge overnight, slowly  and happily! The flavours mature, the texture becomes smooth and beautiful. Of course you are rewarded with a dessert the minute you open the fridge.

Kumquat Quark Cheesecake This in turns leaves enough time and inspiration for topping it in a fun and colourful way. I opted for a candied kumquat vanilla with a bitter orange thai red chili marmalade. You can always skip the marmalade and use a berry conserve. Alternatively, make a plain vanilla cheesecake and top it with a berry glaze or compote.

Kumquat Quark Cheesecake Endless possibilities. Strawberries and pistachios. Salted butter caramel. Honeyed figs should be fun too! Maybe a Nutella topping with a smattering of hazelnuts? Or flavour the cheesecake with coffee and a coffee liqueur and drizzle a bittersweet runny ganache over it. Even better, an Irish cream sauce! Think out of the box and inside your pantry; amaze yourself! 

fruit of the seasonThat’s what I love about desserts like this. So versatile and such fun to make. I usually stick to fruit in season as they inspire me and often put me in panic mode since they’re going to be gone soon. The burst of colour adds to appeal. I love this version because I played around with ingredients and unintentionally ended up with a gluten free cheesecake.

Kumquat Quark Cheesecake in jarsSee I told you, endless possibilities! I did a few sans the base in little jam jars too. Topped them with Nutella, bitter kumquat marmalade and fresh quartered strawberries. They were polished clean within minutes amidst great praise. The daughter added strawberries to her cheesecake slice later as well!

Kumquat Quark Cheesecake The base isn’t your everyday light as air buttery biscuit base. This one is dense, flavourful and slightly chewy. The good thing is that it keeps the dessert gluten free. You could always use your favourite base instead!

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Recipe: Bitter Orange Quark Cheesecake with a Date Almond Orange Base 
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Summary: Kumquat Quark Cheesecake with a Date Almond Kumquat Base … quite a mouthful, and quite indulgent. A lighter, gluten free cheesecake with a fat free nut base!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes plus chilling time
Ingredients:

  • Date, almond & kumquat base
  • 60g whole almonds
  • 25g oats
  • 2 kumquats, halved, deseeded
  • 120g dates
  • 15g good quality cocoa
  • Filling
  • 420g quark cheese (homemade full fat quark recipe}
  • 3 small eggs, separated
  • 20g oats ground
  • 130g (40g+90g) raw sugar {bura} or Castor sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 200ml low fat cream, room temperature
  • 50g bitter kumquat marmalade {recipe here}
  • 15 ml Cointreau {optional}
  • Topping
  • 7-8 kumquats, sliced, seeds removed
  • 50g sugar
  • 10ml water
  • Vanilla bean skins from above
  • 15ml bitter orange marmalade
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Method:

  1. Date, almond & kumquat base
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the base of a 7″ loose bottomed baking tin with parchment.
  3. Place the almonds and oats in food processor and grind to fine meal. Add the cocoa, kumquats and dates and process again.
  4. Turn into the base of the prepared tin, and push into place to form a base.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until firm to touch. Leave to cool on rack.
  6. Quark filling
  7. Separate the egg yolks and whites.
  8. Beat the whites with 40g raw sugar to stiff peaks. Reserve.
  9. Place the quark, egg yolks, ground oats, remaining sugar, scraped vanilla bean, cream, marmalade and Cointreau {if using} into a large bowl. Blend with an electric beater or balloon whisk until smooth. 
  10. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour over the baked biscuit base.
  11. Bake at 180C for 40-45 minutes / until the centre is set when tested with the tip of a knife. Turn off the oven and leave to cool completely. 
  12. Cover with foil or cling wrap and chill overnight.
  13. Gently transfer to serving platter and spread the kumquat topping uniformly.
  14. Note: Use a sharp heavy knife to slice as the base is a little dense and sticky due to the dates.
  15. Topping
  16. Place all ingredients in a heavy bottom sauce pan and simmer gently until the kumquat turns translucent. Take off heat and stir in juice of 1/2 lime. Cool completely and discard vanilla bean skin before use.
  17. {Note: Do make sure your oats are labelled gluten free if you are making this for someone with gluten allergies}

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Baking | Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake …Happy Independence Day India!

“There are only three things in life that matter – good friends, good chocolate and…
… oh dear, what was that other one?”

Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless CheesecakeDark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake … does sound like quite a mouthful, but believe me it is A M A Z I N G! Orange and chocolate were made to walk hand in hand, side by side. Baked into a cheesecake, they are even happier! Yesterday I thought of the white, orange and green in my pictures … time to post this special cheesecake!

Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless CheesecakeI was thrilled with the earlier success of the Cherry Yogurt Tart I blogged about not so long ago. Surprisingly enough, it turned out in colours that fitted into the 4th of July, the day I baked it. So, it was posted then. Then a few days later I ventured out in the same direction, now a little more confident.

Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake I added flavours to the recipe, changing it to make it better. A dash of this, a layer of that. Yesterday I noticed that the Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake has colours of the Indian flag! So this is for our Independence Day, August 15th, that is today!!

Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake 7

Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake 6I was quite pleased with how it turned out {… out of the pan too, so cleanly}. It was for the hosts at a party to see off the dear friend who is finally leaving town. The ifs and buts have been going on forever, and now suddenly the time is here. It’s been one goodbye after another. Somewhere deep down we hope we can hang on to the wings of time!Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake Possible that is obviously not …and farewell day looms larger than life. It’s just round the corner. To cut a long story short, I took the cheesecake for the wonderful hosts that night. I was happy they loved it, and thought it was ‘exquisite‘. It’s nice when you bake something for someone and they appreciate it.Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake 4This is one recipe that just keeps getting better and better. Immense possibilities, and infinite combinations. I was tempted into ‘orange‘ thanks to a few last kumquats hanging on my tree shrub. They are difficult to ignore, the one bright spot of fruit & foliage in the hot summer. It wasn’t long before I was stirring a TINY batch of marmalade.

Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake So many jars of bitter kumquat marmalade later, you just know that if you throw in this and that, you will end up with marmalade. From a few precious kumquats to kilos of them, I have endlessly enjoyed this tart citrus fruit. You would find several recipes with them on PAB.

KumquatsCandied kumquatsThat ten minutes of baking two ingredients can result in something like this, is quite amazing. This time around I added a layer of dark chocolate ganache between the biscuit crust and yogurt filling. I remember from last time that the yogurt had made the base slightly moist. I baked the base minimally too. It worked quite well.
Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake Ten minutes into the oven, cooled and then chilled, these are great make ahead desserts. Whether you like eggs, or you don’t, this is a wonderful fast track and economical cheesecake. Tastes scrumptious too. Flavour it as you like. Or don’t. Doesn’t matter. The heart is good and full of flavour. A little ‘sugar high’ thanks to the condensed milk, but then thats happiness!
Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake I made one large cheesecake and a few small ones for home {for a taste check}. Left us H A P P Y! Some things are so worth it … these Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecakes were just that! Hope you enjoy the recipe. I’ll be working another version sometime soon. Have a Happy Independence Day India!

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Recipe: Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake
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Summary: This is one recipe that just keeps getting better and better. Immense possibilities, and infinite combinations. Ten minutes into the oven, cooled and then chilled, these are great make ahead desserts. The Dark Chocolate Orange Yogurt Eggless Cheesecake is a wonderful fast track and economical cheesecake. Scrumptious too. 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes {plus chilling}
Ingredients:

  • Biscuit base
  • 200g orange marie biscuits, crushed
  • 100g melted butter
  • Chocolate ganache layer
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100g low fat cream
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Yogurt filling
  • 350g hung yogurt, thick
  • 150g regular yogurt
  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 2-3 tbsp Grand Marnier or any orange liqueur {optional}
  • Topping
  • 2tbsp bitter orange marmalade, melted
  • Kumquat, white and dark chocolate shavings for garnish

Method:

  1. Biscuit Base
  2. Mix the melted butter and the crushed biscuits. Turn into the bottom of the prepared tin and press to form base. Chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a rectangular 4″ X 14″loose bottomed tart tin {or a 9″ round loose bottomed tart tin}
  4. Choc ganache
  5. Place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir well until smooth. Stir in honey and 1 tbsp liqueur {optional}. Leave to cool.
  6. Yogurt filling
  7. Place both yogurts, liqueur and condensed milk in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. 
  8. Assembling
  9. Spread the ganache over the biscuit base.
  10. Pour the yogurt filling over the ganache and bake in the oven at 180C for 10 minutes only.
  11. Take out of the oven, allow to cool. Then chill in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight.
  12. Top with marmalade, chocolate shavings etc.

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Baking| Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake Pie …

“If Life is a Bowl of Cherries,
What Am I Doing in the Pits?”
Erma Brombeck

Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake Pie I made this Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake Pie a while ago. It’s too good a cheesecake /pie not to share before cherry season disappears altogether. Cherries are one of my favourit-est summer stone fruit and it’s a shame that the season lasts for such a short time. Maybe that contributes to the fruits charm. This pie was a wonderful end for my last batch… {other than the ones that I’ve frozen!}Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake PieThe summer’s been long and very stretched thanks to oppressive heat and extended power cuts. Add to that ongoing renovation work at home and you get stuck forever! It’s been trying but I shall not bore you with my tales of reno horror. There have to be better things in life – food, friends … and cherries of course! Fresh Cherry Quark Nutella VerrinesAt times like these a parcel in the mail can flood the day with sunshine. I was floored to receive a gift wrapped copy of Baking With Julia from the very sweet food blogger Suma @ Cakes & More. It’s a virtual baking bible authored by the uber talented Dorie Greenspan who I hugely admire. She makes baking techniques feel easy-peasy, makes you want to sail into the kitchen and begin baking ASAP!Baking With JuliaThank you Suma, I am really touched, honoured too with the words you wrote …”You truly inspire! Glad to know you and the spectacular PAB!” {blush}. I’m happily off to ‘sift, knead, flute and flour‘ with Dorie from a hands-on baking book packed with breads, pies, cobblers, cookies, cakes and pastries! Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake PieReaders of PAB will know of my love for homemade quark, the Austrian soft curd cheese. It’s easy to make at home, cheaper than cream cheese and is great in a cheesecake. I learnt about it ages ago and fell in love with it. Couldn’t believe that milk and buttermilk with a day or two to spare would yield this beautiful cheese. Quark combined with my second love, stone fruit, and life is GOOD!Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake PieTheres been no looking back in ‘quark‘ terms. I love it! All you need is 2-3 days of planning. An overnight set, at least 24 hours of whey draining … and you are ready to roll. I’ve used it extensively – Vanilla Quark Cake with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries, Mini Quark Vanilla Cheesecakes with Balsamic Cherry Sauce, Chocolate Quark Mousse Tartlets in Almond Pastry {eggless}Quark Cheesecake Pie with Fresh Cherries, Upside Down Mango Quark Cheese PieQuarkauflauf – Quark Cassarole with Balsamic Strawberries,  Strawberry & Tangerine Quark Panna CottaStrawberry Cake with Quark & Mascarpone, Quark Mousse with Roasted Balsamic StrawberriesVanilla Macarons with Quark Kirsch & Tart Cherry Filling. My favourites? Chicken Quark Crossover Puff Pastry and Quark Mousse cake with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries {see, I told you I love quark!}This cheesecake pie was affirmation yet again of how good quark can be in desserts. The verrines are simply unbaked, eggless, layered desserts in glasses – fresh cherries, slivered pistachios, a dollop of nutella, quark whipped with cream and sweetened mildly … and then repeated.Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake PieFresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake Pie

[print_this]Recipe: Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake Pie your picture

Summary: Adelicious light summer cheesecake with a biscuit base and fresh cherry topping. It’s full of flavour and lighter on calories than the traditional version

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus cooling time
Ingredients:

  • Biscuit base
  • 125g digestive biscuits
  • 50g whole almonds
  • 90g unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
  • Filling
  • 470g quark cheese {recipe follows}
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 30g plain flour
  • 130g (90g+40g) Castor sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 200ml low fat cream, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp kirsch
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • Balsamic cherries
  • 500g cherries
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp kirsch {optional}
  • Full fat quark cheese
  • 1 ltr whole fat milk
  • 250ml cultured buttermilk
  • 200ml low fat cream

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil, and grease lightly. Place an 8″ spring form tin on the foil and wrap the foil up around the sides.
  2. Biscuit Crust
  3. Place the flour and almonds in the bowl of your processor and pulse until the almonds are ground {4-5 times}.
  4. Now add the chilled butter and process until you get a breadcrumb like mix.
  5. Pat filling over the base and bake at 180C for 20 minutes until light brown. Cool completely.
  6. Filling
  7. Place the quark cheese, egg yolks, flour, 90g Castor sugar, scraped vanilla bean, cream, kirsch and vanilla bean powder if using into the bowl of your food processor and run on medium speed till smooth. {Thermomix: Speed 6, 10 seconds}
  8. Beat the whites with the remaining 40g sugar to firm peaks. Gently fold this through the quark cheese mixture.
  9. Smear the Nutella over the base and put half the cherry filling {strained} over the base. Pour the filling over the base and bake at 180C for 35-40 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool completely in oven, leaving the door ajar.
  11. Cover well and chill before serving, preferably overnight. Serve topped with balsamic cherry sauce, fresh cherries, chocolate flakes and slivered pistachios.
  12. Balsamic Cherry Sauce
  13. Place ingredients other than kirsch in a non reactive pan and simmer until the cherries release their juices and begin to get soft and hold their shape, about 4-5 minutes. {Don’t overcook or the cherries will break down and lose shape}
  14. Remove the cherries to a bowl. Place pan with the liquid on medium high heat and reduce the juices to about a third, nice and thick. Stir in the kirsch if using. Cool completely and chill until required {Can be made 2-3 days before}.
  15. Quark
  16. Heat milk to room temperature / tepid. Add low fat cream and buttermilk, stir well, and leave to set undisturbed for 12-24 hours. {12 hours in hot weather and 24 in cool weather}
  17. Once set, place in fridge for 5-6 hours / overnight, and then place to drain in fridge for 24 hours. I use a curd cheese maker, but you can use a piece of muslin.

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