Baking | GF Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake … #glutenfree by default #quark #dessert

“Reminiscent of childhood memories, luxury, sweetness and sensuality, chocolate is more than just a food. It is therapy.”
Christelle Le Ru

Dark Chocolate Quark CheesecakeGF Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake … some recipes are just meant to be, and this is one of them. Come summer and quark is constantly being prepped at home. There is never a definite plan for where it goes, yet the fact that I am ‘creating’ a low fat unripened cheese is enough to keep me happy. This tangy cheese finds its way into just about anything. And this something was truly delicious!

Quark dessertsIt’s QUARK all the way! A layered parfait, savoury or sweet, in a curry instead of yogurt, while cooking chicken as a filling for wraps, turnovers like in these Chicken Quark Cross-over Puff Pastry, in frozen yogurt instead of yogurt … or then in cheesecakes of course! That this cheesecake turned out to be gluten free as well is purely incidental …but more about that in a bit!

Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  There is something infinitely comforting in turning all the ingredients into the bowl of the food processor and celebrating that the filling is ‘ready’ to go into the oven. Simple! Yes that simple, but then cheesecakes usually are. The tough part is waiting for them to cool down, and leaving them sitting in the fridge overnight. The toughest bit however is when you experiment, it takes forever to figure out whether it worked, or didn’t. This one certainly was a YES! Best chocolate cheesecake ever!

Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  A few cheesecake basics you might like to keep in mind… Try and bake the cheesecake in a water bath so it cooks evenly and the top doesn’t crack. Prebake the biscuit base especially if you are doing a quark version as the filling is moister than when using a cream cheese. If doing a biscuit base, it’s a nice idea to paint the prebaked base with a brush of melted dark chocolate; keeps the base from going soggy. Make sure the quark is well drained for a full day or two. Above all, use the best quality ingredients. A good dark couverture makes this cheesecake really sing!

Quite a while ago I did these Mini Quark Chocolate Cheesecakes which popped up thanks to Google while I was looking for quark inspiration. Inspired by myself {if I may say so myself}, it was time to bake a dark chocolate quark cheesecake. I had the base ready! Well actually, I had a baking disaster whereby my almond sponge flowed inexplicably out of my baking tin. I think the tin was too small and I was left with a 3/4 sponge to salvage. The idea in my head was trifles with quark and strawberries, and Googling led me ‘you know where‘!

Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  Within minutes, the hapless sponge was blitzed into breadcrumbs in the Thermomix, then rapidly pressed into the baking tin to cushion a base for the cheesecake. You can gauge how much I enjoyed doing this GF Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake! It was the fastest cheesecake I have ever bunged into an oven! I have included a biscuit base recipe below as the coincidence of you having a failed sponge on your hands might be too much to ask for.

Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  But if you are up to it, adventurous enough, a sucker for punishment like me AND/OR looking for a gluten free version, then I’ve included the recipe for an almond sponge too. It’s one I use often, here for eg in the Strawberry Almond Roulade. I swopped the Swiss roll pan for a tin, subsequently suffering defeat.

Upcycled Blondie PuddingUpcycling failed desserts {as above} is fun, and one small shove from Ruchira fixed me for life. Upcycle everything that fails is my only thought when I end up with a baking disaster. Eton Mess is a fine example and one that appeared several times as dessert when making macarons was an obsession. Just recently, when an over baked batch of blondies stared me in the face, they headed for the most delicious ‘Upcycled’ Butterscotch Blondie Pudding!

Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  And another piece of happiness … this beautiful ceramic platter that Ruchira got for me recently. It has me absolutely smitten, a new addition to my endless props. That it is round and scalloped, that it is a beautiful shade of blue, that it has tiny dots like a running stitch on the edges, and that it is flat works for me like magic! That she bought it from here in India also makes me thrilled. Wholegrain Anzac Cookies I have a few other bits and bobs of ceramic that tie up with it, so while I enjoy my ever growing {read exploding} prop collection,  I’ll leave you with a recipe that I am sure you will enjoy.Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake  I topped the Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake with tiny grated chocolate curls. You could also consider  topping it with unsweetened cream and balsamic roasted strawberries, maybe a salted caramel sauce. My homemade recipe for quark can be found here! Also, find more recipes that use quark on my blog.

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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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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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