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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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


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No Bake | Date & Prune Chocolate Truffles … truffles on a diet don’t get better than this #festivefood

“Life is like a box of chocolates … You never know what you’re gonna get.” Forrest Gump

Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesDate, Prune & Walnut Chocolate Truffles are something I never thought I’d make. Yet a chance FB update sighting a while ago set me on the track. And my, what a great idea. Healthy, delicious, a power house of energy and guilt free indulgence, truffles on a diet don’t get better than this!Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate Truffles These were fun to make, and so fast track! No bake, no cook, practically no work … almost like instant gratification! I got to step one in a matter of minutes but one bite into it was like, “Ummm nice, but something was missing, not indulgent enough“. Into the fridge they went!Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesThey sat there bugging me the next morning. Thought of adding some dark chocolate to the truffles and running them in the processor again but the task of remaking the little balls bothered me! Seemed daunting for a fast track dessert.Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesNext idea, and it turned out to be a good one. The dark couverture I had ordered reached that same morning. Melted some in the microwave and had such a great time dunking each little ball into luscious, thick, satiny melted dark chocolate.Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesMelted ooeey gooey dark chocolate is strangely therapeutic.  Is it just me? Whatever, but I really enjoyed this part and was rewarded in a while.Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesThese were GOOD! The teen loved them till the junior told her they had dates. “I don’t like them“, she declared, but soon was back digging into the bowl. ‘These are really good,” she declared. “Butter?” … the diet goes on, very conditional though!!  {Note: Thank you Sangeeta for the wooden board above. I ♥ it!}Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate Truffles These make for good gifts in the festive season. They were a great addition to the Porcelain Buono Decoration Plate Silver from Urban Dazzle. It’s quite reasonably priced too. This was one of the many products I received for review which I shared when I made one bowl cocoa wholewheat almond brownies .Date, Prune & Walnut Chocolate TrufflesAbout the truffles. They have a wonderful texture. You can play around with the combinations since both prunes and dates afford a good sticky base. Don’t like walnuts, use almonds. Don’t like nuts or are allergic to them, use dark chocolate, crystallised ginger, candied peel. Roll them in sprinkles after the dark chocolate has almost set; jazz them up if you like! Urban Dazzle Diwali Range Also, thank you Urban Dazzle for giving me a chance to review your Diwali range. I really love the variety and the quality of stoneware, ceramic, porcelain, drinkware and bakeware. You can see some of the range in my picture up there. I did wholewheat gingerbread men the other day and they looked so HAPPY on the platters, ornamental & ceramic.Panna Cotta 3 waysI also did a vanilla panna cotta in three flavours paired with three dessert sauces – coffee with a dark chocolate sauce, raspberry with a raspberry lime sauce, and saffron with  salted caramel saffron sauce! Then did mini panna cotta in these tiny little white ceramic bowls, three on a plate {The honeycomb plate is from a set my sis sent me from the US. White love!}Urban Dazzle Diwali RangeThe bowls are really versatile. Dipping sauces look great served with them. Else a good extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and queen olives with a sour dough bread served on a matching Mediterranean inspired ceramic platter! So much inspiration

Don’t miss a post Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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