“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.

[print_this]Recipe: NAME
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Summary: Deep, dark, smooth, chocolaty, this is a GF Dark Chocolate Quark Cheesecake that is light and addictive. Making quark, the Austrian curd cheese, at home, ensures that you needn’t buy expensive and full fat cream cheese anymore. It tastes divine the next day, and maybe even better the day after! Serves 8-10

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • Almond sponge
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 drops almond extract
  • {or Biscuit Base
  • 200gm digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 75g butter, melted}
  • Filling
  • 200g / 1 cup quark cheese {homemade recipe here}
  • 200ml single cream {Amul low fat}
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 150g dark couverture chocolate {I used a 52%}, finely chopped or melted
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped {or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract}
  • 10g cornstarch
  • 25g good quality cocoa {I used Kakoa}
  • 2 eggs
  • Topping
  • 50g dark couverture chocolate, grated into curls


  1. Almond Sponge {or biscuit base}
  2. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar until tripled in volume and mousse like, about 8-10 minutes on high speed. Beat in almond extract.
  4. Sift almond meal in over the mousse and gently fold in. Turn into prepared 8″ tin and bake for about 30 minutes at 180C, until light golden brown and tester comes out clean.
  5. Reduce temperature to 170C. Line the base of an 8″ loose bottomed tin with parchment, and wrap the outside with foil.
  6. If using a biscuit filling, mix the biscuit crumbs with melted butter and press it into the bottom of the tin. Bake at 180C for 12-15 minutes. Cool completely, then paint with melted chocolate. If using an almond sponge, run the sponge in the food processor to make into moist breadcrumbs, then press into the base of the tin.
  7. Filling
  8. Place all filling ingredients in the bowl of the food processor.
    Whiz until mixed through and smooth.
  9. Pour batter into prepared tin, and bake at 170C for approx 1 hour. The top should feel set when you gently touch it. Allow to cool completely in the oven, an hour or so.
  10. Remove from baine marie, chill covered in fridge overnight. Unmold before serving.
  11. Top with dark chocolate curls, or roasted balsamic strawberries over unsweetened cream.


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“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight.”
M.F.K. Fischer

Wholegrain Xmas Stollen Wholegrain Christmas Stollen with dried peach + walnuts +orange peel… a healthier version of the German Tea Bread. I’ve been fascinated by the Stollen for long. Actually ever since I discovered homemade quark. Once I figured there was something as good as Austrian curd cheese, AND that I could easily make some at home, I naturally went around looking for ways to use it. Wasn’t long before I discovered the Dresden Stollen. Indulgent Italian holiday bread. I baked another recipe into a Stollen Bread Pudding.

Wholegrain Xmas Stollen I loved making it. Would love to make more batches but for the fact it 1s a 100% all purpose flour tea bread. The wholegrain bug I have been bitten by doesn’t allow me to go back that easily. The odd birthday cakes with APF are OK; they’re once in a while indulgent stuff. One look at Meeta’s Stollen the other day, and the craving set in. It was time for STOLLEN! More precisely, Wholegrain Christmas Stollen with dried peach + walnuts +orange peel… a healthier version of the German Tea Bread.Wholegrain Xmas Stollen’twas an experiment. Came out quite well. It’s inspired by Meeta’s favorite version, a Date Fig Quark Stollen. Mine is partially whole wheat, partially almond meal and partially APF. It’s not as light as my earlier APF Dresden Stollen, but we are certainly not complaining. This turned out yum if I may so so myself. Once you make your own quark { prep 2 days in advance}, or if you just buy it, it’s an easy bread to throw together.

Wholegrain Xmas Stollen dried peaches + walnuts +orange peelPacked with dried peaches that I picked up in Srinagar this summer, crystallised orange peel {that I made some time ago} and chopped walnuts, it’s a special Christmas bread. Couldn’t add raisins and such as the boy can’t stand them. I have an Xmas fruit cake to make too, and I think it’s gonna be a nut cake as things go. The nuts are still soaking….. que sera sera. Hope I get there in time!Wholegrain Xmas Stollen Either go Meeta’s  baking powder way, or my yeast route, both ways would work well. It’s been raining here in North India the past few days, so the dough didn’t get a chance to rise well. You might get a better ‘rise’ if the weather permits. Let me know if you make this. It’s delicious. Do wrap it and keep it for 2-3 days before slicing. It’s more moist once it matures for a couple of days. Mince sliced beautifully and was moist too.

[print_this]Recipe: Wholegrain Christmas Stollen
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Summary: Wholegrain Christmas Stollen with dried peach + walnuts +orange peel… a healthier version of the German Tea Bread.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes plus rising time

  • For the stollen
  • 100g all-purpose flour
  • 100g almond meal
  • 50-100g whole wheat flour
  • 1tsp yeast
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150g dried peaches, chopped
  • 35g crystallised orange peel, chopped
  • 75g walnuts, chopped
  • 35g tutti fruity
  • 1tbsp Grand Marnier {or rum, or honey}
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 150g quark, well drained {homemade recipe here}
  • For the top
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 25g powdered sugar


  1. Place the flours, almond meal, yeast and sugar in bowl of food processor and whiz to mix
  2.  Add the chopped fruit, nuts in a bowl wit Grand Marnier and heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Leave to soften slightly while you do the rest.
  3. Place the all purpose flour, 50g of whole wheat flour and almond meal, yeast and sugar in bowl of food processor and whiz to mix.
  4. Add the chopped fruit and nuts, scraped vanilla bean, melted butter, egg and quark and knead to a soft dough. Add more wholewheat flour if the dough is still sticky. Mine was slightly so as I didn’t allow the quark to drain long enough. {You can do this by hand too.}
  5. Shape into a ball and place in a oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for about an hour to rise.
  6. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tin with parchment.
  7. Divide the dough into 1 {or make just one broad loaf}. Shape into a long loaf each. 
  8. Place loaves on the prepared tray and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until light golden brown.
  9. Reduce temperature to 160C, and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes. Tent the top with aluminum foil if it tends to get too dark. {I placed mine on double trays}
  10. As soon as the Stollen is done brush melted butter onto the hot stollen and dust it with the powdered sugar.
  11. Cool then wrap in baking paper or clingwrap and store for a day or to to mature. You can have it warm too if you like, though it might be slightly crumbly.


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“Ice cream is happiness condensed.” Jessi Lane Adams

Strawberry Quark Ice CreamStrawberry Quark Ice Cream … what a wonderful way to celebrate summer. I made this a week ago to use up the bags of strawberries I had frozen just before we left for Srinagar. I had frozen some left over quark as well and it worked wonderfully in this ice cream. So delicious that I had made several batches since, with plans to make more! Srinagar, Kashmir KahwaSrinagar was STUNNING! From near zero temperatures and sweet fragrant Kashmiri tea ‘kahwa’, from natural beauty that would blow your mind away, a city as beautiful as no city I have seen before, a people so hospitable. From ‘paradise on earth’ as it is so rightly called, we landed in Delhi in sweltering heat. IT WAS HOT!! Strawberry Quark Ice Cream It’s truly summer in the plains of North India, though we had some mild respite by way of thundershowers  yesterday. Still at 40C and counting, it’s promises to be a sizzling season ahead. For times like this, what can be better than a refreshing and beautifully coloured ice cream. Strawberry Quark Ice Cream We don’t grow blueberries or raspberries locally here, but I bet this will make a wonderful ice cream paired with any juicy seasonal berry. This was the first time I used brown mineral sugar in an ice cream paired with fruit. One spoon and another later, I wondered why I had never done it before? I went on to lick the bowl clean…and knew I had a winner here! Strawberry Quark Ice Cream



Recipe: Strawberry Quark Ice Cream your picture

Summary: Celebrate summer with the ‘bursting with flavour’ and the goodness of strawberries low fat Strawberry Quark Ice Cream. It will leave you asking for more!

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes Ingredients:

  • 550gm strawberries , chilled{or frozen for Thermomix}
  • 300gm homemade quark {hung for 2-3 days in the fridge}, chilled
  • 100g low fat cream, chilled
  • 150-80gm brown sugar {adjust as required}
  • 2 tbsp kirsch


  1. Add all ingredients to bowl of food processor, and blend to a smooth puree. Begin with 150g brown sugar and add more as required.
  2. Place in bowl of ice cream maker and set according to manufacturer instructions.
  3. Thermomix:
  4. Place all ingredients {including frozen strawberries} in the bowl of your Thermomix and process on Speed 10 for 1 minute at a time, stirring with the TM spatula as required. Repeat 3-4 times until well blended. Adjust sugar if required and blend for another 30 seconds.
  5. Transfer to a freezer safe container. Serve immediately or freeze until required


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