So, this has to be my favourite dessert of all time! My mum has made it for me on countless occasions and I have her to thank for this recipe. As opposed to English cheesecakes which are often heavy and thick and made using Philadelphia or other cream cheeses, this cheesecake is whipped full of air and made using low fat quark.
15 digestive biscuits
5 egg yolks
140g (5oz) vanilla sugar *make in advance* – Scrape the vanilla out of two vanilla pods into a container with 140g sugar, then mix the vanilla and sugar together, add the used vanilla pods to the sugar mix and leave to infuse.
1/2 kg (1lb.) quark
1 tablespoon cornflour
5 beaten egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla essence
4-6 oz. berries of your choice to cover the cheesecake (optional)
Nutritional Information: One serving (1/8th) without icing sugar or berries = 263 calories, 33g carbs, 12.4g protein, 9.8g fat
Making the biscuit base
- Butter up the cake tin until the whole tin is covered. It’s important that you use a cake tin with a removable bottom, so that when it comes to removing the cake from the tin there are no disasters!
- Crush 15 digestive biscuits in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or any other kitchen utensil that can do the job. Make sure they are crushed to a fine mixture.
- Melt 75g of butter in a pan, make sure it doesn’t boil or burn, then turn the heat off and add the crushed biscuits to the melted butter and mix well until completely blended together.
- Pour the biscuit & butter mix into the cake tin and using the bottom of a big spoon, compact the mix into a layer that should be around 1cm thick.
- Leave to cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
Making the filling
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.
- Cut a section of greaseproof paper that is 14cm high and 74cm wide, then fold it in half length ways and cut it down the middle. This will be used to line the cake tin when the biscuit mix has cooled.
- Cream the egg yolks and vanilla sugar until a golden smooth mixture has been made.
- Add the quark, cornflour and vanilla essence and whisk thoroughly.
- Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl, if you haven’t already done so, until they become so stiff they can create peaks.
- Last of all, add the beaten egg whites by folding it in to the mixture slowly, adding the egg whites bit by bit. Make sure you don’t stir or whisk the egg whites into the mixture, only fold to keep adding air to the mixture – this is what is going to give it it’s fluffy and light texture.
- Take the cooling biscuit base out of the fridge. Line the circumference of the tin with the greaseproof paper, ensuring that the waxy side is facing inwards. Place the greaseproof paper on top of the biscuit base so it is resting. Don’t push the greaseproof paper in between the biscuit base and the tin and don’t leave a gap between the greaseproof paper and the tin. Make sure your greaseproof paper pieces overlap by at least 1-2cm to ensure that the cake mixture won’t stick to the tin.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin on top of the biscuit base, making sure that the sides don’t collapse or move.
- Bake at 180 degrees Centigrade for 45 minutes.
- Take out and leave to cool for half an hour minimum. Don’t be alarmed, it will come out absolutely huge and probably looking a little charred on the top. However, you must leave the cheesecake to cool for at least half an hour. In this time it will deflate to around half the size and the “burnt” looking topping won’t taste burnt at all.
- Add around 3 -4 handfuls of berries if you wish, we used mixed berries but you can use whatever you want. The sour berry flavours compliment the sweetness of the cheesecake, you could even be adventurous and make a raspberry coulis which would also work wonderfully as a sauce to accompany the cheesecake.
- Finally, dust over some icing sugar to finish off the cake.