Cheesecake, Berlin Style

August 22, 2014

My German Oma, who came all the way from Berlin for my sister Janine’s wedding, is a master pastry chef. Whenever she visits, she spends her time whipping up the most amazing German cakes.

This cheesecake (the German word is Kasekuchen, pronounced kay-zuh-kook-un, which is fun to say) is one of our family favourites. 

It is not quite as sweet as Canadian cheesecake, probably because Oma uses an ingredient called “Quark” instead of the typical Philadelphia cream cheese.

The German recipe uses grams instead of cups, but it’s pretty simple just to use your scale to weigh the four ingredients: flour, sugar, butter and Quark.

Oma usually accompanies the making of this cake with a lot of complaining about inferior Canadian ingredients . . . but it always tastes wonderful!

150 grams flour
3 egg yolks
120 grams sugar
Pinch of salt
100 grams cold butter
A sprinkle of flour for rolling out

75 grams raisins
4 tablespoons rum (more if desired)
500 grams Quark
100 grams butter
100 grams white sugar
Grated rind of one lemon
4 eggs

Place washed raisins to soak in rum and set aside.

To Make the Dough:
Dump flour onto cutting board.
Press a hole into the centre.
Add egg yolks into the hole.
Sprinkle sugar and salt over mixture.
Cut cold butter into pea-sized chunks and add into the hole.
Take a large knife and chop everything together, pulling the edges into the centre.
Mix ingredients together with cool hands. Work quickly so dough remains cool.

Form a ball of dough and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

To Make Filling:
Mix Quark with butter and sugar, then add eggs and lemon rind. Combine well. An electric hand mixer works well.

When the dough is chilled, roll it out with a rolling pin and press into the bottom and sides of a 10-inch round springform pan.

Coat the rum-soaked raisins with flour so they won’t sink to bottom.

Stir the filling once more and add the raisin mixture. Pour into the pan.

Bake on lower rack of oven at 360F for approximately 70 minutes. The top will turn dark but that doesn’t mean it is burned. Test the filling with a toothpick, which will come out clean if the cake is baked. The sides will pull away from the pan.

This "kay-zuh-kook-en" is delicious either warm or cold. Guten Appetit!


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