Cooking with Instagram #1: German Cheesecake
Last weekend I baked a delicious, German-style cheesecake. It turned out so good that I decided to give it another shot this weekend and document my efforts using small, 10 second Instagram videos, which should make this recipe particularly easy to follow along.
The main differences between American and German cheesecake are the cake bottom, which consists of a sweet shortcrust pastry, instead of the American Graham Cracker + butter variation and uses Quark as the main ingredient for the filling instead of cream cheese. Because Quark is a lot less dense and fat than cream cheese you get a very light and fluffy filling that I personally much prefer over the dense American variety.
Step 1: The Cake Bottom
- 5 tbsp/75 grams of soft butter
- 0.4 cups/75 grams of brown sugar (I mixed in a bit of homemade vanilla sugar as well)
- 1 egg
- 1.6 cups/200 grams of all-purpose white flour
- 1 tsp of baking powder
Combine the butter and sugar in a bowl until you get a consistent mass, mix in the egg and sift the flour and baking powder on top.
It is crucial to not mix the mass too much in the next step. Start slowly combining the flour with the other ingredients and once the dough isn’t too wet anymore switch to kneading with your hands. Once you have a consistent mass form it into a brick, wrap it with cling film and put it in the fridge for about half an hour.
Step 2: The filling
- 1.1 cups/225 grams of white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 package (about 3 tbsp/35 grams) of vanilla pudding mix (I used Dr. Oetker)
- 1 package of vanilla sugar
- 1/2 cup/100 grams of reduced fat cream cheese
- 2 cups/500 grams of Quark
- 1/2 cup/100 grams of reduced fat sour cream
- 1 cup/200 ml of whipping cream
At this point you can start preheating your oven to 350° Fahrenheit/180° Celsius.
Mix the sugar and eggs until they get a fluffy consistency. Add the pudding mix and then one after the other, while mixing after adding each ingredient, the cream cheese, quark and sour cream.
Beat the whipping cream until stiff and carefully mix in with the other ingredients using a spatula.
Step 3: Putting it all together
Butter a springform pan (use a smaller one for a taller cake or a wider one for a flatter cake). I will also usually trap some parchment paper at the bottom of the form to further prevent the cake from burning or sticking to the ground.
Take the shortcrust pastry dough out of the fridge and roll it out to a circle that’s a bit larger than your baking pan. This is easiest done by trapping the dough between two layers of cling wrap, as it is very sticky.
Put the crust into your baking pan, making sure you have about a 1 inch/2.5 cm border standing up at the side.
Put your filling on top of your crust and put the cake into the oven. The cake needs to bake for 1 hour. It’s ready when the top starts to brown slightly and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
It’s important to let the cake cool down slowly, because cracks will form on its surface otherwise. I usually let it cool down in the oven for at least half an hour and then at room temperature for a few more hours before moving it into the fridge. The cake tastes best after resting in the fridge over night.