Quark Cake with Cherries (Kwarktaart met Kersen)

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Summer has finally started (not just on the calendar but also the weather) and that means that cakes for which you don’t have to turn on the oven are the preferred solution for dessert. Although this recipe is tagged “baking”, it doesn’t require any actual baking.

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Kwarktaart is a typical Dutch kind of cake: a crust made from dry biscuits (often “Bastogne” biscuits are used) and butter, and a thick layer of quark and cream that is set using gelatin. As cherries are in season, I decided to make a version with cherries. Cherries love almonds, and so I decided to use Italian amaretti cookies for the crust, with a bit of almond extract thrown in for good measure. If you can’t get quark, use cottage cheese or ricotta instead.

The result was absolutely delicious and certainly to be repeated! Here is what I did…

Ingredients

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For a 24 cm (9″) cake, 8-10 servings

500 grams (1.1 lbs) cherries

500 grams (1.1 lbs) quark (or cottage cheese or ricotta)

250 ml (1 cup) whipping cream

250 grams (1 1/4 cup) caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

12 sheets gelatin (or enough gelatin for 1 litre/4 cups of fluid)

100 ml (7 Tbsp) cherry juice or cranberry juice (I used 50 ml leftover syrup from amarena cherries diluted with 50 ml water)

For the crust

200 grams (7 oz) amaretti cookies, or other dry biscuits

100 grams (7 Tbsp) butter, melted

1 tsp almond extract

To garnish

25 grams (1/4 cup) slivered almonds, toasted

more cherries (1 for each serving + 1 for the center)

Instructions

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Turn the amaretti into crumbles. A practical way to do this, is to put the amaretti in a ziplock bag, closing the bag, and then crushing the biscuits with a rolling pin. That way, the crumbles won’t end up all over the place.

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Put the crumbled amaretti in a bowl and add a teaspoon of almond extract.

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Add 100 grams of melted butter.

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Stir until the butter is mixed in.

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Line a 24 cm (9″) springform pan with parchment paper. Put the crust mixture in the pan and press down with a spoon to create en even layer. Refrigerate to allow the butter to firm up.

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Meanwhile, pit 500 grams of cherries. You can do this with a knife, but there is a special tool for this that actually does a very good job.

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Many gadgets don’t work, but this one actually does.

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Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for a couple of minutes until they are soft, then squeeze the water out.

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Heat 100 ml of juice until it is lukewarm in a saucepan, then turn off the heat and add the squeezed out gelatin.

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Stir until the gelatin has dissolved.

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Combine 500 grams quark, the pitted cherries, 225 grams of caster sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract in a blender.

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Blend until smooth.

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Add the gelatin mixture, and blend briefly to incorporate.

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Whip 250 ml of whipping cream with the remaining 25 grams of sugar until quite firm.

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Combine the quark mixture and the whipped cream…

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…and stir gently until well mixed.

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Now pour the mixture onto the prepared crust.

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The mixture will be very thin. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.

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When the cake has set, remove the springform and garnish the cake with slivered almonds and cherries.

With some practice, it is possible to pit the cherries and keep the stem on.

Wine pairing

We enjoyed this cake with a Rosenmuskateller (Moscato Rosa) from Südtirol (Alto Adige). A black muscat from California would also be an excellent choice.

Flashback

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Pasta with raw vegetables, in this version zucchini and tomatoes, is a perfect dish for the summer. The vegetables are combined with aromatic herbs and tossed with the cooked pasta with olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmigiano. It sounds simple, and it is, but it has great flavor and it is perfect for summer.

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14 thoughts on “Quark Cake with Cherries (Kwarktaart met Kersen)

  1. Your Kwarktaart met Kersen looks absolutely delicious. And coincidentally, yesterday I bought gelatin because I was going to make a dessert of cottage cheese, blackberry juice, and gelatin! Now I know what I’ll be making this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I do not eat cakes but have to make for friends 🙂 ! This looks very appetizing for when cherries again arrive on the market. Altho’ 21C midwinter is not too shabby [not quite usual either!] whilst playing the waiting game!!. Languages: in Estonian this would be ‘Kvargikook kirssidega’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Stefan…hope you are well. What bloom strength do you use…for the gelatin sheets? If I use a higher strength perhaps less than 12 sheets? I.E. bronze, silver, gold or platinum?

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    • Hi Jeffrey, in the Netherlands we have only one bloom strength, so I am not familiar with the concept. However, I’ve found online that “To compensate for the fact that one sheet has a higher bloom strength than another; each grade of gelatin is weighted differently, making their overall ability to set a gel, more or less equal.” So I guess still 12 sheets, but check whether it is explained on the package how many sheets you will use per cup of liquid. You will need to use enough sheets for 4 cups/1 litre of liquid. Hope this helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you explained “quark” as a kind of cheese, because at first I thought this cake was named after a famour Ferengi. I am fond of making cakes like this with low-brow ingredients. I should give this a try instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. YUM! I’d love a piece of this, Stefan. I’ve heard of quark but never seen it. Perhaps in one of our high-end groceries. I’ll probably use ricotta if I make your cake. And you are so right about how well cherries and almond get along. Using amaretti for the crust was a wise, tasty choice.

    Liked by 1 person

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