Cheese cakes are on top of my favorite cakes, but as they take a while to bake and set, and as they are quite heavy and sweet, I end up rarely making them.
Yet, the crave for the wonderful tangy flavor of baked fresh cheese is always there, so I came up with a fairly quick “fix”, in the form of the following cake.
The layer of vanilla cake batter is topped with a light mixture of Quark cheese (see notes), and both are mixed lightly, to create a marbled effect. To make things even more interesting, I scattered some fresh cut fruits on top, which added a nice fresh and colorful layer.
The cake turned out to be so fresh and tasty, with every bite bringing a different mix of the two layers and fruits. It is light and not too sweet, and is just perfect for breakfast or brunch dessert, or as a light snack any time of the day. Try it and enjoy.
* Quark cheese is a fresh, low fat white cheese. I used the very creamy Israeli version, which can be found in Kosher stores and in some supermarkets. Other brands can also be found in supermarkets and some even online, though their texture varies. For best results, choose one that is smooth and creamy. If you can’t find it, thick Greek yogurt can be a good substitute. Another option is to mix equal amounts of ricotta cheese with sour cream.
* I find the cake to be sweet enough, but if you prefer a sweeter one, increase the amount of sugar in both layers according to your taste.
* Different fruits can be used, according to taste or season.
Makes: 20 squares
Prep time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes
For the cheese layer:
13 oz (375 grams) creamy Quark cheese 5% fat (see notes)
¼ cup sugar (see notes)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (omit if using yogurt)
¼ cup cornstarch
For the vanilla cake layer:
2 L eggs
½ cup sugar (see notes)
¼ cup oil
¼ cup fruity white wine
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
1½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
For the fruit layer:
1 medium peach, cut into medium pieces
½ cup fresh blueberries
2 Tbs powdered sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Line a 12” x 8” (20.5cm x 30cm) pan with baking paper.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the Quark cheese with the sugar and lemon juice. Add the cornstarch and whisk together to a smooth mixture.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar. Add oil and white wine and whisk again. Add the sour cream, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt and mix together.
4. Pour the vanilla batter into the pan and add dollops of the cheese mixture on top. Using a fork, lightly mix the two layers, to create a marbled effect. Scatter the fruits on top and cover with the powdered sugar.
5. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the vanilla cake part comes out clean. Place on a rack and let cool to room temperature before serving.