The Great Cheesecake Quest, Part 1 | The Sweet Life

Where do I begin?

First, I need to organize my thoughts. This post is going to include a few things. In no particular order.

  • The images of my first attempt at German cheesecake, which go from hopeful and promising to sad and more sad.
  • The story of said attempt, with a small bit of ranting about cheesecake recipes…

Which will lead me to…

  • Useful information I have learned so far about making cheesecake.

So, I told you I was going to try to make German cheesecake this week. Why German? Because last year when we were visiting San Antonio we happened upon this wonderful little German deli and tried their cheesecake for desert. OMG. Best ever. So that’s why German. I began searching for recipes last week and found a few that looked reasonable enough for a first timer, and seemed to have enough positive reviews that I felt confident I had a chance to get this right. Ha.

One of the biggest issues with German cheesecake apparently is that it uses Quark, which is a German cheese that’s kind of like cottage cheese meets cream cheese. I read up on substitutions for Quark (since it is hard to find outside of Europe) and decided to try pureed cottage cheese. I’m very happy to announce that this worked very well. Pureed it in the blender (regular large curd – my favorite anyway) and it got super smooth and rich.

The recipe itself found HERE is fine I guess. However, I have a coupe of issues with it. I think it’s a BIT heavy on the milk (2+ cups) especially considering the expectations of the last step that tells me to “Bake in preheated oven until the filling no longer moves when you shake the pan, about 1 hour.”  I should have taken video of the ‘jiggle’. The cheesecake NEVER “no longer moved when I shook the pan”. Even when I cooked it for an additional 30 minutes. Thus the completely brown top. This irked me even more when after sitting in the kitchen Googling “how to tell when your cheesecake is done” I found out that the vast majority of recipes and tips say to remove the cheesecake when it is STILL jiggling in the center. I’ll say it again here. Someone needs to post video of this jiggle. It’s a very arbitrary word.  And no one in the comments seemed to have any trouble with this??? Whatever.

So I overcooked the cheesecake, let it cool/chilled it for a bit and gave it a try. It was ok. Not great (seeing as the crust was a bit extra done as well), and certainly not like any German cheesecake I’d ever had (we did actually go to Germany too). It was eh. It got a lot better when I put the strawberry/rhubarb topping on it. 😉 That stuff is awesome (Private Selection Kroger – baking aisle).

So I will try again. I’ve already found a new recipe with MUCH more helpful instructions. So far the only consistent thing I’ve found when looking at (German) cheesecake recipes is that they all claim to be REAL AUTHENTIC German cheesecake, and they are all very different. Hmmmm.

On the bright side. It didn’t crack 😉 Apparently cheesecake people care about that.

Until next time…

p.s. If you’re thinking to yourself, well that wasn’t very much helpful stuff about making cheesecake…that’s because I haven’t found much that’s actually been helpful. Once I’ve completed my cheesecake quest..I will share all that I have learned. Maybe I’ll even video tape the jiggle. =)

 

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