If you are looking for a very easy, tasty and surprisingly low carb dessert for Mother’s Day then call off the search. I have just the thing for you right here! I have been using quark cheese a lot recently and I really love it – it has a very mild flavour and texture like ricotta but is very low in fat. You can use it in both sweet and savoury recipes and right now I always have a pack or two in the fridge along with cottage cheese. Somehow I managed to overlook two packs of quark in my fridge and they were nearly out of date so I scrambled to find a recipe to quickly use them. A ricotta cheesecake recipe in Martha Stewart’s Cakes* seemed like a great candidate and with a little minor tweaking was perfect for using up the cheese.
This cheesecake has no crust so it’s a bit of a cross between cheesecake and soufflé. Unlike most baked cheesecakes it doesn’t require a water bath – this will cause a few cracks on the surface but it just adds to the rustic charm! The end result is a very light and fluffy texture, delicious served with fresh berries or blood orange wedges. If you are feeling fancy you could drizzle with a little Grand Marnier, but I found a little blood orange juice added a splash of colour and hint of tangy sweetness that went perfectly with the light taste of the cheesecake. Divided into 8 servings this comes at under 200 calories per slice so you can indulge without spoiling your diet. I had a slice for breakfast!
- 345g | 12oz quark cheese (or ricotta)
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 80g | 2.8oz caster sugar
- 2 level tbsp plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds scraped from ½ vanilla pod
- zest of 1 lemon
- pinch salt
- 200 | 7oz fresh berries to decorate
- juice of 1 blood orange to drizzle (optional)
- icing sugar to dust
- a little butter and flour to grease and dust the cake tin
- Preheat the oven to 180C | 350 F. Grease a 20cm (8in) springform cake tin with a little butter. Line the base with greased baking paper and dust with a little flour.
- Put the cheese, egg yolks, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a bowl and mix together with a hand whisk until smooth.
- In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until you have soft peaks. Continue whisking at high speed and gradually add the sugar a tablespoon at a time. Whisk until you have firm peaks, 4-5 minutes.
- Add one third of the meringue into the cheese mixture to loosen it. Fold the rest of the egg whites gently trying not to knock all the air out.
- Transfer into the prepared tin and bake for about an hour until risen and golden. Leave to cool in the tin – the cheesecake will deflate slightly and sink in the centre. Chill for a couple or hours or overnight.
- Top the cheesecake with fresh berries and dust with a little icing sugar. Drizzle a little blood orange juice over the slices as you serve them if you like.
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