A birthday cake for every age

In June I was wondering what kind of birthday cake I could make for the first birthday of our little one. Of course he would not be the main consumer, but as it was still his birthday I wanted to bake something he likes. At that stage he was still struggling with bits and pieces in his mouth and could not chew properly. Therefore I choose a soft and fluffy cheesecake. This basic recipe is an all time favourite from Nicole Stich´s book „delicious days“ (Käsekuchen á la Cafe Solo), but I “pimped” it a little bit with the strawberry jam that my mother was making exactly on the day Max was born in June 2014 (funny circumstance – the jam is called “Edition Max” and there are only a few glasses left over because it is so good and sweet like Max). And not only out little man loved this cake ….

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When my birthday came up we celebrated it with family and friends and a lot of youngsters on our balcony and by the end of the day this cake was almost gone although we had a BBQ first and two other cakes for dessert as well.

And because this cake seems to please everybody between 1-76 years of age it is definitely the right recipe to congratulate you, Selina, to your birthday! Enjoy your day, have fun and a lot of cake! We wish you all the best and a lot of new adventures in the kitchen!

 Ingredients:

for the tart base (short crust pastry):

  • 125g soft butter
  • 1 egg (at room temperature)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g all purpose flour

for the cheesecake filling:

  • 750g Quark or Schichtkäse (approx. 20% fat)
  • almost 5 tbsp bourbon vanilla custard powder (for set custard, to cook)
  • 120g caster sugar
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 5 large eggs
  • 125g melted butter
  • seeds of half a vanilla pod
  • 4-5 tbsp good quality (better home made!) strawberry jam, smoothly blended

 Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven (180°C fan heat).
  • Combine all the ingredients for the tart base in a bowl and knead them with the dough hooks of a hand mixer until they become a homogeneous dough. Butter a springform pan of approx. 24 – 26 cm width and line out the base and the sides of the form with the short crust pastry (I use cling wrap to distribute the dough in the pan, because it is really soft). Prick the cake base with a fork several times and leave the ready made cake base in the fridge while preparing the filling.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the filling, except the strawberry jam, in a separate bowl and mix until everything is well combined. Fill 2/3 of the filling into the prepared springform pan. Mix the remaining part with the strawberry jam and drizzle it over the other part of the filling. You should receive “islands” of strawberry filling within the plain filling.
  • Bake the cake for approx. 45 min. at 180°C until the base is golden brown on the sides and the filling has set (after approx. 30 min. you might have to cover the cake with foil to protect it from getting too dark)
  • Let the cake cool out completely in the pan.
  • You can make this cake very good a day ahead before it´s needed as it is still delicious the next day.

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