We had a beautiful day yesterday here in the Pacific Northwest and got a little break from the rainy winter blues and I could finally tackle my completely weed overgrown strawberry patch in the garden; removing weeds, putting down weed barrier, plant 40 new plants and by the afternoon was wiped out from a little bit of garden activity…so pathetic that a little bit of yard work wipes me out these days . Nevertheless I feel very accomplished and can’t wait to see if these new strawberry plants will produce sweet and aromatic berries; I really don’t care for store bought strawberries they are always crunchy and watery, not what you want to taste in strawberries. Now it’s back to rain and 40 degrees, so back on the couch with hot tea, a blanket and sleeping dogs.
Can you believe it – the Global Pandemic is now lasting for a year? Who would have thought? For sure not me, I thought all of this would be over in a couple of months. But I think we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and life seems almost to be back to normal, especially now that the vaccine is pretty much available to everyone here in Washington and Washington state is now in the less restrictive “Phase 3”. If now Germany could just get their act together and make the vaccine more readily available. My parents are still not vaccinated and best guess now is May. I really really hope for May since I have decided to go and visit my parents in May and hopefully by then my parents will be vaccinated. I can’t wait to see them, it has been now almost 2 years since I’ve seen them last and it will be amazing being able to spend some quality time with them.
Last weekend I spent completely immersed in baking sourdough breads (6 of them) for my friends as well as this German cake recipe that I am sharing with you today. Last year I baked my friend her favorite cake for her birthday, it’s called Eierschecke and it’s the German version of a cheese cake with an extra layer of egg custard pudding. I never got around to post the recipe, not because it wasn’t a good tasting cake, but we always wanted to try a second version of the cake before posting the final recipe. The one I baked last year was a recipe from Astrid’s aunt and the one we still wanted to bake is from a very famous bakery in Dresden – Bakery Wippler. Last weekend we finally found time to get together and tried out the Baker Wippler’s Eirschecke recipe. The final result was that we liked both versions very much and combined them into one recipe. We refined the Baker Wippler recipe a little bit by not using the yeast dough base suggested in the recipe but the short crust version from Astrid’s aunts recipe. We also added more “Quark” – a German style soft cheese mixture between sour cream and cream cheese for the “cream cheese” layer. Now we have the perfect recipe for how we like this cake.
For those interested, Wikipedia explains where the name “Eierschecke” comes from…
Eierschecke is a confectionery specialty from Saxony and Thuringia. It is a layer cake with a base layer of cake, a middle layer of quark cheesecake and a top layer of vanilla custard. Parts of it are covered with a glaze made of cream, whole egg, sugar and flour for thickening. The term originates from a piece of men’s clothing in the 14th century which was called Schecke and was made up of a medium-length tunic with a very tight waistline and was worn with a Dusing, a hip belt. The cake was named after this “tripartite garment” (upper part, belt, lower part).
Eierschecke is not a very well-known cake in Germany and has mostly remained unknown, so I was very excited that Astrid shared these recipes with me and I could add another piece of German food history to my repertoire of cakes. As with most German cakes, it takes some time to prepare the cake and I highly recommend to let the cake cool down for one night. I tried a warm piece straight out of the oven and even though it was really good, I have to say I liked it even more the next day when it was firm and cold.
Now off to the recipe:
For the dough:
- 150 gram flour
- 50 gram butter (room temperature)
- 70 gram sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
For the Quark layer
(below the original recipe amount of ingredients but Astrid and I doubled up all the ingredients since we like a really thick layer of the Quark/soft cheese).
- 200 gram Quark (you can get Quark at Wholefoods or PCC or you can make it yourself – here is my recipe how to make homemade Quark)
- 30 gram butter
- 30 gram sugar
- 10 gram flour
- 10 gram vanilla pudding powder
- 20 gram milk
- 1 egg
- A pinch of salt
- A squeeze of lemon juice.
For the Eierschecke layer
- 350 ml milk
- 175 gram butter
- 175 gram sugar
- 5 eggs
- 50 gram Vanilla pudding powder
- I pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
- Dough: Mix the flour and the baking powder, then add the butter, sugar and egg. Knead the dough until everything is thoroughly mixed and form it into a round ball. Place into a bowl, cover and let rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Quark layer: Melt the butter, add Quark, sugar, flour, pudding flour, egg, pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice and mix well.
- Butter a spring form (11 inches) and roll out dough onto spring form bottom, pour the Quark batter on top of it and spread out evenly.
- Eierscheckenlayer: In a small bowl mix 75 ml of milk with the pudding powder.
- Divide the 5 eggs into egg yolks and egg white.
- Bring the rest of the milk (275 ml) with 85 grams of sugar to a boil. Remove from the heat and mix in the pudding/milk mixture. Now mix in the butter and the 5 egg yolks. This should be a firm mass, if it’s too runny, add more of the pudding powder to thicken the mass (always mix the pudding powder with milk when used as a thickener so that it doesn’t get all clumpy).
- Beat the 5 egg whites with the rest of the sugar (90 gram) and a pinch of salt until they are stiff.
- Now add the pudding mass very carefully to the egg whites and incorporate well.
- Pour the Schecken batter on top of the Quark layer and spread out evenly.
- Bake the cake for 20 minutes on 360 degrees, then reduce heat to 320 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Let cool out overnight. Next day, cut into pieces and sprinkle with powdered sugar.