A simple cheesecake is a most tasty gift idea for all those who – like me – don’t enjoy spending half of the day in the kitchen, don’t have much cooking experience, and may not even have their own oven!
I was raised in a family that either bought cakes or baked them using semi-finished products. I have always been appalled at the thought of mincing poppy seeds for a traditional Polish poppy-seed cake or quark for a cheesecake. Besides, they have never been my favourites. Nevertheless, when I moved away from my parents, I decided to try my hand in the kitchen. I started with a sponge cake, which turned out to be dry. Next, I baked a pound cake and an apple tart, which were tasty, but didn’t look stunning at all, and the peeling and cutting of apples took ages. Finally, I came across a perfect – simple, presentable and inexpensive – cake: the cooked cheesecake.
Can you remember the personalised cakes that I recommended to you two months ago? I didn’t provide detailed instructions because I assumed that each cook has own favourite ways of decorating cakes. This time, however, I will gladly share my recipe for a delicious simple cheesecake.
Simple cheesecake recipe
Ingredients for a large baking tray are as follows:
1 kg quark
1 packet of margarine (200g)
1 glass sugar
1/2 package of vanilla sugar
2 vanilla puddings
5 teaspoons semolina
25 rectangular biscuits
+ additional biscuits, powdered chocolate and colourful sugar strands for decoration
This simple cheesecake takes less than 30 minutes to prepare in five simple steps:
- Fill the baking tray with a layer of biscuits.
- Stir margarine, quark, sugar and vanilla sugar in a pot and boil it up.
- Mix puddings with milk in a cup, add them to the pot, combine them with the other ingredients and boil up.
- Add semolina in order to thicken the cake, boil up and remove it from the burner.
- Pour the cake over the biscuits and smooth it with a spoon.
After the cake cools down, you may either decorate it or put it in the fridge.
This simple cheesecake has a number of advantages
As you might have already noticed, this cake doesn’t require an oven, so you don’t have to worry whether it is going to rise. Its foundation is made of biscuits melted by the hot cheese pulp. Apart from its simplicity, delicious taste and the fact that it can’t go wrong, what I like most about it is that I may decorate it in many different ways.
How I decorated my simple cheesecake on various occasions
I tried this simple cheesecake for the first time just after moving to a new flat. The oven was new, and I couldn’t make my cakes rise in it, so a cake that didn’t need to bake was like a gift from heavens. As part of a surprise gift for my husband, who had put a lot of effort in the move, I decorated my simple cheesecake with an image of a house. The walls and the roof were made of biscuits. The windows and the door were cut out of a sheet of Bristol board, which I put against the cake and sprinkled with powdered chocolate to obtain required shapes in the colour of the cake. Sugar strands served as our garden and begonias on the windowsills. When I made this cake again for our house-warming party, I added a chimney with puffs of smoke made of a biscuit to indicate that the house was already inhabited.
I cooked the same simple cheesecake for my two friends’ hen parties. I cut out the shape of a bride from a sheet of Bristol board, made the background from powdered chocolate and the bouquet from sugar strands.
Another opportunity presented itself when my parents and their friends arrived to watch the ‘Zorro’ musical. When they stepped by for a coffee, we offered them my simple cheesecake with a ‘cut out’ letter Z. The technique remained the same.
Finally, we had to bring some goodies for a carol-singing reunion, so I quickly cooked my dependable simple cheesecake and divided it into two halves. I put the shape of an angel against one half and a sheet with a cut-out Christmas tree against the other half. I topped it all with a border made of sugar strands. This way we celebrated both Christmas and our daughter’s baptism.
The possibilities are endless. I encourage you to create your own designs. For those of you who you want to recreate mine, I have attached some templates below. I can’t wait to see the photos of your decorated simple cheesecakes and read on what occasions you cooked them!
(the groom is optional; after you cut out the parts, place them in greater distance from each other)
- It is important to put the stencil against the cake in the right moment. If you do it too early, when the cheesecake is still very hot and wet, the paper will stick to it, and it will be difficult to pull it off. But if you wait for too long, and the cake dries off completely, the stencil will not stay in one place, and the powder will get underneath it, which will result in blurred borders.
- If you use biscuits to make contours of your drawings (as I did in the case of the house), make sure you have more than needed since they crumble a lot during cutting.
- Just like traditional cheesecakes, also this one needs to be kept in a fridge for at least several hours before it is served. Otherwise it will be impossible to cut into pieces.