Sunday, January 26, 2014

West Ukrainian Kvarg Cheese Cake Recipe

West Ukrainian Cheese Cake

If there was a ‘worlds ugliest cake’ competition, this will win, hands down.  Photos like this shouldn't even be allowed on the internet. I guess you would never guess that this is a cheesecake. It looks more like something that came from outer space. But it tastes good.

The recipe uses quark instead of cream cheese. The quark I used had 0.3% fat, so it’s a relatively low fat dessert. It also uses semolina instead of regular flour. You can see the semolina grains in the photo below.

West Ukrainian Cheese Cake

680 grams (1½ lb) quark (fresh farmers cheese)
4 eggs, separated
100 grams (3½ oz) of butter, melted
¾ cup of sugar
2 tablespoons semolina
Juice of half a small lemon
½ teaspoon of vanilla sugar

1.      Heat oven to 190°C/375°F
2.      Beat egg whites until it doubles in volume. Slowly add half of the sugar and keep beating the egg whites until sugar has dissolved.
3.      In a separate bowl mix together egg yolks and the rest of the sugar until the sugar has dissolved
4.      Add quark to the egg yolk mixture and mix well.
5.      Add the rest of the ingredients except the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture and mix well.
6.      Fold in the egg white mixture and add to a greased baking pan
7.      Bake at 190°C/375°F for 15 minutes
8.      Reduce the temperature to 175°C/350°F and bake for a further 45 minutes
9.      Turn the heat off and let cake cool down till room temperature inside the oven. Don’t open the oven. Once cooled, remove cake from the baking pan and refrigerate.


  1. It looks very delicious (even though the whole cake looks funny indeed, but not ugly!).
    As someone who has made tons of cheesecakes, I am not surprised it has fallen down: the cheese is not fat enough and I'd also use more eggs (for this amount of cheese at least 6) and wouldn't whip the whites (they have fallen down anyway...). The strange thing is that semolina is still visible. I add more than you and it's not visible. It's because of whipped whites in my opinion. (I never use flour, only cornstarch which doesn't make the cake heavier but makes it more solid somehow).

    1. Maybe because the semolina I used had bigger grains?
      The recipe didn't call for low fat kvarg - thats what I had available - which may have produced a less then desirable result

    2. Try next time more eggs and don't beat the whites (it will save you time too ;-) ). Or use my recipe ;-) (No don't! if it doesn't work, I will really be ashamed). To tell you the truth, I have also had deflated cheesecakes and my mum never: she never used low-fat quark and I often did... so this must be the difference (though she never beats the whites either). I also find quark sometimes too watery... Traditionally mixed fresh cheese (tvarog in Russian I think) is used and it's slightly thicker than quark (less water=less chances of falling down?).
      It seems that cheesecakes are a very complicated subject...

    3. I think its the water that makes a huge difference. The kvarg I used was quite watery. I also suspect translation error. I don't think kvarg is common in Ukraine whereas tvorog is. So the original recipe may have used tvorog but translated into kvarg.

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