Today is my ½th birthday. Exactly six months ago and six months from now was/is my birthday. And to be honest, I like this day better than my actual birthday. Since half a year has gone by, I only remember the fun parts of my birthday, and have forgotten about all the organisational rigmarole. And since there is still half a year to go, I don’t have to worry about that yet. There’s only the excitement. Or as we call it in Dutch: voorpret. Literally this translates as pre-fun. And by that we mean the sense of enjoyment felt before a party or event takes place. The part I enjoy the most, is thinking about the cake.
When I was a child, my mom would ask me what kind of cake I wished for my birthday. Every year I would ask for the exact same cake: kwarktaart. It is somewhat like cheesecake. Only it is made with quark and it sets in the fridge. I had two favourite flavours, and my mom would make both, every single year: strawberry and peaches. So from my tenth birthday until my nineteenth, I always had the same cakes. The one thing that might slightly vary was the shape. I loved these kwarktaarten so much I continued to make them when I lived on my own.
A couple of years later, cheesecake became all the rage in The Netherlands. And when I got this incredible recipe for a baked cheesecake, I never made kwarktaart again. The only minor problem was the sky-high price I had to pay to make this cheesecake, for cream cheese is an expensive ingredient. But all was well again in my cake-baking-world when I learned how to make my own cream cheese. It is so easy. You only need one litre of organic full fat yoghurt (if it’s not organic and full fat it won’t work), a cheesecloth, a bowl, and something + someplace to hang the cheesecloth. And to remember to do this twelve hours before you’d like to bake your cake. This is good for about 300 – 450 grams of cream cheese.
Apart from the quark morphing into cream cheese, the flavours mixed up somewhat as well. My birthday is May 27th, and because I’ve always had kwarktaart with strawberries for my birthday, in my mind the month of May and strawberries are banded together forever. This connection is so strong that I really do not like strawberries when it’s not May (I know, I’m kind of weird). So therefore I don’t bake cheesecakes with strawberries if it’s not my birthday. But. I really love cheesecakes. So much so, I almost put them in the name of my website… So I put other fruit in it. When it’s not May, and I have time to eat other fruits than strawberries, I really love raspberries. And raspberries and cheesecake make a nice pair.
click here to open the recipe