Amarena cherry cheesecakes with lemon jelly












There is no day like Valentine’s Day for a special dessert and what a great time to finally tell you about these gorgeously light and airy cheesecakes with dark Amarena cherries and beautifully transparent, intensely lemon jelly cubes. And yes, light, these cheesecakes are made with quark! A thin layer of biscuit provides a delicate cake base for these tangy-vanilla cheesecakes when Amarena cherry pieces with their deeply dark, amaro and almond flavour surprise within and are wonderfully balanced by the citrus flavour. Dusted with just a hint of icing sugar and drizzled with a little of the cherry syrup they make for a stunning primrose & black plate (while being extremely easy to prepare in advance) at any dinner party or romantic dinner for two.

We had these as the finale to a great dinner with friends where I’ve made the fabulous boeuf bourguignon for the first time and henceforth renounced all my other recipes. A starter herb salad with smoked trout, pickled mustard seeds and quails eggs was followed by the magical boeuf bourguignon (coming when I can muster an ounce of self-control and take a picture before we have eaten it) with simple potatoes, peas and carrots (my English father-in-law’s favourite vegetable combination). So, you can imagine how much room there was left over for a grand pudding but these cheesecakes are so light & airy, tangy and lemony while the dark aromatic cherries tie in very well with the concentrated autumnal aroma of the wine braised beef, they fitted in perfectly.

What to have for Valentine’s Day dinner: My suggestion is to keep it simple though luxurious and have lobster rolls. That’s exactly what we’re I am having, a gorgeous steak is much more of a treat for my husband than any lobster I am keeping in the fridge (sshhh).




Amarena Käseküchlein mit Zitronengelee

Amarena cherry cheesecakes with lemon-wine jelly

Makes 8. Adapted (barely) from Essen & Trinken


200ml (dry) white wine
40g / 1.4 oz / 3 scant tablespoons sugar
Peel of ½ lemon
2 leaves gelatine
2-3 tablespoons lemon Eau de Vie (I used Zitronengeist made by Ehringhausen; alternative: try an intensely flavoured lemon brandy or Limoncello though the jelly will be a little more opaque)

40g / 1.4 oz / 4 tablespoons cornflour / cornstarch
70g / 2.5 oz / a scant ⅔ cup flour
1 pinch baking powder
40g / 1.4 oz / ⅓ cup icing sugar/ confectioner’s sugar
1 egg yolk
50g / 1.8 oz / 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon butter (room temperature)

300g / 10.5 oz Quark (40% or 20% fat)
16 (120g / 4.2 oz) Amarena cherries in syrup (mine are from Fabbri)
2 eggs, separated
35g / 1.2 oz / a scant ⅓ cup flour
35ml / 7 teaspoons milk
70g / 2.5 oz / ⅓ cup or 6 scant tablespoons sugar, divided
seeds from ½ vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
80ml / ⅓ cup cream

icing sugar / confectioner’s sugar to decorate


Make the jelly (ideally the previous day): Gently warm wine, sugar and lemon peel until the sugar has dissolved. Take off the heat and leave 20 Minutes to infuse then remove peel. Warm infusion again. Soak gelatine in cold water for 1-2 minutes, squeeze gently and dissolve gelatine in the lemon wine, add lemon Eau de Vie and decant liquid into a cooled square flat dish (approx. 300ml) and cover with cling film. Leave to cool then move to the fridge.

For the dough base: mix cornflour, flour, salt, baking powder and icing sugar with egg yolk, butter and 1-2 tablespoons cold water. Wrap in cling film and rest for ca. 30 minutes in the fridge. Roll out the dough on a floured surface (2-3mm thick) and using 8 metal rings (8cm in diameter, 4 cm height) cut out 8 circles in total. Leave the dough bases in their individual rings and place them onto a baking tray covered with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Make the filling: place the Quark in a fine mesh sieve (a muslin would be fine too) and leave to strain for about 20 minutes. Take cherries out of the syrup (keep syrup for later), dry and cut into quarters. Beat egg yolks, flour, milk, ½ the amount of sugar (35g / 3 tablespoons), vanilla seeds and quark into a smooth cream. Whisk cream until stiff peaks form, equally whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt, slowly add the remaining sugar (35g / 3 tablespoons). Fold the cream into the quark cream, followed by the egg whites.

Prepare the quark cheesecakes: place equal amounts of Amarena cherry quarters onto the dough disk in each ring and fill these with the light quark cream. Move the baking sheet gingerly to the oven (2nd rack from the bottom) and bake for ½ hour. Remove from the oven when done and leave the cakes to cool completely while remaining in their rings (the cakes will slump slightly).

Plate: Remove the lemon jelly from the fridge and cut it into cubes. With a thin knife cut around the metal edge of the cake rings to detach cakes and place each one a plate. Dust the cherry cheesecakes with icing sugar, drizzle with a little cherry syrup and decorate with the translucent lemon jelly cubes.




Deutsches Rezept:

Amarena cheesecakes with lemon-wine jelly

Käsekuchen mit Amarenakirschen und Zitronen-Weingelee

Ergibt 8 kleine Küchlein. Kaum verändert nach einem Rezept in Essen & Trinken.


200ml trockener Weißwein
40g Zucker

Schale von ½ Zitrone
2 Blatt Gelatine
2-3 EL Zitronengeist (von Ehringhausen oder ein Zitrus-Eau de Vie, Limoncello geht auch ergibt aber ein eher opakes Gelee)

40g Speisestärke
70g Mehl
1 Prise Backpulver
40g Puderzucker
1 Eigelb
50g Butter (Zimmertemperatur)

300g Quark (40% oder 20%)
16 (120g) Amarenakirschen in Sirup (meine sind von Fabbri)
2 Eier, getrennt
35g Mehl
35ml Milch
70g Zucker, geteilt
Samen von einer ½ Vanilleschote (oder 1 TL Vanilleextrakt)
80ml Sahne

Puderzucker zum Dekorieren


Das Gelee am besten am Vortag oder morgens herstellen: Sachte den Wein, Zucker und Zitronenschale erwärmen, bis sich der Zucker aufgelöst hat. Vom Herd nehmen und 20 Minuten ziehen lassen, dann Schale entfernen und Flüssigkeit erneut erwärmen. Gelatine für 1-2 Minuten in kaltem Wasser einweichen, leicht ausdrücken und in Zitroneninfusion auflösen. Zitronengeist hinzufügen und die Flüssigkeit in eine kalte flache Schale (ca. 300ml) füllen. Mit Deckel oder Frischhaltefolie abdecken und nach dem Abkühlen im Kühlschrank gelieren lassen.

Den Teig aus Speisestärke, Mehl, Salz, Backpulver, Puderzucker mit Eigelb, Butter und 1-2 EL kaltem Wasser mischen, in Frischhaltefolie wickeln und ½ Stunde kühl stellen. Schließlich auf einer bemehlten Arbeitsplatte dünn (2-3mm) ausrollen und mit Metallringen (8cm Durchmesser, 4 cm hoch) insgesamt 8 Kreise ausstechen (Teig erneut ausrollen für restliche Kreise). Die Böden in ihren individuellen Ringen auf ein mit Backpapier ausgelegtes Backblech stellen. Den Backofen auf 180°C vorheizen (Ober- & Unterhitze, keine Umluft).

Für die Füllung: Quark in ein feines Sieb oder ein Mulltuch geben und ca. 20 Minuten abtropfen lassen. Kirschen aus dem Sirup nehmen (Sirup zum Anrichten aufbewahren), abtrocknen und in Viertel schneiden. Eigelbe, Mehl, Milch und die Hälfte des Zuckers (35g), Vanille und Quark zu einer glatten Creme verrühren. Sahne steifschlagen und unter die Creme heben. Eiweiße mit einer Prise Salz steifschlagen, dabei den restlichen Zucker (35g) langsam hinzugeben und ebenfalls unter die Creme heben.

Die Käseküchlein fertigstellen und anrichten: Amarenakirschen gleichmäßig auf den Teigböden verteilen und die Ringe mit der Käsemasse füllen. Die Käseküchlein auf der zweiten Schiene von unten für ½ Stunde backen. Anschließend das Backblech aus dem Ofen nehmen und die Kuchen in den Ringen komplett abkühlen lassen (sie werden leicht zusammenfallen). Zum Servieren das Zitronengelee aus dem Kühlschrank nehmen und in Würfel schneiden. Die Käseküchlein mit einem Messer aus den Formen lösen und auf Tellern mit den durchsichtigen Zitronengeleewürfeln anrichten. Leicht mit Puderzucker berieseln und mit etwas Amarenakirschsirup beträufeln.



25 thoughts on “Amarena cherry cheesecakes with lemon jelly

  1. Wow, Nicole, I think I’m going to invite myself over for dinner. What a lovely menu (how do you pickle your mustard seeds please?). The dessert looks fab and I love the sound of the lemon jelly. I’m off to check my store cupboard for limoncello etc. I wonder if I could make something similar with my blood orange gin? Enjoy your lobster!

  2. Now, there’s a treat! Loooooove the combination of lemon, cherries, cheesecake. Looks like a great and light alternative to the ubiquitous chocolate mousse/volcano/fondant variant on all Valentine’s day menus. Now I can squeeze in a lobster roll and a steak! Thank you for a marvelous recipe Nicole!
    J xxx

  3. Even though Valentine’s day has come and gone, I believe your cheesecakes will make someone very happy any day. I’ve got a jar of Amarena cherries in my pantry and now I have a wonderful new way to use them. 🙂

    • Thank you, Karen, and you are totally right: this is not only for Valentine’s – it would be a shame eating this only once a year. I made it in fact for a dinner party and it was just perfect. These gorgeous cherries are always worth keeping in the pantry (and it is such a nice crock jar to look at, isn’t it?), they elevate any dessert to something extra special. N xx

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