And trying to see the brighter side of things, I quickly decided to dye the four remaining eggs in my fridge. I wanted to do it with natural colour and used turmeric, hoping for a bright yellow. Unfortunately, after letting them soak for a whole night, there is not much of a yellow colour to be seen. However, they have some yellowish spots here and there so they will hopefully qualify as Easter eggs.
Back home, I would have spent the evening of Good Friday with my mom, dying dozens of eggs in all sorts of colours. The following day, we would bake as much as possible – my family is used to eat cake rather by the square meter… Having no seasonal fruits yet, we would usually make two big baking sheets covered with yeast dough, topped with juicy quark filling, and crunchy streusel. With 1.5 kg of flour as the basic ingredient for the dough, we would have enough dough leftover to make two sweet Easter breads: one with raisins and candid orange or lemon peel for my parents and my brother and another one just with almonds for my sister and me (being both raisins and mixed peel haters). Traditionally, those breads get shaped into round loaves, slashed in the pattern of a cross, and brushed with egg yolk for a nice, golden brown colour. The sweet breads we would have for breakfast with butter and honey or just plain, and the cake for afternoon tea or whenever you happened to pass the pantry...
This year, there was neither the time nor the need to engage myself for several hours in a yeasty adventure of that sort. Luckily, I can at least show you our typical baking sheet-size cheesecake because I made it for a friend’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and never posted about it.
Finding European-style quark in
Easter yeast cake with quark filling and streusel topping
I use my regular yeast dough recipe but you can also use your preferred brioche recipe or a less rich version if you feel like eating healthy. If you don’t feel like eating healthy at all, then add your favourite streusel topping – you won’t regret it!
The quark filling
Here, you can experiment as much as you want adding raisins, mixed peel (if you really like it) or a finely chopped apple.
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
200g caster sugar
2 sachets of vanilla sugar (or 1 tbsp vanilla essence)
4 egg yolk
1 kg quark or ricotta
100-200g sour cream
1 tbsp cornstarch (semolina works fine, too)
A few drops of rum essence or 1-2 tbsp rum (optional)
Yield: enough filling for a big baking sheet
Beat egg whites with salt until stiff.
In another bowl, cream butter with sugar and vanilla sugar until pale and fluffy, gradually add egg yolks mixing well after each addition.
Add quark and sour cream to the butter mixture, mixing well. Add cornstarch and rum essence, if using. At this point, you could also add raisins etc.
Gently fold in beaten egg whites.
Spread filling on the rolled-out yeast dough and cover with streusel if desired. Fan-bake at 150 degrees Celsius for about 45 minutes.
Loosely based on "Hedwig Maria Stuber: Ich helf dir kochen"
Check the dough base on the edges for doneness: It should be golden yellow and not dark. The quark filling will stay whitish and only get a golden yellow colour on some spots. If you are like me and pile up as much streusel topping as possible, then the entire surface will be covered with a crunchy, golden crust...hmmm...
The streusel topping
150g sugar (for crunchy streusel, don't choose caster sugar)
100-150g butter, cold, diced
1 sachet vanilla sugar
Put all ingredients into a bowl and quickly rub the butter into the flour using your fingers. If the mixture is too crumbly and doesn't come together at all, add a little more butter. If you work too slowly and the butter starts melting, don't add more flour (unless you want your streusel concrete-style). Rather pop the bowl into the fridge or freezer (depending on your patience) until the butter has firmed up again.
Crumble mixture on top of your cake. Leftover streusel can be frozen.
My mom's creation