This is my last post for the Vegan Month of Food. I enjoyed being a part of this again very much. It has been a great September and I found so many awesome new blogs. I read a lot of inspiring posts and saved plenty delicious looking and unique recipes. Thank you very much to everybody who read my posts. Extra special thanks to those who also took the time to comment or even tried one of my recipes! For me you’ve made every single day during the month of September.
For this Vegan Month of Food I wanted to do an A to Z of German desserts. Even though I baked a lot this month I wasn’t able to complete my list and to accept everybody’s requests for recipes. Today for example I’ll end VeganMoFo with the letter T although I got several requests for S as in Schwarzwälder Kirsschtorte and Sachertorte (which is very Viennese and not German at all but still a popular dessert here). And where the heck is the rest of the alphabet? But don’t worry. I will carry on with my project during the next months and I am already working on the S.
The cake I have for you today is a traditional German cake in an unique way. It is called Tschechischer Käsekuchen (Czech Cheesecake) but I honestly doubt that it is Czech. The original version is both made with Quark (fresh curd cheese) and poppy seeds and some people might consider this typically Czech. But this combination can be found in many German and Austrian cakes as well. So why did I include it in this list? I think what makes this cake very German is the fact that it is from a Dr. Oetker baking book and calls for quite a few of their ingredients. (Dr. Oetker is the German version of Betty Crocker.) And by ingredients I do not mean baking powder. I mean those ingredients that are supposed to make baking and desserts easy for you. Easy, if you think you don’t have the time to make stuff from scratch. Or if baking intimidates you. I know many people who use cake mixes and other convenience products for baking. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. I grew up with all these little packages filled with some powder that magically turned into custard or cake if you added just a couple of fresh ingredients. And in our household those packages were always made by Dr. Oetker. If you didn’t use their products, you probably had one or two of their baking books, which are filled with easy and often foolproof recipes.
These days I don’t buy their products because I like to make stuff from scratch. Plus, most of their products aren’t vegan anyway. But I thought it was a nice challenge to try to veganise a cake that calls for Mohnback (prepared poppy seed cake filling), Vanillepudding (vanilla custard), and Saucenpulver (instant vanilla sauce powder) in one single recipe. My cake probably came out a little differently than the original version. Which doesn’t matter because veganising and improvising something often takes you in another interesting and new direction. And that is what vegan baking and cooking is all about! Making this cake was much easier than I thought. The crust calls for curd cheese and cream, I just made a spongecake. The filling, which calls for curd cheese, eggs, vanilla custard, and that weird vanilla sauce mix was made with yoghurt, starch, sugar, chickpea flour, and coconut oil instead. It came out very firm and custard like. But I imagine the original would have come out like that, too. For the poppy seed topping I just used my own version for poppy seed cake filling, which works just as well as a storebought filling.
(for one 18 cm or 7 inch springform pan)
100 g (3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) flour
80 g sugar (1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup plus 1 teaspoon)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
100 ml (1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup plus 2 teaspoons) soy milk
60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
300 g (1 cup plus 1/4 cup) vanilla soy yoghurt
30 g (1/4 cup) cornstarch
2 tablespoons chickpea flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted, refined coconut oil
optional: 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar (I made mine without since the yoghurt is already sweetened. But some of my taste testers thought the cake might benefit from a little more sweetness.)
70 g (1/2 cup) poppy seeds, ground
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons soft, refined coconut oil
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
To make the batter:
Grease the pan and set aside. I wrapped my springform pan in alumninium foil to prevent the batter from leaking. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and mix to combine. Add soy milk and oil and stir until combined. Pour into cake pan. Prebake for 15 minutes and remove from oven.
To make the filling:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour over the prebaked crust.
To make the topping:
Combine poppy seeds, sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water and oil. Stir well until oil has melted and everything is combined. Stir in flour and starch. Use a spoon to distribute on top of the cake. Bake the cake for another 30 minutes. Remove, let cool and use a knife to loosen the edges. Carefully remove pan.