Dutch Kwarktaart: A no-bake yoghurt cake for Valentine's!

It's almost Valentine's! So I thought I'd share a few recipes for those of you who want to turn it into a special day. Starting off with the 'hardest' recipe: Yogurt Cake, which will require some preparing and shopping beforehand. This recipe is not actually a Valentine's recipe at all, but it is very versatile. Top this lovely no-bake yoghurt cheesecake with fresh heart-shaped strawberries or chocolate bonbons and it's definitely all valentine themed.

Mine turned out to be a Shooting Star No-bake Yoghurt Cake (use your imagination a bit, will you?). It didn't exactly drop down from heaven, but I wouldn't really want it to. Anything home baked is always better! And this time it's a lovely Dutch cheesecake. Oh yes, we're quite famous for our no-bake 'cheese'cakes and this is one of the variations!

No bake Yoghurt Cake (Kwarktaart)
2 small cakes - Superdikke Taartenboek

- bottom layer 
250 grams Greek yoghurt or quark *
25 grams sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
zest of half a lemon 
3 gelatine leaves (or according to package for 250ml)
125 ml whipping cream
- top layer

1. Prepare the bottom layer by mashing cookies with melted butter or cutting a piece of cake (or anything else). Put it in the bottom of your cooking rings (or anything else).
2. Soak the gelatine leaves in water. In the meanwhile mix the yoghurt with the sugars and lemon zest.
3. Take a small pan and melt the gelatine leaves on medium to low heat. Turn the heat to low and add the yoghurt a tablespoon at a time until everything is dissolved. Take off the heat as soon as possible to cool down.
4. Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold in the yoghurt.
5. Pour the whipped cream-yoghurt onto the bottom layer in the molds and put in the fridge to set. This should take between 1-3 hours.
6. After the yoghurt is set, prepare the topping. The yoghurt layer is fresh and tangy so I would top it off with fresh (or canned) fruits or cherries & chocolate, but go however crazy you like. Once you've topped the cake, eat it within 2-4 hours (it will get soaky and messy the longer you leave it).

* This recipe requires a thick yoghurt, so if you don't have Greek yoghurt or quark, strain your yoghurt beforehand. Alternatively, use more gelatine. 

I wanted to give you as much freedom as possible, so you can really go all Valentine-crazy in whatever way you like. For that reason I omitted the recipe for the bottom and top layer. Also, I'm confident you are way better at decorating. Or making the base: you can use your own favourite cake base, or your favourite cake as base or anything from crumbled cookies to fresh fruits, cereal or chocolate as a bottom layer. If you don't want a bottom layer at all, then try going for tall glasses and make a layered dessert with fruits and the whipped cream-yoghurt mixture. You'll win either way.

You can get equally creative with the top layer: omitting it and putting the fruits in the base or inside the cheesecake as surprise or going for fruits or chocolate to jams or nuts and caramel on top. Just remember to taste the yoghurt while you're making it, or try imagining yoghurt-lemon-and-sugar together. Topping this lovely cake with walnuts will not give you any kind of flavour balance, but a cranberry jam would match perfectly.  Cutting strawberries into thin heart-shapes in various sized and placing those on top with a bit of clear pink jello to keep them fresh and vibrant would be an amazing Valentine's idea.

I hope you have a magical Valentine's day! If these shooting stars aren't your thing: just you wait till tomorrow... more Valentine's treats are coming up!