I’ll be brief today. I am still mourning a lost relationship and it is just one of those days which I am on the verge of tears all the time. I’ve been living in this state of sadness for over half a year and I am used to it by now. I am sad because I cannot let go. I still believe in us. Relief will come only when I can arrive at a different conclusion.
In light of the situation, I made something simple from ingredients I had at home based on recipe I previously used. Do you remember the blood orange ricotta bars I made for Valentine’s Day earlier this year? I was not pleased with the weird colour but loved the richness that ricotta added to the classic citrus bar. This time, I stayed with lemon but still could not remain 100% faithful to the original recipe. Instead of ricotta, I used quark, also from the mild fresh cheese family. The lemon quark bar took on a brilliant shade of yellow with creamy smooth topping. It was like sunshine in a bite with a side of buttery shortbread.
As much as I love tangy lemon bars, the classic recipe always makes me a little nervous. The delicate lemon curd topping straddles the line between a spread and a firm custard. I never know if it is sturdy enough to be cut into bars. The addition of fresh cheese alleviates my fear in a delicious manner. The filling has a bit more structure and tasted like a cross between lemon curd and cheesecake. I can imagine the recipe adapting well to other fresh cheeses such as fromage frais or cottage cheese blended smooth in a blender.
One unexpected gain from this batch of lemon quark bar is the shortbread crust. I’ve been on a lookout for easy shortbread base to incorporate into some chocolate bar recipes. This one is made entirely in the food processor and the crumbs pressed into pan to form even layer. I like how it is not fussy and it slices like a dream. With a topping of soft caramel and dark chocolate, it can turn into homemade Twix. It’s been a while since my last attempt with making chocolate bars. I think the time has come to pick it up again.