This is a one of the best Austrian desserts ever! “Topfenknödel” – strawberry curd cheese dumplings fluffy, soft, fruity and have a creamy consistency . The dumplings are filled with a medium sized Strawberry and Nutella and are covered in caramelized buttery bread crumbs. They can be prepared in advance and the curd cheese can be replaced as well with cream cheese. The perfect strawberry recipe to start into spring/ summer season. These dumplings can be enjoyed as a vegetarian sweet main dish or as a dessert.
What are strawberry curd cheese dumplings?
Curd Cheese dumplings are a traditional Austrian sweet recipe that is very popular during strawberry season. These dumplings are low in sugar but still sweet because of the sweetness of the ripe strawberries and the added teaspoon of Nutella. We Austrians enjoy this deliciousness for dessert or for lunch . I love to enjoy those dumplings for lunch on a Friday or as a dessert on the weekends served with a scoop of ice cream and strawberry compote. It seems that we Austrians always had a sweet tooth and therefore even developed a category only for sweet main dishes.
The dough is soft and more like a batter and contains only 5 ingredients .The stuffing of the curd cheese dumplings varies and depends mostly on what’s in season. The dumplings get cooked in salted water and afterwards coated with bread crumbs which get browned and caramelized in sugar and butter.
The origin of curd cheese dumplings.
The recipe origins from the bohemian empire which was ones part of the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy and is today the Czech Republic. It’s a well loved traditional dish and very popular in Hungary, Rumania, the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. Every nation claims this dish as his own of course and therefore the recipe varies in its ingredients, fillings and preparation.
While these dumplings get cooked in salt water in most Eastern European countries, in Germany these dumplings get baked.
What is curd cheese?
Curd cheese is a fresh cheese made from skim milk. It has a starter added to curdle the milk. It has a very light colour, and is soft and spreadable it has a slight sour tang to the taste, and is not aged at all.
Curd cheese tends to contain less fat than cottage cheese. It is sometimes called medium-fat soft cheese.
Substitutions for curd cheese.
If curd cheese isn’t available where you live here are some option you can use instead of curd cheese:
- Quark trained with a cheese cloth, otherwise it’s to wet
- Farmer’s cheese
- Cream cheese
- dry-curd cottage cheese
- cottage cheese pressed through a sieve
- Butter: Unsalted butter is what we use
- Salt: a pinch of salt for seasoning
- Curd cheese
- bread crumbs
- More Butter
What to serve with strawberry cheese dumplings.
Firstly these dumplings coated in caramelized bread crumbs are delicious as they are. Just served warm with some extra bread crumbs and a dust of powdered sugar but the following sides are great choices as well 😊.
- vanilla ice cream is always a great addition to any warm-served dessert
- apple sauce is a classic and you can’t go wrong with it
- Strawberry compote is a great side as well. I even have a great recipe on my blog.😉
- homemade fruit sauces are a great fit as well for this Austrian dessert.
Variations of fillings:
I’m filling these curd cheese dumplings with whatever fruits are in season at the moment.
- Apricots: use small apricots to get rid of the pit and put a sugar cube into the apricot instead
- plums: its the same for plums. Get rid of the pit and put a sugar cube into its middle. If you don’t have sugar cubes just fill it with 1/2 tsp sugar
- berries: different berries or a mix of different berries are great as a filling as well. I like to sprinkle them beforehand vanilla sugar
- nougat filling: tastes so good
- any kind of chocolate tastes great as well
- a combination of white chocolate and raspberries makes for a heavenly delicious filling
What’s important when making these strawberry curd cheese dumplings.
- The dough is very soft and sticky. The best way to make the dough pliable is to chill it for 2 hours.
- While the dough is chilling I’m dropping teaspoon sized amounts of Nutella on a baking sheet and freeze them. This way its easier to fill the dumplings.
- Dust your kitchen surface and your rolling pin enough before starting to roll out the dough.
- Dust your hands. This prevents the dough from sticking to much to your hands.
- Cut the dough into squares, transfer a square into hour hand put a nutella drop into the middle and small strawberry .
- Afterwards I close the dough arounds the filling and pinch the openings together with my fingers and than roll it into a ball.
Some more tips…
- the dough is about 1cm thick, this will prevent the dough to tear when closing it around the filling.
- I cook the dumplings for about than minutes in salted water. The water should gently bubble .
- The dumplings are ready when rising to the surface .
- Immediately coate the dumplings with the caramelized bread crumbs after cooking.
Can these Austrian curd cheese dumplings be prepared in advance ?
These dumplings can easily be prepared up to 2 days in advance . Just follow the recipe until the dumplings are stuffed and rolled into balls. Sprinkle them with some flour put them on a tray ands cover them with cling fling or aluminum foil and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 days.
How to store leftover dumplings.
In case you really have some left over dumplings put them into an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Reheat them in a pan together with the leftover caramelized bread crumbs over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes.
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