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Apr 3 15 9:50 PM

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Cheesecake

Cheesecakes are a popular dessert in nearly all regions of the world, and it has an interesting history.  A form of cheesecake was popular in ancient Greece even prior to the Romans’ adoption of the popular dessert.  The earliest recipe for cheesecake was from a cookbook published in 1390, which chef Heston Blumenthal claims the recipes is an English creation.  However, the more modern American cheesecake was developed in 1872 when American dairyman William Lawrence was experimenting with new uses of the French cheese, Neufchatel.  He produced what he called Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which was bought by the Kraft Cheese Company in 1928.  The product was then further refined and pasteurized, and is now the leading brand of cream cheese produced and sold in America.

Cheesecakes can be either baked or unbaked, depending on regional customs, ingredients used, and recipe preparation.

image ~ unbaked cheesecake

image ~ baked cheesecake

Almost all cheesecakes in the U.S. and Canada use cream cheese, while other cheeses are used throughout Europe for making cheesecakes. For instance, in Italy, cheesecakes are made with ricotta cheese, and quark is typically used to make cheesecakes in Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands.

Whether this popular dessert that we all love should be classified as a cake, pie, torte, custard or something else is a matter of debate and is, as of yet, to be decided.  The early Greeks considered cheesecake to be a cake because of its form, while others classify it as a torte given the amount of eggs needed for a typical cheesecake.  Yet others consider cheesecake to be a pie given the absence of flour and the presence of a base crust and a soft filling, which are all elements of a “pie”. 

Whether you consider cheesecake to be a pie, a cake, a torte or something else altogether, we all know they’re a very popular dessert throughout the world. Cheesecakes aren’t particularly difficult to make, but they are delicate. So extra care should be taken to ensure they emerge with the proper texture and a smooth and even surface.
Tips for Baking the Perfect Cheesecake

Ingredients / Equipment

Use cream cheese in block form; don’t use the whipped versions sold in tubs

Full-fat cream cheese (or sour cream) work best for proper blending and texture

Cream cheese (or sour cream) and eggs should be at room temperature to allow for a smoother cheesecake

Spring-form pans work best for most cheesecake recipes. There are non-stick spring-form pans available, but you should lightly grease them anyway.

Adding an extra egg yolk to your cheesecake batter will enhances its velvety texture

Preparing / Baking

Don’t overbeat or over-mix, as it whips air into the batter which creates cracks during baking or the surface can develop air bubbles

Cheesecakes are delicate and should be baked slowly and evenly without browning the top

To prevent cracking, bake your cheesecake with a pan of water to keep it moist. If using a spring-form pan, don’t place it inside a water bath (as it will leak); instead, place a roasting pan of water on the lower rack and bake the cheesecake in the upper rack.

Don’t open the oven door during baking as sudden changes in temperature can create cracks or sinking in the center

Don’t poke anything into the center of a cheesecake to see if it’s done. Instead, give the pan a little jiggle; if it’s done, it’ll be firm at the edges and the center will be slightly wobbly (like set Jell-O).

Don’t cool your baked cheesecake too fast or it can create cracks on the surface. To cool properly, let the cheesecake sit in the turned-off oven with the oven door slightly ajar for about an hour. Then let it cool completely on your stovetop. Run a knife around the edge to be sure it doesn’t stick to the pan (which can also cause cracks as it settles).

Slicing / Serving

A crack in your cheesecake isn’t the end of the world; simply use it as a starting point for cutting the first slice. Or do as some home cooks do just before serving….cover the cracks with whipped cream, fresh fruit slices, chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings, cherry pie filling, strawberry sauce, or caramel sauce with praline nuts sprinkled on top.

Dip a knife in warm water and wipe dry before slicing each piece

After cooling, cheesecakes should be chilled if not being served immediately

Because of the high fat content, most cheesecakes freeze well for up to two weeks if wrapped in plastic wrap and covered in foil. However, keep in mind that cheesecakes with a high water content (such as Food Network’s Fresh Cream Cheesecake and their Passion Fruit Cheesecake) will become icy, so freezing is not advised.
~ Cheesecake Recipes to Try ~

Whole Cheesecakes
Classic Cheesecake
New York Cheesecake 
New York Cheesecake 
The Ultimate Cheesecake 
Cherry Cheesecake 
Orange-White Chocolate Cheesecake 
Black Forest Cheesecake 
Turtle Cheesecake 
Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake 
Deluxe Pumpkin Cheesecake 
Crème Brulee Cheesecake 
Decadent Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake 

Mini Cheesecakes and Bar Cheesecakes
Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars 
New York Cheesecake Bars 
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars 
Lemon Cheesecake Bars 
Swirled Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars 
Raspberry Cheesecake Bites 
Oreo Cheesecake Bites 
What's your favorite cheesecake recipe?

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#1 [url]

Apr 3 15 10:02 PM

These are my favorite cheesecakes (at least, for the moment....I keep finding new cheesecake recipes that I like even more - lol).  Just a quick disclaimer, the recipes are from my account at the Just a Pinch site, but the photos are taken from food/com where I have them posted there too.  That's only because no one from my new cooking home has made them yet.


image  ~ Creme Brulee Cheesecake

image  ~  Creme de Menthe Cheesecake


And Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake (no photo yet)

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#4 [url]

Apr 4 15 4:00 AM

Baby Kato wrote:
I pinched your Creme Brulee cheesecake image.... I can't wait to try this...it's literally screaming at me.... Kato make me.... love creme brulee anything. image


Me too, BK.  Creme Brulee is my very favorite dessert, so had to try that cheesecake.  It's really good.  It's kind of tricky getting the top layer to burn right.  Just keep an eye on it, so it doesn't scorch too much.  It's really good though.  I hope you like it.

Vickie

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#11 [url]

Nov 20 15 2:22 AM

Chesecake isn't something you can turn out from a conventional Pan. Nw gal posted a couple made in graham crmb crustz and ive seen them in pie crusts. If you are willing to cut from a pan, you can use a conventional pan but the first couple of slices will be ugly! Lol

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