Tags : :
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.
~ unbaked cheesecake
~ 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.
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.
New York Cheesecake
New York Cheesecake
The Ultimate Cheesecake
Orange-White Chocolate Cheesecake
Black Forest 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