Helpful Tips and Techniques in Baking Cheesecakes Mastering the art of baking cheesecakes is an arduous task. It is hard for anyone to perfect the method of cooking a wide variety of cheesecakes just by following simple recipes. However, there are several pointers that can help in baking cheesecakes like a pro. The Texture The distinct texture of the cheesecake mainly relies on the cheese blended with sugar and eggs. However, it is the type of cheese that informs the character of the cheesecake. For instance, the New York style cheesecake is dense since it is made with cream cheese; the Italian is lither because of ricotta. There are also other cheeses that can be used to achieve different texture. One is the Neufchatel, popularly used in French cheesecakes. Also, cottage cheese, and fresh cheeses like the mascarpone, goat’s cheese, and fromage blanc can be used. The Mixing and the Cracking Unlike other kinds of cakes, where the key is beating air into the batter, cheesecakes suffer if over-mixed. In order to achieve wonderful results, it is advisable to have all the ingredients stored at room temperature before mixing. Cracking is probably the most common problem in baking cheesecakes. Since cheesecakes, like custards, depend profoundly on the setting of the eggs, they must be cooked slowly and gently. If the eggs puff, get grainy or overcook, and constrict when cooled, the resulting cheesecake will have an undesirable split on the smooth surface. The main trick in avoiding cracks in cheesecakes is the coaxing and gentle heat. Cooking cheesecakes slowly also means cooling them gradually. The quick change in temperature upset the structure of the cheesecake, which often causes the cracks. Moister and creamier cheesecakes are achieved when the heat is turned off while the center is still loose and allowed to cool inside the oven. Several cheesecakes, especially the classic ones, are usually baked in water bath, which is a pan of water. This is done in order to moderate the temperature. Because the water remains at a constant temperature, the cheesecake sets slowly, thus resulting in a creamy cheesecake. On the other hand, cheesecakes that are rich in flavors can achieve the same results as the classic cheesecakes by baking slowly at low temperatures. In order to prevent the cheesecake from developing cracks during the cooling process, you can run a thin knife around the edge of the cheesecake. It is important to ensure that you perform this as soon as the cheesecake comes out of the oven. More so, remove the spring-form pan, except the metal base, after chilling. When you see a crack in the cheesecake, do not fret, but simply use it as a starting point when cutting the first slice. The Cutting, Freezing and Draining To cut a baked cheesecake, use a knife and dip it in warm water. Always remember to dry the knife before slicing each piece of the cheesecake. Since cheesecakes are high in fat, they can freeze up well for two weeks if covered tightly in both foil and film. However, cheesecakes with high water content will tend to become icy. In this case, freezing is not advisable. Lastly, in draining fresh cheesecakes, you can line a medium sieve that is about eight inches wide, colander or fine strainer with two layers of damp cheesecloth. Set them over a bowl and refrigerate after covering.
Cheesecakes for Health Buffs The last dish that comes to a dieter’s mind is the cheesecake. It contains large amounts of calories due to its dairy content and more if toppings are added. However, no one ever said that you cannot have a cake and eat it too. No matter what the occasion is, be it holidays or birthdays, it is never complete without a cake. Traditional cheesecake recipes are often loaded with sugar and fat aside from calories, which could be detrimental to the cardiovascular health. This can take away some of the joy out of consuming and enjoying a dessert. Fortunately, there are several ways of cooking cheesecakes, which have transformed the usual recipe by cutting back on the white flour and limiting the use of ingredients that have full-fat. These kinds of recipe create healthier substitutions that will surely satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. About Healthy Cheesecakes Although the calcium content of cheesecakes is good for the bone structure, almost all cheesecake treats are not exactly light cooking. For instance, the New York style cheesecake calls for heavy amounts of cream cheese, five eggs, two yolks and cream. It is hard to admit that cheesecakes are untouchable - and uneatable - for health conscious individuals. The absolute triumph in cheesecake history is the creation of breakthrough recipes that still match the traditional cheesecake recipe in texture and richness while cutting the fat by half. Not only are the fillings healthy in these kinds of cheesecakes but the crusts too. There are also other kinds of cheesecake that are designed for diabetics. These kinds of culinary breakthrough are helpful to those who cannot enjoy the delight of desserts after a meal. However, even if the cheesecake is safe enough to eat for dieters, the most important thing to remember is moderation. Limit the cheesecake consumption to a single slice per week. In this way, not only would you enjoy the delight that the cheesecake brings but also help you maintain your weight. Healthy Cheesecake Example A popular example of a healthy cheesecake is the low-fat baked cheesecake. In this kind of recipe, low-fat cream is used, as well as sugar and eggs substitutes. For the ingredients, you will need nine-inch reduced fat graham cracker crust, one-fourth cup skim milk, one-half cup of egg substitute, two to eight ounces of fat free cream cheese bars, two tablespoons flour, six packets of artificial sweetener or one-fourth cup of Splenda sugar, two teaspoon lemon juice and one teaspoon vanilla. In preparing the low-fat baked cheesecake, first preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. By using a mixer, combine the flour and milk while keeping the mixing speed at low. Gently add the cream cheese and then increase the mixing speed to medium. While still mixing, add the artificial sweetener or Splenda, egg substitute, vanilla and lemon juice. Pour the batter into the crust and bake for at least forty minutes. Wait until the cheesecake’s center is set. Always remember to chill the dessert before serving Despite of it being fat-free and only uses one type of cheese, the low-fat baked cheesecake is actually edible. One-fourth piece of each ingredient have the nutritional facts of 256 calories, .9 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates, .9 grams of fiber and 22.7 grams of protein. This kind of cheesecake is absolutely essential for those who want to enjoy the delight of the cheesecake while avoiding health risks and probably weight gain.
The Cheesecake Factory, Inc.: Revolutionizing Cheesecake Dining The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. is probably the most renowned cheesecake restaurants in America and even the world. The company is located in the United States and currently operates 139 full service and casual dining restaurants in major metropolitan areas in the United States. The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. is also characterized by their extensive menus, large options and lavish decors. The Cheesecake Factory offers a casual dining experience, complete with lavish decorative floors, limestone floors, hand-painted fabrics, cherry wood trimming and contemporary lighting. Their menu contains 200 selections of food and 50 different cheesecakes and desserts, which includes their trademark Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake and White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake. Humble Beginnings The early beginnings of the Cheesecake Factory started with Oscar and Evelyn Overton. They dreamed of opening their very own business where Evelyn, always known as a skilled cook, created cheesecake recipes liked by her friends. During the late 1940’s, Evelyn decided to open a small cheesecake shop in Detroit. However, in order to raiser her to two children properly, she chose to extinguish her dreams and gave up the shop. She then moved her baking to the kitchen in her basement and continued to supply cakes to a number of local restaurants. During the year 1971, with their children all grown up, the couple decided to move their cheesecake business to Los Angeles. Carrying only what is left from their savings, they managed to open a 700 square foot store and called it the Cheesecake Factory. The early years were extremely lean and very difficult. The couple even worked at 18-hour shifts. Oscar concentrated on selling the cakes and establishing new accounts while Evelyn managed the office and baked the cheesecakes. Luckily, the people of Los Angeles liked their cheesecakes, which made the reputation of their restaurant grow. In 1975, they have improved their bakery and Evelyn created over twenty assortments of delectable cheesecakes and other desserts. Oscar started purchasing delivery trucks, expanding their cheesecake distribution, hiring drivers and developing additional out-of-state customers. The tireless effort of the couples to provide innovative and quality product development eventually gave way to the foundation of the Cheesecake Factory’s success. In 1978, their son David then founded the Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hills, which was a milestone for the company and made them even more famous. Expansion and Successes Owners of the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas asked David Overton to establish a casual and upscale restaurant for the hotel. In order to do this, David traveled to Europe in order to study the architecture, cuisine, design and dйcor of traditional Italian trattorias, pastry shops and grand cafes of Vienna. David eventually created the Grand Lux Cafй, which is known to merge the luxuriant European cafes with the sensibilities of an all-American restaurant. The establishment offers cuisine from cultures, like Malaysian, Caribbean, Thai, aside from European style food. More so, it is located in several locations, including Houston, Long Island, Paramus, Florida, New Jersey, Miami, Chicago and Denver, among others. The main emphasis of the Grand Lux is the bakery on the premises, which offers baked-to-order cheesecakes and other desserts. However, they also offer baked food products at counters for take-out. Currently, the company operates thirteen restaurants in several locations. The Cheesecake Factory also offers online services. Within this venture, the company offers cheesecakes that will be delivered to customers in dry ice. Truly, no company has ever achieved cheesecake revolution than the Cheesecake Factory, Inc.
Savoury Cheesecakes - "Sweetless" Delights Like all things in this world, culinary styles also evolve. Cheesecakes from the history books were all made up of the three main ingredients: cheese, flour and sweetener. These decadent treats were somehow made to provide a soothing balance in every meal - a sweet balance that is. However, nowadays, people are searching for ways to modify the conventional cheesecake; from the usual after meal dessert to possibly the main course. Although the quest for cheesecakes as the main event during meals is still going on, fortunately enough, cheesecakes are now developing new methods of presentation and taste. Fresh Cheeses First of all, savoury cheesecakes differ from sweet ones in several aspects: the ingredients and the meal course. Although savoury cheesecakes can also be eaten as desserts, they are more popularly consumed as the hors d’oeuvres, most commonly known as appetizers. There are several cheeses that are versatile enough to be used for either savoury or sweet cheesecakes. The Italian ricotta cheese is one kind of cheese perfect for savoury cheesecakes. Ricotta cheese is the byproduct of Romano cheese. In addition, ricotta cheeses can be made from cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk. This kind of cheese is now made from skim milk instead of whey. Fresh cheeses can be used in making savoury cheesecakes. When picking the correct fresh cheese, you should remember that it should have a delicate, milky, light, floral perfume and a moist texture. Fresh cheeses are sometimes referred to as fresh curd cheese and have high moisture content and can be achieved from any milk. However, fresh cheeses have a short shelf life and in order to ensure that you only get quality fresh cheeses, always make sure to avoid any with a rancid, musty or sour aroma and a tacky or dull surface. Savoury Cheesecakes with Fillings Since most savoury cheesecakes are served as appetizers, it is only appropriate to serve them bite sized. An excellent example of such cheesecakes is the Savoury Cheesecake Bites. This kind of dish has two different fillings that can provide a wide variety of colors and taste: the smoked salmon, and the peppy pizza fillings. For the ingredients, you will need three-fourth cup of dry bread crumbs, one package softened cream cheese, three tablespoons melted butter, two pieces of eggs, one and one-half teaspoon of all-purpose flour, one cup sour cream, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. The peppy pizza filling include two tablespoons of tomato sauce, one tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese, one-fourth teaspoon of dried oregano, one-half teaspoon dried basil, quarter of finely diced red pepper, and slivered red pepper. The Tex-Mex filling, on the other hand, include one tablespoon lime juice, one tablespoon chopped coriander, one-fourth teaspoon ground ginger and cumin and one-half teaspoon chili powder. Firstly, get five miniature tart tins and spray nonstick cooking spray on them generously. In a separate bowl, combine the butter and the bread crumbs until they are moistened. Press one teaspoon of the mixture in each tart tin and bake in an oven for eight minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat the cream cheese and eggs, one at a time in another bowl. Add in the salt, pepper and flour and include the sour cream. When done, divide the batter in two bowls. You can prepare the fillings by combining each ingredient in separate bowls. Spoon one tablespoon of the filling over each tart base and bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cheesecake Cooking Styles Once upon a time, when athletes in Ancient Greece started competing in rigorous events at Olympic Games, slices of cheesecakes were made, which basically contained the three basic ingredients: cheese, wheat flour and sweetener. They pounded all the ingredients together until it attained a paste-like consistency. They baked the mixture, cooled and served to provide athletes with the energy they need to compete. This was known as the birth of the cheesecake. The Roman Empire then conquered Greece and acquired the divine treat and spread it throughout Europe and any territory they occupied. Since then, the basic cheese, flour and sweetener, was replaced with whatever ingredient native to the land that adopted the cheesecake recipe. The usual white Greek cheese was replaced by ricotta and mascarpone by the Italians, Neufchatel by the French, quark cheese by the Germans and cream cheese by the Americans. Eventually, this monumental event in culinary history paved the way for several different styles in creating the cheesecake. The European Cheesecake The Europeans were the first to adopt the cheesecake recipe. They were also the first to apply several variations in the conventional cheesecake. There are many countries that have also placed their own style on creating cheesecakes and they include Italy, France, United Kingdom, and New Zealand. Firstly, the United Kingdom and New Zealand cheesecake is similar. Their cheesecakes are generally cold desserts that are neither baked nor cooked. Cheesecakes from these countries are made with crumbled digestive biscuits combined with butter and pressed into a dish in order to form a base layer. They used fillings or toppings, which mainly constitute of sugar, cheese, cream, milk and gelatin mixed together. In Italy, there are two styles of cooking cheesecakes, namely the Roman and Italian style. Roman style cheesecakes use ricotta-like cheese and honey combined with flour and traditionally shaped into loaves. There are also other recipes that call for bay leaves, which may have been used to preserve the treat. Nowadays, Roman style cheesecakes are still baked in Italian areas, which kept the culinary traditions alive after the fall of Rome. On the other hand, Italian style cheesecakes are the modern versions of the Roman cheesecake. These cheesecakes use either mascarpone or ricotta cheese and replace honey with sugar. They also omitted the use of bay leaves and added other new-age ingredients, such as: barley flakes and vanilla extract. Typically, this type of cheesecake is drier compared to American style cheesecakes and often added with tiny bits of candied fruit. A very light cheesecake is the main description of French cheesecakes. These cakes feature gelatin as the main binding ingredient and are generally only 3 to 5 centimeters tall. This variety of cheesecake achieves its light flavor and texture from the Neufchatel cheese. More so, French cheesecakes are found outdoors in markets at the South of France and fine pastry stores in Paris. The American Cheesecake In America, cheesecakes typically rely on cream cheese as an alternative to the French Neufchatel. One of the most popular cheesecakes in America is the New York style cheesecake. This was made famous by a deli and relies on cream cheese, heavy cream, eggs, and egg yolks in order to add a smooth consistency and richness. New York style cheesecakes are also known as Jewish style and are baked in a specific 13 to 15 centimeter tall spring form pan in several restaurants. There are also other recipes of the cheesecake that use lemon and cottage cheese for distinct flavor and texture.
Where It All Started: The History of Cheesecake Many people would agree that the best birthday cake is the cheesecake. There are others who cannot imagine a world where cheesecake is not created. Nothing compares to having a delicious dairy treat every once in a while - almost everyone loves a slice of cheesecake. Cheesecake and the Ancient Greek Many believe that cheesecake originated as a New York City delicacy somewhere around the 20th century. Surprisingly, Ancient Greeks have been creating cheesecake for thousands of years before any American even tried to put their hands - and mouth - on the delicious indulgence. There are several publications indicating that cheesecakes were first created during the seventh and eighth centuries B. C. right on the island of Samos in Greece. Back then, the Greeks created cheesecakes by combining, wheat flour, honey and cheese that had been pounded to a paste-like and smooth consistency. The mixture was then formed into cakes, baked and then cooled before handed out. During the first Olympic Games that happened in Greece in 776 B. C., the athletes ate cheesecake, which provided them with the energy they needed for several rigorous competitions. Cheesecake became a popular Greek delicacy and was even the ancestor of Western culture’s wedding cake tradition. It also became a custom for a Greek bride to bake and serve cheesecakes to her new husband’s friends as a gesture of hospitality. This concept in marriages eventually paved the way for wedding cakes. During the time when the Romans occupied Greece, cheesecake recipes were one of their rewards of war. They quickly adapted the delightful taste of the cheesecake and being a powerful empire that they were, the Romans went on to conquer and occupy much of Europe and Great Britain. During their conquests, the Romans introduced the concept of cheesecake to various lands, which came under their influence. It was only a matter of time before European migrants carried with them their treasured cheesecake recipes to the land of the brave and the free, the America. Today’s Cheesecake Although the original cheesecake recipe came from Greece, it quickly adapted several culinary styles and variations during its journey to other territories. The basic ingredients, namely the cheese, flour and sweetener, are still present but the contemporary cheesecake bear little resemblance to the cheesecake of Ancient Greece. During the late 19th century, New York dairy farmers invented cream cheese, which quickly became the popular type of cheese used for cheesecakes. The flour used for the crust was substituted with cookie crumbs and graham cracker crumbs, which made the cheesecakes from the United States popular. Ancient cheesecake recipes also use honey as sweetener, but it was eventually replaced by the more common granulated cane sugar. In addition, the standard cheesecake today also includes fillings, such as: milk or cream, flavorings, butter and eggs. Even the method of baking has evolved. Back then, all the ingredients were mixed together all at once but modern cheesecakes are made with layering the ingredients; first the crust is made, and then the filling and lastly, the toppings, if available, are added. The toppings also have unlimited variety, which include spices, chocolate, nuts, fruits, and whipped cream, among other choices. But even though the ingredients and the process of baking have evolved, everyone still owes the divine treat to the Greeks. Cheesecake has lived for years and still continues to prosper - it is an ancient delight that will never go out of style no matter how old it is.
Going Conventional: The Sweet Cheesecakes Cheesecake is probably the most popular cheese-based dessert. This delightful pie made its debut in Ancient Greece around 776 B. C. during the first Olympic Games. It was served to athletes to help and prepare them for several rigorous events. It was only centuries later when the cheesecake found its way to North America where it was welcomed with open arms and hungry stomachs. The invention of cream cheese in 1872 by a dairy farmer was a milestone in cheesecake history. Today, cream cheese is the most popular kind of cheese used for cheesecake recipes. The Sweet Types of Cheesecakes There are two types of cheesecakes: the savoury and the sweet. Savoury cheesecakes, much like its British definition, are aromatic and normally seasoned with herbs and spices served as appetizers, often accompanied with a salad. On the other hand, the most conventional way of cooking cheesecakes is the sweet type. There are a number of methods of cooking sweet cheesecakes. The Traditional cheesecake, also known as the New York style, is heavily based on cream cheese. Often, this kind of cheesecake contains a hint of lemon but is best served plain and without toppings. Another kind of sweet cheesecake is the Cherry. Cherry cheesecakes are similar to New York style cheesecakes because they are also based on cream cheese. However, Cherry cheesecakes are topped with a cheery pie filling though there are now variations including blueberries and strawberries. There are also sweet cheesecakes suitable for health buffs. One example is the low-fat cheesecake, which contain either sour cream or low-fat cream cheese and yogurt. For vegetarians, tofu is an excellent replacement for cream cheese and eggs. Several cheesecake recipes have been popularized by whatever country they originated from. The Japanese cheesecake has a lighter style that can be achieved by using whipped eggs and lesser cream cheese. As for the German cheesecake, Quark cheese or cottage cheese is used as a substitute for cream cheese. The Italian cheesecake is based on the Roman style cheesecake and uses ricotta cheese. Lastly, the Belgian or Dutch cheesecake adds chocolate chips or cocoa and sometimes condensed milk to the traditional cheesecake recipe. The Classic New York Cheesecake Probably one of the most popular kinds of sweet cheesecake is the New York style cheesecake. This kind of cheesecake was particularly developed in New York during the 1920 by Jewish delicatessens. Anyone can make the classic New York style cheesecake. Firstly for the crust, you need a heavily cooking spray-coated 10-inch spring form pan, one and one-half cups of graham cracker crumbs, one teaspoon of honey, one-fourth cup of sugar and five tablespoons of honey. Mix all of them together using your hands until the crumbs appear moist. Pour the mixture into a pan and spread evenly across the bottom. It is also necessary to pat the mixture down firmly using your hands. As for the fillings, you will need five eight-ounces bars of cream cheese, two tablespoons of flour, one and one-half cups of sugar, grated lemon rind, five eggs, two egg yolks, three-fourth teaspoon vanilla, and one-half teaspoon orange liqueur. Place all the dry filling ingredients in a bowl and beat together until completely blended. Add the wet ingredients and pour into a pan. Preheat the oven for 400 degrees and bake for ten minutes. When the top gets golden, lower the temperature to 200 degrees and bake for thirty-five to forty-five minutes. Always remember to cool before serving.
What You Need To Know About Cheesecakes Cheesecakes are delightful sweet or savoury treats that are made with soft and fresh cheeses. They can also be integrated with other several ingredients, including sugar, eggs and cream. Cheesecake flavorings are also possible and normally include chocolate or rum and fruit toppings, like berries. Nowadays, there are several variations of cheesecakes. There are those that are designed for dieters and some for vegetarians. But no matter what kind of cheesecake is created, they still follow the basic guideline and usually have the common challenges in cooking. The Challenges of Making Cheesecakes In the United States, modern cheesecakes use cream cheese, while ricotta cheese for Italian cheesecakes and quark cheese for German cheesecakes. The kind of cheese used for the cheesecake not only affects the taste and texture of the pie but also the capability to incorporate other certain types of ingredients. Additionally, thinly made cheesecake batter will not be structurally sound but can also tend to fall apart at the table. However, one method of avoiding this is through the use of unflavored gelatin or cornstarch beaten with eggs. The most common challenge in cooking cheesecakes is their tendency to develop cracks after being cooled. This is because of the coagulation of the beaten eggs in the cheesecake batter. There are several methods that can avoid this phenomenon. One is to bake the cheesecake in a water-bath or bain-marie in order to ensure even heating. Other methods also include baking the cheesecake at lower temperatures and cooling it slowly in the oven or blending a small amount of cornstarch in the batter to avoid the coagulation of eggs. Another problem with cheesecakes is the biscuit base; it can become too soft. To achieve an extra crunch in the base, you can try replacing a quarter of the crushed biscuits with grape nuts. Preparing the Cheesecake It is important to remember to avoid purchasing light or low-fat cream cheese unless the recipe needs it since they can only create optimal results in cheesecakes. Cheesecake can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to a week. Plain cheesecake, tightly wrapped with plastic then foil in a spring-form pan, can be frozen for three months. Defrosting the cheesecake can be done inside the refrigerator for eight to twelve hours. More so, it is necessary to allow the cheesecake to return at room temperature before serving. In preparing the cheesecake, most cheesecake recipes call for two procedures, such as: create the base first then bake and adding all the cheese fillings and bake again. The trick in creating baked cheesecakes is not to overcook them. Cheesecakes are best created in a spring-form pan. By using such pans, cheesecakes can be easily removed after the baking process. To achieve a smooth filling, ensure that the cream cheese and egg are stored at room temperature. Also, do not over-beat the mixture because this can only cause cracks at the top of the cheesecake. Additionally, tap the side of the pan in order to release air bubbles that could cause cracks or bumps in the top of the cake before baking. If you have toppings for the cheesecake, remember to add them after the cheesecake has cooled, no more than two hours before serving time. If there are still cracks, after all the efforts you placed into it, you can add toppings that can hide the cracks, such as: berries and chocolates.
Creating the Perfect Cheesecake Cheesecake is a popular dessert admired by everyone. Several styles have been incorporated with the dish, which made each cheesecake unique. The basic ingredients are now being substituted with modern ingredients to complement the modern palette. Ever since the dawn of time, mankind has been trying to achieve perfection in every actions that they make - and cheesecake is no exception. Fortunately, there are several guidelines that can help one create the perfect and delightful treat that has been available for several centuries. Learn the Basics In the United States, cheesecake has become one of the most popular desserts. The several cheesecake variations have also been subject to debates by several culinary experts. There are some who like creamy and rich cheesecake, while others favor the dense New York style cheesecake. Additionally, there is the airy and light variety and the myriad of crusts, which range from the classic graham cracker to the Oreo cookie. The whole subject of cheesecake perfection is confusing but regardless of the type that you prefer, there are few secrets in baking cheesecakes like a pro. First off, remember to use first rate and quality ingredients. Only opt for AA grade large eggs and always remember that full-fat cream cheese can produce the taste and texture that you are looking for. Fat-free varieties of cheeses are only apt for baking cheesecake that is chalky, soft, and slightly rubbery inside. Next, choose heavy cream that is pasteurized instead of ultra pasteurized. Make sure that the sour cream you are about to use has not actually spoiled or soured. Additionally, make sure that all of the ingredients are stored at room temperature before you begin mixing, most especially the cream cheese. If the ingredient is hard and cold, it will only create a lumpy cheesecake and beating it to death will also not help. In order to achieve a creamy almost custard-like, moist and rich cheesecake, remember to bake the cake in a water bath, also known as a bain-marie. Cheesecakes that are baked using this method are insulated from the direct dry heat of the oven. Always remember that cheesecakes benefit from the gentle even heat a water bath can provide much like the bread pudding, flan and crиme brulee. Lastly, the fruits are best reserved for use as toppings since their flavors can get lost and muddled in the cheesecake when baked together with the cake. Plain cheesecakes topped with fresh berries finished with liquefied preserves or cooled fruit compotes will provide a stunning presentation and optimum taste. Extra Helpful Tips Always avoid on beating the cheesecake filling excessively. Doing so would only incorporate additional air and cause cracking on the surface of the cheesecake. In addition to baking, make use of a spring-form pan, with removable side and bottom. Place the pan on a baking sheet in order to aid in avoiding leaks in the oven. During the actual baking process, make sure that the cheesecake is placed on the center rack of the oven. Do not be enticed to open the oven during the first 30 to 40 minutes as drafts can create cracks and cause the cheesecake to fall. Over-baking should also be avoided. Always be aware that baking times are not always exact because of several oven variations. Make sure that the edges are puffed and the center slightly "jiggly" and moist; these are the most common indications of a perfectly baked cheesecake.
All About the Cheese in the Cheesecake What makes cheesecakes adaptable to any culinary style is their cheese. Back in Ancient Greece, every market sold cheeses to those who cannot make their own. By the time the fourth century B. C. came, the most accepted white Greek cheeses were being seasoned with spices and baked into a manner similar to pies and cakes. Even the Romans, during the height of their power, used a great deal of cheese in their cooking. They preserved cheese using a salt-based sauce and provided the recipe for the celebration of the wedding cake, which still contain cheese as the main ingredient. The Americans and Their Cream Cheese A soft, mild-tasting, sweet, white cheese is the cream cheese. Generally, cream cheese contains at least 33 percent milk fat and a moisture content of not more than 55 percent and a pH level ranging from 4.4 to 4.9. Cream cheese is not usually matured and is meant to be consumed fresh. This makes it diverse from other supple cheeses, like the Neufchatel and the Europe’s Brie. The taste, production and texture of the cream cheese are more comparable to that of the Mascarpone and Boursin. Cream cheese was known to originate in the United States during the year 1872. In Chester, New York, a dairyman developed a richer cheese made from whole milk and cream. During the year 1880, A. L. Reynolds, one of the cheese distributors in New York, first began issuing cream cheese, which was then covered in tin-foil wrappers, called the Philadelphia Brand. Hence, the name Philadelphia Brand cream cheese was adopted by the Reynolds for the product since, at that time, the quality of food products were related with the city where it originated. It was not until 1912, when James L. Kraft created the pasteurized cheese. This invention eventually led to the improvement of the pasteurized Philadelphia Brand cream cheese, which is not the most fashionable cheese used in making cheesecakes. The French and Their Neufchatel While the Americans like to use cream cheeses for their cheesecakes, the French used Neufchatel cheese in their own culinary style of creating cheesecakes. Neufchatel is a flavorful cheese that provides cheesecakes with a light and airy texture and eventually became the basis of the modern American cheesecake. The French Neufchatel is slightly crumbly, soft and mould-ripened made in the region of Normandy. It was one of the oldest cheeses in France with production dating back as far as the 6th century. Neufchatel cheese is somewhat similar to camembert in appearance, with a white, dry and edible rind, but with a sharper and saltier taste. Additionally, Neufchatel cheese has the aroma and taste of mushrooms. What makes this cheese different is that unlike other cheeses with soft and white rinds, Neufchatel cheese has a grainy texture. Although, Neufchatel has been less popular after the World War II, several cheesecake recipes still use the cheese. In fact, there are also Americans who likes to use Neufchatel instead of cream cheese when making cheesecakes, which they can purchase at several gourmet shops. The Italians and Their Ricotta When the Italian adopted the cheesecake recipe, they used ricotta cheese to make their cheesecake a little drier. Ricotta cheese is a whey cheese made in Italy. It uses whey, which is a limpid, low-fat and nutritious liquid that is the by-product of cheese production. In its basic form, ricotta is also an un-ripened and uncooked curd, which is normally un-drained of its whey. It has a fresh, creamy and grainy white appearance, slightly sweet in taste and usually contains around 5% fat.