|Cheesecake is a desirable and popular dessert worldwide. It is based on one or more layers of crispy, and buttery crust loaded with creamy, fluffy, and sweet filling. The cheesecake’s top part is a mixture of sugar, cream cheese, eggs, and the bottom can be sponge cake, crushed cookies, pastry, digestive biscuits, or graham crackers.|
There are two ways of making cheesecake, baked and unbaked. The stunning part of it is the delicious topping like whipped cream, fruits, different syrups, nuts, or chocolates. Some popular flavors can be named strawberry, blueberry, passion fruit, chocolate, or coffee. New York-style cheesecake is one of the most desirable cheesecakes.
|History of Cheesecake|
The ancient form of “cheesecake” is a popular dish on the Greek island of Samos. The earliest sign of referring to cheesecakes goes back to the 5th BC century, in a book named “The Art of Making Cheesecakes” (Plakountopoiikon Sungramma) by a Greek physician, Aegimus.
The first cheesecake recipe was found in a book named “De Agri Cultura” by Cato the Elder. In this book, three types of cakes are mentioned for religious uses Libum, Savillum, and Placenta. The Placenta is mostly related to its modern counterpart because of its separately baked crust.
Another appearance of this desert was in an English cookbook named “Form of Curry.” There is a recipe for “Sambocade,” so close to the modern one, and it is made from rose water and elderflower. As a result, some may count it as an English invention in 1930.
The name cheesecake wasn’t used until the 18th century when European removed the yeast and added the egg to the recipe. This has evolved the process of making this pastry to its modern style.
Shortly after that, in New York (1872), William Lawrence recreated the French cheese Neufchatel with a much heavier, creamier, and softer texture, the famous cream cheese, as it is used nowadays. For that, cream cheese is an American addition to the cheesecake recipe.
|Cheesecake Around the World|
There are a lot of different recipes for making this dessert all around the world. Americans mostly use cream cheese as the classic recipe. Italian one contains Ricotta, which is a bit lighter, dryer, and more cakelike. Germans use Cottage Cheese, which gives a light, slightly fluffy texture with lower fat.
Greeks prefer Mizithra or Feta, while the Japanese use a combination of cornstarch and egg whites. French cheesecakes with cream cheese are fluffier than others, with a buttery and crispy crust. In the Netherlands and Poland, quark (a type of dairy product) is used for the mixture.
|Different Types of Cheesecakes|
Besides the different ingredients, cheesecake is available in both baked and unbaked versions.
|– Baked Cheesecake|
The baked cheesecake is a mixture of sugar, cheese, and eggs over a crust of sponge cake or cookies baked in the oven for a certain amount of time. Some may skip the oven and use a water bath, which means the mixture of these ingredients will be submerged in a pan of hot water, making the mixture creamy, smooth, and soft. Then it will cool in the fridge and serve. Baked versions are dense in texture. They have a velvety feeling. The most popular type of baked version is the New York cheesecake.
|– Unbaked Cheesecake|
The unbaked cheesecake, as the name implies, is not baked. It is set by cooling in the fridge, and for that, it is known as chilled cheesecake. There are no eggs, flour, or other ingredients that need to be baked. Instead, in unbaked cheesecake, different kinds of gelatins are used. The unbaked type is soft, airy, and has a light texture. The no-bake version is a lot lighter and almost mousse-like. The flexible and extra soft mixture of this cheesecake makes it a good option for layering.
|Which One Is Better? Baked or Unbaked?|
Since baked and unbaked cheesecakes have entirely different textures, sometimes choosing one of them can cause a confusing dilemma. The only things they have in common are cream cheese and crust. The various characteristics of these two are because of their different techniques.
– In baked cheesecake, you mix the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and other ingredients, usually with minimal air incorporation.
– In unbaked type, you mix the cream cheese with other components and fold them in the whipped cream at the end. The air incorporation of whipped cream gives that airy texture.
– If you like to play with the texture and enjoy the mousse-like taste, choose the unbaked one.
– You can also layer no-bake type’s batter with mousse, ganache, and jelly.
– If you like the custard-like, dense texture with colorful toppings, or you want to mix and match the flavors, bake separately, and combine them in one. The baked type seems like a better option in these cases.
– Baked cheesecakes tend to stick to weird-shaped molds, and you might not be able to shape them oddly.
|Most Popular Cheesecakes|
1. New York-Style Cheesecake
New York cheesecake has cream cheese and sour/heavy cream in it. The extra richness of this cheesecake comes from extra egg yolks. It has a thick and velvety filling, and then it will be loaded into a graham cracker crust. It is served with just the cake without any fruit, caramel, chocolate on top or the side.
2. German Cheesecake
German cheesecake replaces the cream cheese with quark, fresh, unripened cheese, and combines it with eggs, milk, and sugar. Other German kinds may contain baked dough crust or gelatin to set instead of being baked. It is common to add berries to its filling.
3. Pinoy Cheesecake
The Pinoy is a Philippian dessert made from ube, which is a sweet purple yam. The smashed yams will be added to the vanilla, condensed milk, and spread over the cracker crust.
4. Japanese Cheesecake
Japanese cheesecake is the fluffiest of all. It has an impressive airiness, which is a result of whipping egg yolks and whites separately. Then it is heated using bain-marie or over a hot water bath. It is also lighter in sugar.
5. Swedish Cheesecake
Swedish version has a delicate texture, including Cottage Cheese (or it can be replaced with rennet and milk), cream, sugar, almond, and bitter almond. It will be baked without a crust and topped with jam, cream and always served warm.
6. Basque Cheesecake
Gazta Tarta or Basque cheesecake is a Spanish dessert with a burnt-like look. Like the classic one, it contains cream cheese and will be baked in high heat for a short time. This creates a molten and cakey center and dark, caramelized exterior, considered a crust.