History, recipe & tips into one of the most favored desserts to date
Plain, coated in sauce or blended with nuts – this soft & creamy dessert remains one of the most favored on any menu, to many. Whether it’s the creaminess of the cream cheese, crumble of the crust or a combo of both, it definitely has won many hearts over.
With the U.S. taking over this delicacy and bringing the New York version to the forefront, this delicious dessert has interesting facts to share about its origin.
Where & How?
• Originating in Greece, it is said that the first cheesecake hailed from the island of Samos.
• The original version of it consisted of flour, wheat, honey and remnants of different cheeses, which was served to athletes during the first Olympic Games in 776 BC as well as at Greek weddings.
• With Romans conquering Greece, the recipe eventually started spreading out to Europe then to America with each continent adding its own twist to the recipe, bringing in eggs and cream cheese to the hot and cold version of the cake.
A quick look into the history of cheesecake revealed that it differs from region to region. Sometimes blending in fruit within the cheese mix is one version.
• Italians use ricotta in the cream cheese mix.
• Germans use a very sour type of cheese which tastes very much like yogurt.
• The French use Neufchatel cheese (one of the oldest in France).
• In Belgium the crust is made used a chocolate based Dutch-Belgian biscuit.
• Matcha Green Tea in Japan is folded in with the cheese.
COLD VS. HOT
You can prepare cheesecake either by baking or refrigerating – they’re both as delicious and creamy. The difference is the hot version requires incorporating eggs into the cream cheese mixture and baking the crust. The cold version requires you to freeze the crust for 10 minutes and then chill the cream cheese filling for about 3-4 hours.
Below is the Classic New Yorker Cheesecake recipe, but we decided to share the hot method as there’s a bit of baking in there which makes it very therapeutic.
Classic New Yorker Cheesecake Recipe
For The Crust
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
12 digestive biscuits/graham crackers – crushed
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 -3 packs (Philadelphia or Kiri)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (moderate) and butter a round oven baking pan while you make the crust.
2. Mix biscuits, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Press mixture into pan and bake until it’s set (12 to 15 minutes); let it cool down.
3. Beat cream cheese with sugar, until fluffy. Add lemon zest/ juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition, then add sour cream at the end.
4. Boil some water in a kettle and wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of pan.
5. Bake until just set in center, about 1 3/4 hours. Remove pan from water; let cool 20 minutes.
6. Run a knife around edge; let cool completely.
6. Cover; chill overnight before serving. Add caramel, blueberry, raspberry or chocolate sauce before serving.