A cheesecake is usually a dessert consisting of a soft cheese on top of a pastry or sponge base. Hard biscuits are also frequently used as the base for a cheesecake occasionally. The cheesy layer is often sprinkled with sugar and given a topping consisting of nuts and bits of fruit. Fruity flavors or extracts are used as well while a cheesecake recipe recommending a chocolate topping is not unheard of either.
Although the cheesecake is considered to be a dessert item, savory or spicy tasting cheesecakes are served as hors d'oeuvres frequently along with a salad.
William Lawrence of Chester in New York accidentally created the soft and heavier form of cheese in the late eighties which was creamier than its counterparts as well. This cheese gained popularity as ‘Philadelphia’ which was later on pasteurized by James Kraft in 1912 and went on to be used in the preparation of the cake.
Most of Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia prefer to prepare their cheesecakes without baking. The base is made up of biscuits with a filling of cream cheese and sugar topped with a fruit compote is kept refrigerated until it hardens.
Barley flakes and ricotta cheese along with vanilla extracts are the mainstay of an Italian cheesecake while the ancient Roman cheesecake recipe calls for the use of bay leaves and honey.
The unduly light French cheesecake is due to the addition of Neufchâtel cheese which is very soft and creamy. Gelatin is serves as the main binding agent in the French variety. They are also much smaller in size.
The Greek variation is called the Tiropita and consists of buttered layers filed with an egg and cheese mixture. It is quite unlike the other cheesecakes found in other parts of the world.
The cheesecake recipe for Swedish cakes differ considerably too where the dessert is served warm along with jam or ice cream. The milk curdling agent rennet is directly added to the cake during the process of baking.
The sweet and sour taste of the unbaked cheesecake is unique to Germany and is expected to literally melt in the mouth. The Dutch and Belgian cheesecake varies widely too and is flavored with the bitter sweet chocolate.
The cheesecake prepared in Latin America is served with marmalade. Berry marmalade are popular in Argentina while the Brazilians prefer to have guava marmalade along with their cheesecake.
The cheesecake is not very popular in Asia although Japan prepares a form of it flavored with greren tea extracts, lychee or the mango.
Types of Cheesecakes