Everyone has a list of their favorite desserts and, for many people, that list would not be complete unless it included a cheesecake. With so many variations of cheesecake available today, and with rich and heavy cakes, as well as light and figure-friendly cakes, it is easy to see why so many people simply love cheesecake.
A Rich or a Light Cheesecake?
The first reference to cheesecake dates way back to ancient Greece, where the physician Aegimus wrote an entire book devoted to the art of making cheesecakes. These ancient cakes were however very different to the cakes we see today, and the modern cheesecake was invented by William Lawrence who, in 1872, discovered what we now refer to as cream cheese. It is today’s refined and pasteurized cream cheese that forms the basis of most modern recipes, and which produces that richness which is considered by many to be the real heart of this dessert.
In these health conscious times, however, traditional cheesecake is simply too rich for many people and, love it though they might, it simply has no place as part of a healthy living diet. But, all is not lost, as it is a simple enough matter to make a light version of the traditionally rich cake, that is light in calories and also tastes delicious. The purists may not altogether approve, but a light cheesecake has one great advantage, and that is that it allows you to enjoy you favorite dessert more often, without worrying about counting the calories.
The Science Behind a Rich and Creamy Cheesecake
The central ingredient for a traditional rich cheesecake is cream cheese, but there are many other ingredients that can be used in place of cream cheese. For example, in Italy it is common to use ricotta cheese, while in the Netherlands the main ingredient is normally quark. Another popular choice is cottage cheese, or a mixture of both cream cheese and cottage cheese. Just how rich and creamy your cheesecake is will depend upon the ingredients used, since it is clearly the underlying ingredients that give the cake its texture and its basic flavor.
Perhaps the best example of a rich and creamy cake is what is known as the New York Style cheesecake. This is made by blending cream cheese with sugar and adding both lemon juice and vanilla. Once this has been creamed together, heavy cream and eggs are added. This combination produces a superbly rich and creamy texture.
The perfect accompaniment for cheesecake is a dessert wine, but which wine should you choose?
For that rich and creamy cheesecake you need to have an equally rich wine so that the two compliment one another. Three good choices would be a Sauternes, a Gewurztraminer or a Riesling. If you are enjoying a chocolate cheesecake, then a sparkling white wine, such as a Moscato d”Asti, would also be an excellent choice.
A Lightening Fast Cheesecake Recipe
If you find yourself in a rush, but still want to make a cheesecake, then here is a super fast recipe.
For the base you will simply need a ready-made 9 inch graham cracker pie crust. For the filling you will need; 11 ounces of softened, packaged cream cheese; a 14 ounce can of sweetened, condensed milk; and 1/3 of a cup lemon juice.
Now you simply mix it all together. Start by beating the cream cheese to get it smooth and fluffy, and then slowly add half of the condensed milk, continuing to beat as you do so. Next, pour in the lemon juice and beat the ingredients until they are smooth. Now add the remaining milk and stir this in well. Finally, pour the mixture onto the base and chill for a minimum of one hour before serving. For a finishing touch this quick and easy cheesecake can be topped off with your favorite flavor of canned pie filling.
It might sound easy, but this cheesecake tastes very good indeed.
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