What is a Cheesecake?
"Cheesecake is a dessert formed of a topping made with soft, fresh cheese upon a base made from biscuit, pastry or sponge. The topping is frequently sweetened with sugar and flavoured or topped with a puree or compote of fruit.'
"Savory cheesecakes also exist, served sometimes as hors d'oeuvre or with accompanying salads. Despite their name, cheesecakes are technically tarts; the word 'cake' was formerly applied to a much broader category of foods than it is today."
"Cato the Elder's De Agri Cultura includes recipes for two cakes for religious uses: libum and placenta. Of the two placenta is most like modern cheesecakes having a crust that is separately prepared and baked."
"Cheesecakes can be broadly categorised into two basic types - baked and unbaked - and each comes in a variety of styles determined by region:
"The United States has several different recipes for cheesecake and this usually depends on the region the cake was baked in as well as the cultural background of the person baking it. These cheesecakes are typically baked before serving."
- New York-style cheesecake relies upon heavy cream, usually cheesecake is made from cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks to add a richness and a smooth consistency. It is baked in a special 13–15 cm (5–6 inches) tall springform pan in many restaurants. Some recipes use cottage cheese and lemon for distinct texture and flavor or add a drizzle of chocolate or strawberry sauce to the basic recipe.
- Pennsylvania Dutch-style cheesecake uses a slightly tangy type of cheese with larger curds and less water content, called pot or farmer's cheese.
- Philadelphia-style cheesecake is lighter in texture, yet richer in flavour than New York style cheesecake.
- Farmer's cheese cheesecake is the contemporary implementation for the traditional use of baking to preserve fresh cheese and is often baked in a cake form along with fresh fruit like a tart.
- Country-style cheesecake uses buttermilk to produce a firm texture while decreasing the pH (increasing acidity) to extend shelf life.
- Lactose free cheesecake may be made either with lactose-free cream cheese or as an imitation using Vegan recipes combining non-dairy cream cheese alternatives with other lactose-free ingredients.
- Gooey butter cake a St. Louis variant that has a layer of regular cake with a cheesecake top.
British, Australian and New Zealand
"In the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, cheesecake is typically made with a base of crushed biscuits and butter and topped with a fruit compote. The most common filling is a mixture of cream cheese, sugar and cream and it is not baked - gelatine may also be used to keep the filling firm. One can also find it today made with banoffee flavour, coffee, tea, chocolate, Irish cream ,white chocolate and even marshmallow."
"Bulgarian-style cheesecake uses cream cheese in a New York style filling and Smetana for a top layer. Often ground nuts are added to the crust mixture."
"French-style cheesecakes are very light, feature gelatin as a binding ingredient and are typically only 3 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) tall. This variety gets its light texture and flavor from Neufchâtel cheese." In some parts of France this type of Cheesecake is sometimes referred to as Gâteau Remise."
"Greek-style cheesecake commonly uses mizithra.
"Swedish-style cheesecake differs greatly from other cheese cakes. A Swedish cheesecake is not layered and is traditionally produced by adding rennet to milk and letting the casein coagulate. It is then baked in an oven and served warm. Since the process of curdling milk is somewhat complicated, alternative recipes intended for home cooking instead use cottage cheese as a base to simulate the texture of the dessert. Swedish-style cheesecake is traditionally served with jam and whipped cream or ice cream. There are two different types of Swedish cheesecake, from different regions in Sweden. To avoid confusion with other cheesecakes, Swedish cheesecake is usually called ostkaka, its Swedish name."
- "German-style cheesecake (Käsekuchen, Quarkkuchen, Matzkuchen; Topfenkuchen in Austria) uses quark cheese. The Käsesahnetorte (cheese cream tart) adds cream and does not get baked. Germany is famous for its unique cheesecake recipes that add a bit of sweet and sour taste said to "melt in your mouth".
- "Dutch/Belgian-style cheesecakes are typically flavored with melted bittersweet chocolate. Belgian cheesecake also includes a speculaas crust (speculaas is a traditional Dutch-Belgian biscuit).
- "Polish sernik (cheesecake), one of the most popular desserts in Poland, is made primarily of twaróg (quark), a type of fresh cheese."
- Brazilian-style cheesecake usually has a layer of guava marmalade (goiabada).
- Argentina: Is usually served with strawberry or another berry marmalade on top.
"Asian-style cheesecake flavors include matcha (powdered Japanese green tea), lychee and mango. Asian style cheesecakes are also lighter in flavor, and are sometimes light and spongy in texture. Compared to its counterparts, it is also considerably less sweet."
"Japanese-style cheesecake relies upon the emulsification of cornstarch and eggs to make a smooth flan-like texture and almost plasticine appearance."
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