The person across from us was eating a scrumptious looking dessert. It
looked creamy, light, fluffy, white and was topped with a red cherry filling. Even my grandson noticed. “What’s he eating,” he asked. “That’s cheesecake,” I said. His questions continued, “What’s in it?” “Cheese,” I replied. “Then why is it called cake?” He looked closely and noticed a crust on the bottom, made from flour or graham crackers. Actually, it doesn’t take a person long to find out that the only way cheese is a dessert is when its followed by the word cake.
I did a little research and learned that its beginnings go back 4,000 years. I wonder why I never remember having it as a kid? What we did have was my mom’s famous, chocolate cake. She always baked it in a tube pan and, as far as I know, it always turned out good. She used the recipe on the Hershey cocoa box and they tell me that recipe still appears there. It’s tried and true, so why change it?
Many people assume that cheesecake had its origins in New York City. And some will travel there just to get a taste of New York style
cheesecake. It is served with just the cake, no fruit, chocolate or caramel. I’ve never made cheesecake, except the kind where you place cream cheese, beaten with sugar, into a layered dessert.
The graham cracker crust is simple enough to make. Just add cocoa and butter to the crumbs. Oh, you noticed that word, cocoa. I sneaked that in there. After all, doesn’t everything give way to chocolate? It just seems the natural way to go. Then, of course, the crumbs are pressed into the bottom of the baking pan.
If you take great pride in baking a perfect cheesecake, then you know all about having your cake sit in a pan of water for an hour or so. That’s after baking it, and it’s put back into the oven set at very low heat. I didn’t read on, I guess I’m just not a connoisseur of cheesecake. I did read about a moat pan, which maybe simplifies this step. We all know what a moat is. The deep, walled in area, filled with water, around castles. So we can visualize the pan.
I do know the basics of making cheesecake. Besides the graham cracker crust, the filling consists of sugar, eggs, vanilla and some type of cheese. The most commonly used are cream cheese, Neufchatel, cottage cheese and ricotta. You could use low-fat cheese and cut the calories a bit. Did
you think that nasty word would eventually appear? Sorry, but Cheesecake and Calories go together. A small piece of cheesecake with strawberries is about 305 calories. For A bigger slice, plan on 350 calories, give or take! They say that running should be fun, but for some its become punishment for eating cheesecake.
I’m afraid this blog, which started out with just a few innocent questions is ending on a negative note. You could leave out the last few lines of the above paragraph. By the way, you should have many more directions and techniques before making a cheesecake you can be proud of. Here’s a suggestion you may like, go to Sam’s Club. The bakers there know how to make a good cheesecake. Enjoy, then you may want to go for a nice, long run.