It's been a long time since I last made my New York Cheesecake. Yes, I should say Baked. Since I insist that only Baked Cheesecake owns the lovely flavour due to the baking process. And of course, you wouldn't have to worry about raw eggs (Salmonella).
My love for Cheesecake goes back to my first bite of a creamy Cheesecake. It is a texture unlike mousse or other cakes. It has a beautiful dairy flavour without being too sweet. It can be a little heavy on the palate but the lemon zest usually helps to balance the overall flavour of a typical New York style cheesecake. Ever since then, I went in search baking the delicious cheesecake. After countless attempts, I finally succeeded in my baking efforts. My NY style cheesecake has been my cousins' birthday cakes for several times. It's been a while since I last baked it. I hope they still remember my cheesecake?
To carry on my endless search for the perfect cheesecake, I chanced upon an article in a food magazine which I've forgotten the name totally. The Cheesecake team experimented with the ultimate NY cheesecake. The thickness of the crust, the addition of creams and the quantity of each ingredient were tested and tweaked to perfection. Too bad I couldn't recall the location of that article but it's been an inspiration too.
Did a little googling on NY cheesecake earlier and an article pointed out that the owner of Turf Restaurant at 49th and Broadway of New York City, Mr Arnold Reuben was the creator of the first Cream Cheese cheesecake. Yes, to qualify as a NY style cheesecake, the ingredients are as simple as Cream Cheese, cream, eggs and sugar. You can read more about the history of Cheesecake at this link.
Do you know that many cultures have their own recipe for a cheesecake? From the New York style (rich and creamy) to the Japanese (light and airy), even the Poles (Sernik) and Germans have their guarded cheesecakes recipes. Of course, that further enhanced my Cheesecake hunt. The variation of ingredients and the types of Cheese used in each culture determines the difference in each cheesecake. Try switching your cheesecake recipe from Cream cheese to Ricotta or other Farmer's cheese and you'll instantly notice the difference in texture of the final cakes.
In Croatia, Svejži Sir (fresh cheese or farmer's cheese) is favoured in the making of Cheesecakes or pastries containing cheese. This cheese does crumble when baked. So to get a smoother texture, one will have to strain it before use.
So you are curious about my Cheesecake recipe? Or you just love the creamy texture in a Cheesecake? Well, let me tell you the secret... it is in the Milk Fat content of your cheese. You can use Ricotta or Cream Cheese but let's say the melt-in-your-mouth texture can only improve with a higher Fat content. That is why I insist on using Cream Cheese which is sold as Sirni Namaz (Spreadable Cheese) in Croatia.
What is Cream Cheese? Wikipedia can answer your question. Let me point out the most important part, it is a white cheese with Milk fat content of at least 33%.
Craving for a Cream Cheesecake yet? Ur Resident Chef does. I am off to grab a cup of coffee to savour my creamy delight!