Cheesecake chowdown

new-york-style-cheesecake-12155474131 There are hundreds of correct ways to make a cheesecake. As the name suggests this delicious dessert must satisfy two factors to qualify.

First, its main ingredient must be some sort of cheese. (We, in North America, tend to use cream cheese, though mascarpone is an excellent option as are other varieties of soft and unripened cheeses.) The second factor is that your creation must be formed into the shape of a cake. With these two factors present the potential to make a multitude of marvellous cheesecake desserts is within your grasp.

There are two main methods that bakers, chefs and home cooks currently use in cheesecake construction. The first method is the original classic baked version. The cream cheese is first whipped with sugar until smooth, then flour and eggs are added, often sour cream too.

The mixture is then poured onto a prepared crust of butter and Graham Cracker and is baked at a high temperature for a few minutes, and finished at a lower temperature. The high temperature is used to set the outside of the cake enabling the cake to rise in the oven without spilling over the sides of your pan. The lower temperature is implemented to prevent over-browning. A light golden colour is acceptable and adds a light caramel flavour to the classic New York Style Vanilla Cheesecake.

The second method of “baking” a cheesecake doesn’t really require any baking. The newer technique is a no-bake method which uses a setting agent such as gelatin or the vegan setting agent agar-agar. These cheesecakes are characterized by their light fluffy appearance and almost mousse-like texture. All one would need to do to make this delicious dessert edible for your celiac friends is to use a rice based cookie as the base. Vegans would delight in a no-bake cashew cheesecake.

Both cheesecake methods will yield a smooth, rich flavor and will be sure to please your cheese loving friends and family.

So, with Valentine’s Day soon upon us, why not plan a special treat for your loved one, and give this Velvety Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake a go; it’s sure to make a smooth centrepiece for the night.