Cherished Cheesecakes

Probably no cake is as cherished or can boast as many recipe variations as the always popular cheesecake. Cheesecake is a baked-good delight that can be found all over the world and is a dessert that is bound to leave your guests' taste buds clamoring for more. Consisting of a base made from biscuit, graham cracker, pastry, or sponge cake, and topped off with a thick layer of soft fresh cheese (with the types of cheese dependent on the recipe), many cheesecakes are a delicious treat and can be further decorated with toppings such as fruit, chocolate, nuts, and all flavors of drizzle.

Cheesecake Ingredients

Almost every country in the world has their own variation of this classic cake, with the main ingredient being some type of cheese or dairy filling, in addition to beaten eggs, heavy cream, and sometimes lemon and sugar for a distinct flavor. In the United States, most cheesecake recipes call for cream cheese, however in other parts of the world cream cheese is replaced with ricotta, cottage cheese, farmer's cheese, quark cheese, non-dairy or lactose-free cream cheese, and more.

The type of cheese called for in a recipe affects the texture and taste of a cheesecake; recipes where the batter is too thin (causing the cheesecake to fall apart upon baking) typically compensate by adding gelatin or a teaspoon of cornstarch to the egg mixture. Sour cream cottage cakes substitute sour cream for heavy cream, allowing you to comfortably freeze cheesecakes; country-style cheesecakes use buttermilk in order to prolong the cake's shelf life and to produce a firmer texture.

National Cheesecake Day

Did you know that the United States has an unofficial National Cheesecake Day? Attesting to the crowd-pleasing and mouth-watering taste of this beloved desert, the cheesecake industry creates new cheesecake recipes every year, introducing innovative cheesecake flavors and toppings to meet growing market demand. And you don't have to be a professional baker to refresh the traditional cheesecake recipe either - many novice and advanced bakers share their own cheesecake ideas on the Internet via online videos, blogs, and forums. Among the now hundreds of cheesecake recipes you will find are:

Prevent Cheesecake "Cracks"

While there are many no-bake recipes for cheescake, baking a cheesecake can pose certain difficulties. If the batter is over-beaten or if the cheesecake is over-baked, cracks appear on the surface of the baked cheesecake. To prevent cheesecake calamity, be sure to beat ingredients on low speed only until smooth - thereby preventing too much air from entering the batter, which causes a cheesecake to rise during baking...only to sink after removal from the oven. Although it's hard to tell when a cheesecake is finished baking, the experts advise removing it from the oven when the center still a little wet/wobbly - the cheesecake will firm up as it cools. Alternatively, bake cheesecake at a lower oven temperature and then allow it to cool inside the oven with the temperature turned off. Finally, if your cheesecake does crack, simply hide the evidence by decorating the top of your cheesecake with whipped cream, fresh berries, crushed granola, coconut, drizzles, and more - your satisfied guests will never know the difference!