Cheesecake is a popular dessert based on cream cheese. This dish can be seen in the menu of the absolute majority of restaurants. Every chef has his own special recipe for dessert. It may look like a regular children's casserole or a thick gelatin cake. Cheese cakes are served raw, cooked in the oven, microwave or multi-cooker.
How to cook cheesecakes, what culinary secrets to use and can cheese be categorized as a healthy dish?
General characteristics of the dish
Cheesecake - a dish of American and European culinary traditions. The name literally translates as "cheese cake". This is a special raw dessert, the structure and taste of which can vary from classic soufflé to cottage cheese casserole. It is believed that the first cheese cakes appeared in the days of ancient Greece.
The main component of the cheesecake is cream cheese. Philadelphia cheese is most often used, it is the basis of the classic cheese cake. Cream, eggs, granulated sugar and optional ingredients are added to the mass. There are hundreds of variations of dessert, among them: raspberry, nutty, chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, vanilla, pear and other cheesecakes. The fruit and cheese mix is laid out on the base of biscuits or sweet crackers. Cheesecake dough is prepared very rarely. The finished dessert is decorated with chocolate, fresh fruit / berries and everything your heart desires.
Decoration is used not only for the beautiful presentation of the dessert, but also for correcting external flaws. Cracks often appear on the cheese mass, which can be easily hidden with icing, a few cherries or chocolate slices.
The formation of cracks is the main problem of cheesecakes. They appear during the cooling of the dish and can seriously spoil the aesthetic component. But this can be avoided. There are many secrets that will help preserve the integrity of the cheese cake. One of them is baking a cheesecake in a water bath. So you can achieve uniform heating, avoiding cracks. The second way is to cook in the oven at a low temperature, slowly cool the dessert by opening the oven door. The third way - after 10-20 minutes after cooking, you must carefully separate the curd from the walls of the mold and allow to cool separately. After 1.5-2 hours, the mass is combined with the base of the cookies and served to the table. If none of these methods have been successful, fill the holes with chocolate chips, cookies, whipped cream or fresh fruit.
In the UK there is its own version of the dish - cheesecake without baking. It is a cold dessert that is not heat treated. The base layer is prepared on the basis of cookies and butter. Ingredients are pressed into a thick pancake, and a mixture of milk, cheese, cream and sugar is used as a filling. In some cases, gelatin is added to the mass.
Main types of dessert
This is a classic variation of the dessert, which prepared the New York pastry chef, the owner of the restaurant "Turf". The snow-white cheese mass of "New York" is considered basic. You can add chocolate, raspberries, nuts, fresh fruit / berries to it, turning the dessert into a chocolate, raspberry, pistachio variation. "New York" is a high-calorie dessert, the taste of which makes you forget about high cholesterol or a few extra pounds. The combination of vanilla, lemon zest, cream cheese and biscuits has been recognized as one of the most successful, and cheesecakes have not lost their positions in the gastronomic market for many years.
The composition of the Japanese cotton dessert includes corn starch. The taste of Japanese cheesecake is more dry, dense, and the texture resembles an airy sponge cake. Starch is a white powder that is extracted from corn kernels. The cobs are placed in special acidic solutions, milk is extracted from the embryo. The liquid is placed in a centrifuge where the insoluble protein is separated from the starch.
The food product tastes and slightly resembles corn. His main ability used in cooking is an increase in volume. Starch is able to make a round bulky loaf from a plain flat cake.
Japanese cotton cheesecake is made from milk, cornstarch, butter, flour and sugar. A ready-made dessert has a ruddy crusty crust, a porous structure and a sweetish corn flavor that is as far from the classic as possible.
The first cheesecakes were made from cottage cheese, not cream cheese. The dish was liked by a small circle of consumers, but the growth of interest in the dessert came in the last decade. Curd cheesecake has gained popularity on the wave of passion for a healthy lifestyle. Cottage cheese has become one of the most important foods due to its low calorie content and high protein content. Most supporters of healthy eating tried to make a fat cream cheesecake from cottage cheese, but the result was more like a casserole or a wet sponge cake. The structure and taste of the dessert could not be brought closer to the classic cheese cake, but this does not stop true lovers of cottage cheese.
From the classic cheesecake in the cottage cheese there were only the boards and the base of the cookies. Whole grain dough is prepared extremely rarely, because it turns the famous dessert into an ordinary cake of dough and variable layer. As a filling they use cottage cheese and various fillers. Bitter chocolate, honey, coconut chips, cinnamon, fresh fruit or berries can be added to the dessert.
"Raw" or baked cheesecake
Raw cheesecakes / raw cakes / pies without baking are gaining popularity today. These are raw food desserts, which include only healthy herbal products. The basis for the raw cake is made from vegetable oils (for example, coconut or grape seed), nuts or dates. All ingredients are mixed together, crushed in a blender, and the output is elastic sweet mass - a healthy alternative to sandy biscuits. The filling is prepared from vegetable milk, berries, fruits, nuts and natural sweeteners.
Good and possible harm
Classic cheesecake just can not be classified as a healthy diet. Raw-cheesecake without baking, based on dates, nuts, fresh fruits or berries is read as safe and beneficial for the organism. What is wrong with the traditional recipe and what can be a disproportionate love for dessert?
A pie consists of such ingredients:
- Butter. It contains saturated fats in its pure form, impairs the work of the heart / blood vessels, increases cholesterol levels, the risk of developing stroke, breast and pancreas cancer.
- White refined sugar. Food ingredient is addictive, triggers glucose jumps, increasing cholesterol levels. Among the possible side effects are obesity, diabetes, heart disease / vascular disease.
- Cream cheese. Contains antibiotics and hormones of cattle. May cause hormonal disruptions, functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Wheat flour of the first grade. Contains "empty" calories, does not saturate, provokes false hunger, overeating, problems with weight and metabolism.
- Biscuit. It consists of sugar, butter and wheat flour. Most often it contains flavor enhancers and preservatives that adversely affect health.
Do you have to permanently abandon your favorite cheesecake? Not. Do not create yourself artificial restrictions that you definitely want to break. If you can’t imagine breakfast or snack without a cheese cake, do not deny yourself the pleasure. First, try to prepare a more useful version of the dish. Replace ghee with butter, plain white flour biscuits with enriched bran cookies or nut-date mixture. Philadelphia can be replaced by lactose-free cream cheese, the taste of which will be completely identical to the favorite snack. Each "harmful" ingredient will be able to find a useful alternative that will satisfy the taste buds and will not harm other organs.
If the first option seems to be or turned out to be a failure, use the 80/20 rule. What does it mean? For normal body function, you must supply it with quality products by 80%. These include fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, grains, legumes, greens. The remaining 15-20% is allowed to spend on food that does not enrich the body, does not enhance health, but permanently captivates taste buds. If you correctly calculate the allowable amount of cheesecake, based on weight / height / sex / age / goals / health features, you can eat your favorite dessert daily.
Classic Cheesecake Recipe
We will need:
- shortbread dough - 200 grams;
- cream cheese - 600 grams;
- sugar - 230 grams;
- cream (recommended fat content - 33%) - 40 milliliters;
- chicken egg - 3 pieces;
- egg yolk - 1 piece;
- wheat flour - 1.5 tablespoons;
- butter - 30 grams;
- gelatin (recommended in the form of plates) - 8 grams;
- vanilla pod - 1 piece.
Put the shortbread dough in a culinary ring or a form with a diameter of 30 centimeters. Cover the baking sheet with baking paper and place the dough on it. Heat the oven to 180 ° C, put the dough and bake until golden brown. As soon as the mass browned - count off 15 minutes and turn off the oven. Remove the finished cake and let cool at room temperature. It will take at least 30 minutes.
In a deep bowl, mix the cream cheese, 150 grams of granulated sugar, vanilla pods. In the same mixture gently in flour, 40 milliliters of cream, eggs and 1 yolk.
Beat the mixture with a blender or whisk until smooth.
On the inner walls of the culinary ring (in which the cake was baked) fix the baking parchment. Pour the cheese mixture into the form, put on a baking sheet and send to the oven for 60 minutes at a temperature of 100 ° C.
Let's proceed to the glaze preparation stage. Soak the leaf gelatin in warm water for 5 minutes. Mix in a saucepan 30 grams of sugar and two tablespoons of water, put on the fire, bring to a boil. As soon as the syrup has cooled down, put gelatin into it and pour 200 milliliters of cream in a thin stream.
Cover the finished cheesecake with icing and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Glaze will smooth uneven surfaces, cracks on the cheese mass and make the visual component of your dessert perfect. Cooled cheesecake can be decorated with jam, jam, chocolate or fresh fruit / berries.