Cheesecake? Where does it come from? What is its origins?
Cheesecake has been enjoyed throughout the centuries, it is believed to have been served to the first Olympians in 776 BC!!
It is almost a worldwide phenomenon with variations everywhere. Cream cheese was created in the USA in 1872 , it was an attempt to re create the French cheese Neufchâtel . Various others similar cheeses were also created at this time. Depending where you are the choice of cheese for cheese cake varies. In the USA and Canada it is nearly always cream cheese, in Italy -Ricotta, in Germany, Holland and Poland it is Quark ( a cross between cream cheese and plain yoghurt) and in France , Neufchâtel . The way they are made also varies around the world, some are baked, some have a biscuit crust and some a pastry crust. Some are set ( using gelatine) and unbaked . Some, most, are sweet, but some are savoury , as in smoked salmon or goats cheese with beetroot. I asked my Japanese friend the other day, as I had seen in an American publication something called “Japanese Cheesecake”! She laughed and told me, No, No, No, we love cheesecake but it is not something we make ! Apparently Heston Blumenthal has declared that Cheesecake is an English invention, not sure where that came from, as far as I can see it was the Greeks!
So, onto yet another very very easy cheese cake, that has no base and is a cross between a cooked chocolate mousse and a cheesecake!
- 12oz dark chocolate ( with about 70%cocoa butter)
- 9eggs separated , whites whisked until stiff
- 12 Oz full fat cream cheese, eg Philadelphia at room temperature
- Icing sugar for dusting and raspberries for decorating.
Use a 9″ Spring form pan, heat the oven to 170C/325F Mark3 on a gas oven. Grease the pan using a paper towel and some olive oil. Melt the chocolate either in a bowl over some boiling water or in a microwaveable bowl, in the microwave. If using the microwave, use a medium high setting, blast for one minute and check. When melting chocolate in a microwave, it is a bit odd, as although the chocolate might have melted, it still retains its shape. The look of the chocolate is the answer,mint is very shiny. DO not over heat. Stir to make it liquid and then beat in the softened cream cheese and then the egg yolks. Then carefully fold in the beaten egg whites, to fully incorporate them. Bake on the middle shelf for about 50 mins. It will probably have a crack on the top, but do not worry. Switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake in it, with the door open for about 20 mins and then remove and leave to cool. Unpan carefully using a pallet knife to help slide the cheesecake into a serving plate ( my spring pan is fibber on the outside with a ceramic bottom which also can serve, as a serving dish, makes life a little easier!) when cool decorate with icing sugar and raspberries, serve on its own or with vanilla ice cream!
Be adventurous try using a milk chocolate for a lighter version or even white chocolate, quantities remain the same! Enjoy!!