History – When you think cheesecake.. you think New York. But did you know that the first “cheese cake” was created on the Greek island of Samos? In Greece, the cheesecake was considered to be a good source of energy, and there is evidence that it was served to athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. Writer Athenaeus is credited for writing the first Greek cheesecake recipe in 230 A.D. (over 2000 years after the Greeks had already been making cheesecakes). As the Romans conquered Greece and expanded the Roman empire, they shared their recipes with these European countries. And each one of the countries started adapting these recipes using ingredients native to each region based on their culture. When Europeans immigrated to America, some brought their cheesecake recipes along.
Fun Fact: Did you know that cream cheese was an American addition to the cake?
Cheesecake Variations Around The World
- New York: cheesecake gets its signature flavor from extra egg yolks. It is also served with just the cake – no fruit, chocolate, or caramel on top or on the side.
- Chicago: sour cream is added to the recipe to keep it creamy
- Philadelphia: cheesecake is known for being lighter and creamier and can be served with fruit or chocolate toppings
- St. Louis: Has an additional layer of cake topping on the cheesecake filling.
- Italians: use ricotta cheese
- Greeks: use mizithra or feta
- Germans: use cottage cheese
- Japanese: use a combination of cornstarch and egg whites
The Cheesecake goes back 4000 years and no matter how we slice it, it’s a dessert that is loved worldwide in all its variations.
Crust: I did a blend of Graham crackers and Lotus Biscoff biscuits. Biscoff biscuits have the perfect blend of spice and deep caramel flavors. You can choose to use just graham crackers, or just Biscoff biscuits or a blend of both like I did (don’t forget to sneak in a few bites of the biscuits). Just be sure to use the same measurements to add up to 1 1/2 cups.
Water Bath Vs Dry Oven: The choice is yours. Cheesecakes like to bake slowly and evenly without browning the top. The water bath creates a moist environment and gives the center of the cheesecake time to cook without overcooking the outside. The dry oven will brown the top of your cheesecake. So the choice is totally yours. I have listed both the variations in the recipe.
Pan: I used a 9″ Spring Foam pan for this recipe and I chose not to use a bath
Do not over beat the mix after you add the eggs as that will add extra air and could cause your cake to sink once it starts cooling. Also keep the cake in an environment where it can cool slowly.
There are hundreds of different recipes for cheesecake and here is my addition to that plethora of recipes. Hope you enjoy it.
Cheesy For Cheesecake
- 9" round spring Foam
- 1 cup Graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup Biscoff biscuit crumbs
- 3 tbsp Brown sugar
- 7 tbsp Melted butter
- pinch Cinnamon
- 32 oz Cream cheese softened to room temperature use the block kind and not whipped
- 1 cup Sugar
- ⅔ cup Sour cream or (⅔ cup whipping cream and ⅔ tbsp lemon juice)
- 1 ½ tsp Vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp Salt
- 4 Eggs (room temperature) lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 325F (if your oven runs hot, then user a lower temp)
- Make the crust by combining crumbs, sugar, and sugar, and stir well.
- Add the melted butter and use a fork to combine well.
- Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of your the pan (Can do it up on the sides also). Also you can save a few crumbles for decorating.
- Put in refrigerator and set aside till firm
- Use a hand mixer and mix cream cheese(till smooth and creamy and do not overbeat as that incorporates air into the mix).
- Add the sugar and mix again till creamy
- Add sour cream, vanilla extract, and salt and combine well.
- Lightly beat the eggs
- Slowly, add the lightly beaten eggs one at a time and mix ONLY with a spatula.
- Make sure to incorporate the eggs well into the mix. (do not use the mixer to add the eggs)
- Pour the batter into the pan. (If you are worried about your pan leaking, place a bigger baking tray under your pan)
- Bake at 325 for about 65 mins or till sides are light brown – (do not overbake the cake.) The top might be slightly brown.
If Using A Water Bath
- Wrap the outside of the pan in foil, covering the bottom and all the way up the edges.
- Set the wrapped pan in a larger baking pan. Pour boiling water into the larger pan around halfway up the sides of cheesecake pan, or how high you went with the foil.
- Move carefully to oven and bake
Cake After It Comes Out Of The Oven
- The cake will have a slight jello feeling texture in the middle, the cake will continue to cook even after you take it out of the oven. Also, the cake may not completely set until it is cooled in the refrigerator. (don't panic)
- If you baked using a water bath, let it sit in the warm water for at least an hour before removing the cheesecake pan of it.
- Let the cake cool.
- After 15 minutes loosen the crust by running a knife along the inside edge (this will prevent the cracks as it cools)
- Cool the cheesecake at room temperature (do not put in refrigerator till completely cool)
- Wrap the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 4-6 hours before serving.
- Let the cheesecake rest for 30 minutes (outside of the refrigerator) before serving.
As always have FUN IN YOUR KITCHEN as every creation is your very own, and one of its kind masterpieces. This is my creation that I am sharing. If you do try the recipe, do tag me on my Instagram – Footprint The World and add the tag #footprinttheworld as it’s always so fun to see the different variations.