How many cheesecakes do you have in your repertory?
I have five (I think i will present them all in the long run):
1) The classic, simple German cheesecake. It's filling is mostly curd. My recipe asks for a shortcrust pastry and 750 gr of curd. It is from an old baking book from Dr. Oetker so probably every household in Germany has this recipe... It is one of my favorite cakes since ever. Just a very honest, reliable cake.
2) A cheesecake that Marion von Haaren (btw one of the most elegant ladies in German news business) introduced in Alfred Biolek's cooking show (btw the most redundant private chef in German television) about ten years ago. It involves tons of mascarpone, ricotta and tons of ingredients in general. Ms Haaren explained that she brought this recipe from London but I call it the Italian cheesecake. A truly impressive huge cake that is still down-to earth.
3) The ultimately fluffy and light Japanese Cheesecake. For this I have no particular recipe but chose one from the www down to my whim.
4) An American Cheesecake with Graham cracker crust and a cream cheese filling. Most often the filling is flavoured either with lime zest or pumpkin puree. Once again I don't stick to one particular recipe here.
5) And then there is the Brooklyn Junior's New York Cheesecake that to a Berlin folk was widely introduced by Cynthia Barcomi's baking book and her delis. I have tried the recipe from Barcomi's book. Delectable it is but it matches neither the cheesecake that is served at Barcomi's delis nor at Junior's so I experimented on my own to get closer results.
Some tips in the beginning:
- I found out that you can never get an ultimate creamy texture when the filling is baked as Barcomi and various online-recipes suggest. Instead you must bind the mixture of cream-cheese and heavy cream with a gelling agent.
- A New York style cheesecake is very tall. So if you do not want to process 1 kg of dairy in order to fill a normal 28 cm-baking pan, a 16 cm one with a high frame is advisable.
- Before you start anything, put the cream cheese out of the fridge as it is much more easier to work with when it has room temperature (I always forget to do so).
- If you want to transport the cake let it completely freeze beforehand. By the time the cake arrives at its serving point it will have been defrosted and still kept its splendid shape ;)
- What makes it so elaborate? The crust is a sponge cake which naturally involves more working steps and demands more caution than other doughs. Besides it may feel more elaborate than it is as most of the preparation time is waiting time. Successively you must let cool the crust, the filling and the topping. For a stable entire it should sit about 6 hours in the fridge.
- Why is it luxurious? Because divine blueberries are only available at this special time of the year and fresh blueberries are simply the most aromatic among all berries.
Blueberry Cheesecake, Junior's Style
1) The crust:
- with an electric mixer beat 1 egg white and set aside
- with an electric beat 1 egg yolk with 50 gr sugar until color and consistency have changed remarkably
- add 30 gr melted and cooled butter into the mixture
- mix 35 gr flour, 35 gr corn starch, 1 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt and add into the mixture
- add the zest of 1/2 lemon
- carefully add the beaten egg white
- bake in the oven at 170 °c for about 10-15 min
- if the crust turns out too thick or not even trim it to your liking
- mix 350 gr Philadelphia with 70 gr vanilla sugar
- beat 250 gr heavy cream and mix carefully with the cream cheese
- dissolve 3 sheets of gelatin in a little warm milk and mix it with the filling (or cook 1 tsp agar-agar in a little warm milk and mix it with the filling)
- pour over the crust and refrigerate
- cook 200gr fresh blueberries with 50 gr sugar
- when enough juice comes out take 3 tbsp away, mix it with 1 tbsp of corn starch and add to the berries
- let it cook for around 5 min
- let it cool down
- pour over the cake and refrigerate