But what if I told you that the famous New York cheesecake has origins in ancient Greece?
That's right! It seems that the first cheesecakes were served to athletes during the original ancient Greece Olympic Games. In fact, it appears that there is a text from the eighth century B.C. mentioning the art of making cheese pastries, ancestors of modern cheesecakes.
The passion of the Greeks for the cheesecake, however, is moreover confirmed by the historians who handed down recipes of pastries made with sheep's cheese and honey.
How the tradition of cheesecake has been handed down from antiquity to the modern world is, in part, a mystery, but it is a dessert so famous in the US and worldwide that it has been adopted as a symbolic cake by a group of people who speak Esperanto, a language that unites all peoples.
It should come as no surprise, then, to find variants of this delicious sweet on almost every continent.
The most famous version today, the one with the crunchy bottom and the cream cheese, is the result of the creativity and the probable error of an American dairy producer, Mister Kraft who, at the end of 1800, wanted to try to reproduce a French cheese tart. The experiment in itself failed, but in the attempt an alternative tasty recipe was discovered, that of cheese cream and the basis of the modern cheesecake.
The “original” recipe, if we can call it that, includes a base of crumbled biscuits and butter, a mixed cream with cheese and sugar and a base of fruit of various kinds. The New York version of this cake is cooked and it involves the use of milk cream and eggs, together with sugar to prepare the filling.
In this case, the cheesecake is served cold, but after being cooked in the oven.
There are also those who use sour cream instead of the traditional one, or those who use vanilla to flavor the cheese.
Today there are many flavors of cheesecake around: caramel, peanut, chocolate, almond, pistachio and even Oreo cookie cheesecake but here you can try making the ‘original’ NYC one which I usually prepare on July 4th.
“My” New York Cheesecake
For the base:
250 g of dry biscuits
150 g of butter
50 g of sugar
For the cream:
800 g of spreadable cheese
100 ml of fresh cream
20 g of cornstarch
100 g of sugar
For the icing:
How to make it:
Mix together the crumbled dry biscuits, melted butter and sugar to prepare the base of the cake. If desired, it is possible to eliminate or reduce the dose of sugar, based on personal tastes.
Pour the mixture into a round pan on the bottom and, if possible, on the sides and let it rest in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.
In a bowl, pour eggs, vanilla and sugar, starting to mix. Once you have obtained a homogeneous mixture, add the rest of the cream ingredients, continue to mix them.
Once the cream is complete and cooled the base, pour the first one on the second one and bake in static mode at 350F for 30 minutes and then continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
When cooked, take the cake out of the oven and let it cool before decorating it to taste with the berries and icing sugar.