Technically a pie, the cheesecake has evolved over time. The origins may go as far back as ancient Greece. Variations of the classic recipe have traversed oceans gaining and losing many ingredients along its route. European style cheesecake may use ricotta cheese or mozzarella. For me, a former Brooklynite, cream cheese is the way to go. Here is a lovely cheesecake recipe, adding coffee to the classic mix. Enjoy!
• 24 ounces of cream cheese (3-8 ounce packages) at room temperature
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 1/3 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
• 3 eggs
• Homemade shortbread crust (*recipe included at the bottom of this entry)
• 2 springform pans, (one 9″, and one 11″)
1) Preheat your oven to 300 F.
2) Combine the (room temperature) cream cheese, sugar, and flour in a large bowl and beat until smooth.
3) Add sour cream, coffee, and vanilla. Continue mixing.
4) Add your eggs, mixing slowly in between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape the side of the bowl as you go. The batter should be smooth and well blended when you are done.
5) Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust in a 9″ spring pan. A recipe for a simple delicious shortbread crust is included at the end of this entry.*
6) Cover the outside of the 9-inch pan with aluminum foil.
7) Center the 9-inch pan in the 11-inch pan. Fill the larger pan with enough warm water to halfway cover the inside pan.
8) Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cheesecake should be firm, with a wobbly center when it is done.
9) Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit inside for 30 minutes (oven door closed).
10) Crack the oven door and allow the cake to cool for an additional 30 minutes. This gradual cooling will stop the cheesecake from cracking.
11) Remove the cheesecake from the oven and carefully take the 9-inch spring pan out of the warm water bath. Refrigerate your cake overnight (or at least 5 hours) before frosting.
12) Frost your cake as desired I am using a chocolate espresso ganache icing. Click here for the recipe.
13) Refrigerate any uneaten cake.
*Easy homemade shortbread crust
Preheat your oven to 325F. Mix 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1/2 cup crushed butter cubes in a mixing bowl. Add 2 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Continue mixing the ingredients until it all sticks together in a “Play-Doh” like consistency. Press the batter onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of the spring pan. Bake approximately 15 minutes. The crust should be lightly brown when done. Let the crust cool on a rack before pouring your cheesecake batter into it.
https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-cheesecake-and-cream-cheese-1991463 for the history of cheesecake