Thought of the Week: Cheesecake


If you take a closer look, the name cheesecake appears to be a bit weird! After all, the word contains two things that I would normally not mention in one sentence: “We had cheese with the cake!”, “Would you please give me the cheese, it needs to go into the batter for my cake.” or “The cake tastes best garnished with cheese. “. Well, something seems to be wrong! So, in this week’s TOW we want to get to the bottom of the cheese and find out what it has to do with our cake. And while we’re at it, let’s also clarify when the contradictory cake was invented and what we best enjoy it with.


Recipes for the popular treat were already known by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Thus, it might be possible that Caesar rode, strengthened with cheesecake, in one of his countless battles. And perhaps Aristotle, too, has tasted one or two slices as he studied the clouds in the sky and drew his conclusions. But joking aside: cheesecake arrived in North America in the 19th century and became as popular as it is today in the 1920s shortly after Philadelphia cream cheese was invented.


Actually, it should be called “cream cheesecake” and not just “cheesecake”, because the main ingredient is cream cheese, at least in the classic American version. But let’s keep it short. It’s “cheesecake”: everything else is just too complicated.


Most of the time when I’m talking about cheesecake, I’m talking about German cheesecake with a nice shortcrust and a golden yellow cream made with quark (or a yogurt that has a texture like quark). I know, this is just one of many possibilities, but for me that’s the only true one. I should probably apologize for that (however, I won’t, haha), because the others also have their merits. A completely crustless cheesecake, so just the baked cream, is a bit lighter and better for the slim line. The American cheesecake is, as described above, made with cream cheese and tastes wonderful, especially when it has a cookie crust. With meringue the cheesecake loses its rustic touch and becomes quite elegant. Now, with all these options, you might choose your favorite. Mine, you already know.


Last but not least, let’s talk about what goes well with cheesecake. Wanted are drinks that emphasize the sweetness, take nothing from the light acidity and, in the happiest case, highlight the creaminess. The first thought goes to fragrant coffee or black tea which are nice, but rather uninspired pairings. My favorite would be a semi-sweet sparkling wine, whose fruity sweetness complements the cake perfectly. At the same time, the bubbles harmonize wonderfully with the consistency, leaving nothing to be desired. Those who do not drink alcohol, might want to consider a delicious rhubarb spritzer (go for a champagne glass, you drink with your eyes as well!). Sweetness, acidity and sparkliness can also be found in this harmonic beverage and goes excellently with your cheesecake.