National Cheesecake Day is a food holiday that falls annually on July 30th. The observance, which is part of a surprisingly large tradition of food holidays, has not been officially endorsed by any presidents, and does not have any congressional records to solidify its claim. but this certainly does not stop thousands and maybe even millions of people from across the country from celebrating the decidedly delicious holiday.
There certainly is no reason that cheesecake should not have its own holiday. Records of cheesecake date as far back as 770 BC, when the dessert, or something like it at least, was served to Olympic athletes.
Joining in the fun on National Cheesecake Day is simple. The only requirement is the hearty consumption of cheesecake. Enjoy the day with a piece of cheesecake, along with your favorite topping. If you have time, make the cheesecake yourself but, if you don't, stop into The Cheesecake Factory. They are helping patrons celebrate the event by offering slices of its creamy, delectable cheesecake for just $1.50. Note, however, that the low price is only applicable with dine-in service, and guests are also limited to one slice each.
Today, it seems as if everyone has their own take on how cheesecake should be baked. Whether New York or Philadelphia style, baked or no-baked, cheesecake is king when it comes to desserts. Cheesecake can also be flavored in a huge variety of ways, but chocolate or strawberry remain the popular national favorites followed by pumpkin cheesecake.
Cheesecakes can be broadly categorized into two basic types - baked and unbaked - and each comes in a variety of styles determined by region. In the United States, there are two big contenders for the cheesecake crown, one being New York style cheesecake, which is very heavy and rich and features cream cheese, heavy cream, and many other fattening ingredients. The other popular cheesecake is Philadelphia style cheesecake which is generally considered to be creamier and also lighter than the New York style cheesecake, but certainly does not skimp on the fattening ingredients.
Almost all modern cheesecakes in the United States use cream cheese; in Italy, cheesecakes use ricotta; Germany and Poland use quark cheese. The type of cheese not only affects texture and taste but the ability to incorporate certain types of ingredients. When cheesecake batter is too thin, many cheesecakes will not be structurally sound and fall apart at the table. One way to get around this is to use unflavored gelatin or a little cornstarch beaten with the eggs.
A common difficulty with baking cheesecakes is its tendency to "crack" when cooled. This is due to the coagulation of the beaten eggs in its batter. There are various methods to prevent this. One method is to bake the cheesecake in a hot water bath to ensure even heating. Other methods include blending a little cornstarch into the batter or baking the cheesecake at a lower temperature and slow cooling it in the oven, turned off, with the door ajar. If these methods fail, a common practice is to cover the top of the cheesecake with toppings such as fruit, whipped cream, or cookie crumbs. Despite their name, cheesecakes are technically tarts; the word 'cake' was formerly applied to a much broader category of foods than it is today.
Assembling the lollipops is fun! Cover
you lollipops in chocolate dip, coconut, chopped almonds, chopped
pistachios, crumbled graham crackers, sprinkles, dots, confetti or
anything else that strikes your fancy.
1 batch cheesecake
1/2 pound chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Lollipop sticks (if you can't find
lollipop sticks, you can use straws or thick skewers)
1. Cover the cheesecake in plastic wrap
and chill in the refrigerator for several hours to overnight.
2. Scoop 2 ounces of the cheesecake,
form it into a ball and place it on a parchment paper lined baking
3. Insert a lollipop stick into the
4. Freeze the cheesecake pops until
very cold, about 2-3 hours to overnight.
5. Melt the chocolate into the butter
and heavy cream over a double boiler and turn off the heat.
6. Dip the frozen cheesecake lollipops
into the chocolate ganache and then into any decorations that you
want and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
7. Refrigerator overnight.
For the cheesecake, use your favorite recipe or the one below:
3- 8 ounce packages cream cheese (room
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, flour,
and salt in a large bowl until smooth.
2. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk one at
3. Beat in the vanilla and cream.
4. Pour the batter into a greased 8x8
inch baking pan.
5. Bake in a preheated 325F oven until
the cheesecake is slightly golden brown on top, about 45-55 minutes.
6. Let the cheesecake cool.
Sources: Examiner, Mimi on the Move, Hostest with the Mostest, Closet Cooking, The Daring Kitchen