Home Home Home Home Home Home Home


Olive oil coconut macaroons


Unicorn Love: the Eating Disorder Recovery Blog


 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too! 

CakeSpy Online Retail!



Fantastic appliance for cake making on DHgate.com


Craftsy Writer
« Cakewalk in Berlin, Germany: Vegan Sweets and Major Treats from Two Cake Gumshoes | Main | Cake Byte: The Results of our Faceoff Giveaway! »

Little Cheesequakes: A Cheesecake FAQ and a Daring Bakers Challenge

Little Cheesequakes
It's that time of month again--that magical moment before rent is due, and when it's time for a Daring Bakers Challenge, a monthly online baking event. The Cakespy crew always awaits this moment with bated breath: it's always such a fun opportunity to misbehave. This month, the challenge was Cheesecake Pops, a recipe chosen by Elle and Deborah, from the aptly titled Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor. What could be cuter (or more decadent) than bite sized cheesecakes, dipped in chocolate and served on a stick? How 'bout mini cheesecakes shaped like slices of "big" cheesecake? See above for our offering. While we offer our apologies for the lack of chocolate dipping, we believe we've more than made up for this omission through cuteness--it has a mini graham cracker crust! And a dollop of faux-whipped cream (made of a daub of cake frosting)! And even a mini marzipan strawberry with glaze!

But while going through the various steps of baking a cheesecake, letting bite-sized pieces freeze, and shaping our little cheese bites and then impaling them, we began to ponder the subject of cheesecake, that humble confection which has been tantalizing palates since ancient Greek times and which has been cited as the downfall of many a diet. What's going on with this cake--or is it a pie? And so, in an effort to better inform you on this treat, we took some time to address some important questions about cheesecake:
Question: Is cheesecake a pie, or a cake?
Answer: Ah, the age-old question. On the one hand, its name speaks for itself--cheesecake. However, there is strong evidence on the pie side: while cakes rise, the cheesecake does not; also, cheesecakes often have a decidedly pie-reminiscent crust. Recently in a heated argument over the subject, a Cakespy acquaintance phoned the Cheesecake Factory Headquarters to inquire on the subject; they say cake. But the evidence to the contrary still bugs us; perhaps this is just a mystery never meant to be solved, or perhaps the true answer will come to us as a vision while on a soulful pilgrimage through the desert.

Marbled Cheesecakes from Junior'sQ: Can I use any type of cheese in cheesecake?
A: Cream cheese, Neuchâtel and Ricotta are probably the most common types of cheese used, for their soft texture and high level of malleability. Cream Cheese is particularly popular because its low water and high fat content tends to yield a dense, smooth and creamy result. Quark and Mascarpone versions also exist, as well as soft farmer's cheeses in Pennsylvania Dutch country. While we wouldn't say it's impossible to use other types of cheese, our stomachs tend to curdle (just a little dairy humor) when considering a Swiss or Cheddar cheesecake.

A: What is New York Cheesecake?
A: New York-style cheesecake, made famous by establishments such as Junior's in Brooklyn, is a dairy-loaded confection: its filling consists of heavy cream, cream cheese, eggs, and sometimes sour cream too: the result is just about the densest, creamiest, dreamiest cheesecake you'll ever find. The New York Cheesecake is most frequently, but not always, made using a springform pan; most versions have a graham cracker crust, but of course Junior's famous cheesecake has a sponge cake layer.


Organic Honey Cheesecake from Eat LocalQ: I have a problem really like wine. Any suggestions for pairing wine with cheesecake?

A: According to classicwines.com, you should seek out two traits: Moderate sweetness and some sort of acidity or fizziness that can cut through the heaviness of the flavor and prepare your palate for the next bite. To that end, Moscato d'Asti is perfect: Sweet, rich with the aromas of stone fruits, (like peaches and nectarines) and just the slightest bit fizzy, which cuts through the richness of the cake perfectly. You can also go with a nice German Riesling, which will have both enough sweetness and acidity to make for a great match. For more adventurous palates, Vouvray works beautifully, as does Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise. And don't forget about Prosecco, which is almost always an excellent partner for desserts of this sort.

Pumpkin CheesecakeQ: My cheesecake cracked on top! Do I have to throw it away?
A: On the contrary. Cracked cheesecakes are fairly common--it is often attributed to over-beaten eggs. However, don't despair! Just take a hot knife to the surface and make like a sculptor to redistribute the cake to smooth the cracks. If so moved, this is a great chance to get artistic with your cake, perhaps creating lovely whirls or design elements to the surface. If still lacking a little flair, perhaps you could consider adding a sweet topping in the likeness of a celebrity visage to cover a multitude of cheesecake sins.

Mini Cheesecakes, Sweet Farm, BrooklynQ: Will cheesecake make me fat?
A: No doubt about it, cheesecake is delicious--but in all its rich, creamy and decadent glory, it is not what one might call a low-cal food. However--may we preach for a moment?-- this ought not be a reason to deprive yourself. Fact is, anything can make you gain weight--from carrots to rice cakes to pizza and chips, depending on how much you eat and how active (or inactive) the lifestyle you lead. It's our belief that while it's smart to enjoy rich foods in moderation, it's not at all smart to avoid them entirely if you love them--you'll just keep on eating other foods to compensate, and will end up miserable! So just enjoy your cheesecake!*


*In moderation. As an example of how not to eat cheesecake, consider the example of professional eater Sonya Thomas, who holds the World Record for cheesecake eating, having put away 11 pounds of cheesecake in a mere 9 minutes.

More Heart CheesecakesQ: I'm lactose intolerant / vegan / or otherwise can't or won't eat dairy. Whaddya have to say about that?
A: Go soy! Soft tofu varieties and Tofu cream chees, combined with soy milk or creamer, yield a silky-smooth and absolutely decadent result; even nonvegans may find they don't miss the dairy! This one looks pretty awesome to us.

Q: I like cheesecake so much better the day after it's made! Is there something wrong with me?
A: On the contrary. Cheesecake flavors do tend to develop after baking, making the smooth, creamy cheese blossom on the taste buds once the flavors have had some time to set (though truly, we suspect fairies or elves might play a part too). Our serving suggestion? Make your cheesecake, keep it in the fridge overnight, then leave it at room temperature for an hour or two before serving. Sublime.

Q: I just did a Google search on Cheesecake and came up with pictures of scantily clad girls. What gives?
A: We see you've stumbled upon a classic pinup genre of photography. Here's the story: The "Cheesecake Pose" is said to have gotten its name in 1915 when a newspaper photographer named George Miller noticed a visiting Russian diva, Elvira Amazar, just as she was debarking her ship in New York. Miller asked the opera singer to hike up her skirt a little for the sake of the picture. Later, the photographer's editor, something of a gourmet, is supposed to have exclaimed, "Why, this is better than cheesecake!". So there you go.



PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (84)

Your mini cheesecake is the coolest! That marzipan strawberry is brilliant!

Yes, cute cute! And thanks for the FAQ. I didn't know it was possible to repair a cracked cheesecake.

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

That adorable strawberry does indeed make up for the lack of chocolate!

Thanks for all the cheesecake info - really interesting!

April 27 | Unregistered Commenterkimberleyblue

Ok, I am sure that I and many others have said this before...but you rock...love the little cheesecake slices and the fun fact to go along are genius :) Sooooo love you :)

Fields of Cake

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterC.L.

Pops AND wine pairings?!?!?! I have died and gone to dessert heaven! Great post!

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterKatie B.

That is super cute indeed.

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterPeabody

I love cheesecake and even better in minis!
I had a good laugh out of your Q&A at the end. Interesting!

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

such cute pops and fun facts. That cheesecake pose story is hilarious.

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterVeron

I love your post! And that mini cheesecake slice totally makes up for the lack of chocolate dipping (which I think is probably overkill anyway). Thanks for the info, the laughs, and that great little mini slice.

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterJen Yu

Miniature cheeseake slices on a stick? ADORABLE! Beautifully done!

April 27 | Unregistered Commenterculinography

"I (have a problem) really like wine." Haha! This didn't remind me of myself at all...

As for the mini cheesecake slices...freakin' adorable and pure genius. Mine turned out kind of fat and ugly. Plus they almost set my kitchen on fire. They were still tasty though so it wasn't a total failure. Bring on the next challenge! Yay!

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterJade Is Green!

Your posts always make me smile. And now I'm laughing at myself because I'm sitting at the reference desk going through pages of Google image searches looking for the aforementioned pose. Whee!

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Your pops have got to be my favorite... and I learned such fun cheesecake facts!

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

Brilliant! This has to be the most creative entry I've seen.

Thanks for the cheesecake primer -- so much to digest (groan)....! Love your little cheesecake pops, too. They'd be perfect for a party.

I love all cakes- even with cracks. Perfection is over-rated. I love your pop. Total cuteness.

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterKarina

That mini cheesecake is adorable!

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterBrilynn

Oh, this is one Daringt Baker's challenge I will have to try!

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterCupcakeLady

I enjoy reading your cute and clever posts so much! Your mini slice is absolutely adorable too! Great job!

Grace: You're so right about cracked cheesecakes! They're still tasty, right!? Also I do have to agree, Sonya is kind of like a train wreck--you can't tear your eyes away.

Kathi: Ooh, I love cake for breakfast!!!

Dolores: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

Cakelaw: That's us--like a textbook of info! :-)

Aran: Yea!!!

Y: So true. But to have both in your field of vision at the same time? Perfect!

Deborah: Ha! Thank you more than once for an awesome challenge!

Christine: Ah, I knew it! I love Chronicle books! I think they should do something with Cuppie! (just me thinking out loud). We ate quite a few of these babycakes!

Rachel: It wasn't too hard at all! The longest part was making the strawberry.

Glamah: Thanks! They were cute wedges, eh?

Veggiegirl: Ha! Yeah, it's true! Have you tried any vegan cheesecakes? I have and they're awesome!

Stephanie: Thanks! Those ones WERE good--from the Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Ricki: They were easy! just cut the cheesecake into a wedge, dipped the bottom and back in graham crumbs, and then garnished the top. Voila!

Megan: Maybe not EVERYthing, but a lot more we hope!

Amy: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed!

Bonnie: Thanks--yours DID look awesome!! Love the pink!!--and yes, you are right, it does look like she's about to have a pee. Oh well, it will cut down on the cheesecake bloat?

Wandering C: Ah, yes! CUSTARD! Perhaps that is it. Or perhaps we just need to make a new genre--CreamyDelicious? Also, Mamma Cakespy used to make unbaked ones and I find them pretty toothsome!

Ms. Deer: no problem with the shoutout cos it's freakin' awesome! xoxox

Kelly: Ooh, more wine tips! Knew we liked you for a reason...

Krysta: Cuppie eating cheesecake, more like it! Glad you enjoyed!

Elizabeth: That's us, a barrel full of delight!

TW: No, it's not a problem, it just means you're a gourmand. And isn't it interesting to see all this cheesecake lore?

Katrina: No problem, glad you enjoyed!

PheMom: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!!!

Jerry: Thank you!

Melisser: I heart marzipan. I could make marzipan stuff all day!

Susan: thanks! And yes, don't toss that baby, get creative!

Kimberley: Glad you enjoyed all the lore!

C.L. Awww, thanks!!! You rule, ms. Fields!

Katie B: Thanks! Enjoy!

Peabody: thank you! Cute is our middle name (OK, not actually)

Kristen: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed learning more about the creamy treat!

Veron: Isn't it hilarious? A lot of fun to learn more.

Jen Yu: Thanks for your support on the chocolate-less pops! Glad you enjoyed. :-)

Culinography: Glad you enjoyed!! They were super fun!

Jade: No, it didn't remind us of ourselves either (hum in denial). Yours are supercute!!

Jenny: Ha! Now that sounds superfun!

Robin: Yup--fun facts and delicious cake--instant happiness! Thanks for your kind words!

Marc: Ha! Thank you so very much!! It was super fun making them. Initially we were gonna make them like little swiss cheeses but then had this idea!

Lydia: No pun intended!? :-) Yes, what a party that would be! All mini things would be cute!

Karina: Thanks!! Glad you enjoyed!

Brilynn: Glad you enjoyed! It was delicious as well.

CupcakeLady: We want mini cheesecake cuppies from you, please!

StickyGooey: Thanks!! They were fun to make. ;-)

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Have I ever mentioned that I really love your blog? Your posts totally crack me up. I can't stop thinking about those brussel sprout cupcakes either!

Great take on the challenge. They are uber-cute and I love the little strawberries too!

April 27 | Unregistered CommenterRecipeGirl

The tiny cheesecake slice pops are adorable!

I like the cheesecake FAQ. And I like those pops even more :)

April 28 | Unregistered CommenterKayKat

Hi Jessie!
After reading this post this morning at 6 am, I feel the need to drive 3 miles down the road and sit in the Cheesecake Factory parking lot and wait 4 hours in my car until they open.

Is that wrong?

Yea! Passover is over! I can eat cheesecake again!!


April 28 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

How embarrassing that you found that photo of me from college!

OK, Jessie. What gives? I thought you were the short cut queen & you have successfully made the most adorable pops out there! You are quite the clever chicita!

xoxox Amy

April 28 | Unregistered Commenterfamiliabencomo
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.
© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.