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Cheesecake: a beginner offender confesses towards the goal
Cheesecake: a beginner offender confesses towards the goal

Call me unrealistic, one who lets herself be fooled by trends, who no longer speaks of "eating" but of food and says chef instead of "cook".

But I have an urgent need to sink the dessert fork into a tall, cheesy, glazed cake. I mean, I want a lusty one cheesecake.

The problem is, I'm illiterate. Rea confesses for more. I have never prepared it, I do my best and among books, friends on the phone, the many posts of Dissapore I tried to get an idea. Never has a road been so full of pitfalls.

Cheesecake deserves a day-long treatise, a meeting, a video conference, a cheese encyclopedia. (Instead I still haven't understood why if plumcake is masculine by popular acclaim, cheesecake is often used feminine. That is: what kind of gender is this cake?)

Here I am then, asking for the help of you, very capable readers. Help me get out of it.

I summarize in four points what I have understood so far.

The base

Cookies - cheesecake, pieces
Cookies - cheesecake, pieces

I must first choose the ingredients to compose the base, that greedy and crumbly base that makes you appreciate more every tinsel that surmounts it.

I understand that the most popular biscuit is the Digestive, but there is also an array of the very Italian Oro Saiwa, there are those who add dried fruit, true sinners go for dry chocolate biscuits.

Other dispute: butter or margarine? No lard, right?

I discovered the existence of a parallel world, still underground: the party of honey, cinnamon or coffee powder ?!

HOW I FEEL: overwhelming indecision, but I can do it.

The cream

cheesecake cream
cheesecake cream

Life puts you in front of choices: I have to decide what will be the cheese of my cake. It starts in Philadelphia but the options are many: fresh cream, sour cream, ricotta, quark, neufchatel, mascarpone, white yogurt. Even the tuma.

It's hard. Is it worth being patriotic or thinking international? I am sure that the chosen cheese is fundamental for the consistency of my base. I'm not ready to see her give up.

Once I have chosen the cheese, will I have to add the eggs too? I've noticed that some wear them, others don't. And I still haven't figured out whether to opt for flour or cornstarch.

It seems to me that everyone agrees on sugar. Not so with the lemon zest.

HOW I FEEL: I vacillate. I am tempted to mix them all, but it's not done. So I think of a total ricotta to play at home, but I'm undecided and I'm not making progress.

The filling

Topping, topping, cheesecake
Topping, topping, cheesecake

Here the situation gets mixed up. Strawberry and fresh strawberry jam, berries, cocoa, chocolate glaze, sour cream, vanilla, sugar, pear and chocolate, cookie crumbs, blueberries, mascarpone and cocoa powder, lemon slices, strawberry juice and any other what's on your mind.

I let the health instinct prevail and only use fresh strawberries! But won't it be a free, self-punishing solution? From one extreme to the other: I imagine a copious pour of melted chocolate. It's official: my mind is clouded.

HOW I FEEL: I'm stuck in front of the ingredients looking at me, performing in pirouettes on the table, just to be chosen.

The alternatives

pastiera, ernst knam pastry shop, milan
pastiera, ernst knam pastry shop, milan

I discover that in Italian cuisine there are several cheese cakes that can be an excellent alternative to the American cheesecake. The most widespread and known to me are:

- Torta alla robiola, also called robiolina, typical cake of the province of Pavia.

- The Italianized cheesecake (called “classic” by the Romagna people) is typical of the province of Bologna and Ravenna.

- The ricotta laurina cake is a tart closed with a filling of dark chocolate, ricotta, cooking cream and rum, and is typical of Lazio.

- Some consider the Neapolitan pastiera prepared with ricotta, wheat and various aromas a cheesecake.

- The sfogghiu, or sfoglio, is a specialty of Polizzi Generosa, in the province of Palermo. It is made with shortcrust pastry filled with tuma, a typical Sicilian cheese, sugar, chocolate and cinnamon.

- The Sicilian cassata can be considered a kind of Italian cheesecake since it is filled mainly with sheep's milk ricotta.

HOW I FEEL: Exhausted by so much choice, in the end I threw myself on these ingredients.

CAKE: Cheesecake

Cheesecake with conchetta
Cheesecake with conchetta

BASE: digestive biscuits, white sugar, butter, cinnamon.

CREAM: Philadelphia, ricotta, fresh lemon zest, eggs, white sugar, liquid cream, white flour.

FILLING: strawberry jam, fresh strawberries and powdered sugar.


On cooking or not cooking, the degrees of the oven, the method and this whole area, I throw the coin in the air, I dress up and choose at random. I really don't know. I chose 160 ° cooking for 55 minutes. And then off in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

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