When you take one heavenly mouthful of cheesecake, you’ll be hit with a burst of various flavours and textures. The humble cheesecake, an Ancient Greek delicacy, now has a cult following in India. But what does a cheesecake taste like?
Usually, the flavour profile of cheesecakes lies in between sweet and sour. There are various types and flavours of cheesecakes which also influence their taste. The crumb of the cheesecake typically has a sweet but bland taste. The cream cheese filling has a tangy yet sweet taste to it.
Want to know more about cheesecakes? Read on.
What does Cheesecake taste like?
What would you say if you had to describe cheesecakes to someone who has never had them before? We’ll tell you that.
Cheesecakes are creamy and dense pastries that do not resemble cakes at all. There is typically no flour or baking powder used in cheesecakes which are staples in regular cakes.
However, you need a lot of eggs and cream cheese to make cheesecakes. The taste of cheesecakes varies depending on the type of cheesecake you buy and the topping you choose. The basic cheesecake is vanilla flavoured. It has a slightly sour and tangy but mostly sweet taste to it.
Cream cheese naturally has a tangy taste, but varieties like the New York cheesecake have sour cream in the recipe. This adds an extra sour flavour to the pastry.
Ricotta or cottage cheese are also often used in cheesecakes. Ricotta cheese gives a light and bland taste to the cake. So if you don’t like the sour flavour, you can use ricotta cheese. Cottage cheese gives you an extra tangy flavour. Cottage cheese also has more protein and vitamins than cream cheese. So it’s considered to be a healthier version.
What are the different types of Cheesecake?
Different countries have different ways of preparing cheesecakes. But the basic ingredients are usually the same – graham cracker base and a cream cheese filling. It can have a fruity topping. And each type of cheesecake has a different taste to it.
This is the classic vanilla cheesecake invented in Greece in the 5th century BCE. This is a smooth cheesecake that is rich and silky. The filling is usually made with cream cheese, sugar and eggs. A classic cheesecake is topped with raspberries and a sour cream topping. These toppings give the pastry a significant tangy flavour in a cheesecake.
In some countries, ricotta or mascarpone cheese is used instead of cream cheese. Like most cheesecakes, the traditional cheesecake is chilled and eaten cold.
New York Cheesecake
The speciality of a NY Cheese Cake is that it is denser, smoother, and creamier than other types. This texture is achieved by adding heavy cream or sour cream to the cream cheese mixture. A New York cheesecake is the largest of all the types. Blueberry compote is usually added to the cheesecake to give it flavour.
There is a qualm that New York cheesecake can taste dry. But that only happens if the cheesecake is overbaked. The cake has a very thin graham cracker crust. So you get to taste the cream cheese and sour cream mixture fully. The perfect New York cheesecake will have a golden-brown crust on the top.
The Philadelphia cheesecake is made only with cream cheese. It has no additional dairy products like heavy or sour cream. There is an American cream cheese brand called Philadelphia. And the Philly cheesecake is typically only made with this brand’s cream cheese. So this pastry has nothing to do with Philadelphia state.
The Philadelphia cheesecake is usually lighter than the other cheesecakes as there’s only one form of dairy. One version of the Philadelphia cheesecake is baked in a rectangular dish with a pie crust-like base. The classic Philadelphia cheesecake is the easiest to bake. It has a very light flavour that you can enhance with the toppings of your desire.
Burnt Basque Cheesecake
This is a speciality cheesecake hailing from the Basque region in Spain. As the name might indicate, this cheesecake is usually baked until it develops a burnt look. The Basque cheesecake has a beautiful golden top and a custard centre that lends to the lightness of the dish. Bakers deliberately undercook this cake to attain the smooth custard-like centre.
The burnt basque is saltier than other types of cheesecakes. But the sugar in the batter off-sets the saltiness. This cheesecake is similar in texture to a souffle. It is light and airy, mainly due to the addition of flour in the batter. The burnt basque also doesn’t have a crust. So the only crunchy texture you get is from the caramelised top. And unlike other cheesecakes, this type is usually served slightly warm.
This cheesecake was very popular on social media in the recent past. Its signature feature is the jiggly centre when fresh out of the oven. The Japanese cheesecake is light, airy, and more cake-textured than the other types. The cheesecake has the texture of a sponge cake but the flavours of a cheesecake. The top is usually dusted with powdered sugar, and it has no other toppings.
Unlike other cheesecakes, an egg white meringue is added to the batter. This allows the cake to rise so much and gives it a jiggly texture. The Japanese cheesecake doesn’t have a crust base.
This is a Polish cheesecake made with “twarog” cheese. This cheesecake is usually vanilla-flavoured but also has notes of fruity flavours and may also have a chocolate drizzle on top. Traditionally, the crust or base, made with flour and butter, also has cocoa powder. It resembles a pie crust.
The Sernik cheesecake is a sweet pastry with a crumbly texture. Raisins or chocolate are added to the filling. This gives an extra sweet taste to the cheesecake.
A no-bake cheesecake is probably the easiest one to make by yourself. You don’t need to add eggs or bake them in an oven. All you need to do is make the filling, the crust, assemble, and chill the cake.
A no-bake cheesecake varies greatly in taste because it is very customisable. It has a light and refreshing taste because there are no eggs added to the filling. It is also easy to make a vegan version of the no-bake cheesecake. You can use coconut or cashew cream to make vegan cheesecakes.
What are the different flavours of Cheesecake?
Cheesecakes come in so many variations of flavours. You can get light and fruity flavours. Rich flavours like chocolate or Biscoff are also very popular. The flavour of the cheesecake is responsible for the taste.
Berries are the most common fruits added to cheesecakes. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are popular additions to cheesecakes. These fruits aren’t typically added to the batter or filling. Rather, the fruits and made into a compote and added to the top of the cheesecake like a glaze.
Fruit-flavoured cheesecakes are usually very sweet. This is because the compote is made by cooking the fruit, sugar, and water. The fruit is reduced to a sauce-like consistency. You can also add whole fruit to the compote to add a variation in texture.
Citrus fruits like lemon or lime are also popular additions to cheesecake. They are added to the filling to increase the sour taste of the cheesecake. Oranges are also added to cheesecakes for a sweeter citrus flavour.
Pumpkin cheesecakes are a fall staple. It is a rich and heavy version flavoured with tons of spices. It is served with a dollop of whipped cream on top. A pumpkin cheesecake isn’t overly sweet. It has a silky texture that is perfect for a chilly day dessert.
Chocolate cheesecakes are a fan favourite that has a rich and decadent filling. Depending on the type of chocolate, it can be as sweet or bitter as you like. The combination of a chocolate cheesecake topped with a strawberry compote is one of the most indulgent pastries you can try.
Biscoff has recently become a very popular cheesecake flavour. Biscoff is a biscuit brand that is also available as a spread. It is a very sweet spread that adds the perfect sweet flavour to sour cheesecakes like the New York cheesecake. You can also get peanut butter cheesecakes that have an earthy taste. Peanut butter cheesecakes aren’t overly sweet.
Indian varieties of cheesecakes are also very rich and decadent. You can get Gulab Jamun or Raj Bogh flavoured cheesecakes. These taste like the Indian dessert, except it’s in cheesecake form.
What Cheesecake to get?
For some people, cheesecake can be an acquired taste. It is very creamy and sweet without the texture of a cake. So if you’re trying cheesecake for the first time, the best option you can go with is a blueberry cheesecake. If you prefer Indian desserts, you can try a fusion cheesecake like a Gulab Jamun cheesecake.