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Cheese Info (3 of 3)

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Category: Cheese

 Ingredients List

  • Information on Cheeses follo
  • (This is part 3 of 3)


MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS Milk is used infrequently in
cheesecakes. Other milk products that appear more frequently in
cheesecakes are buttermilk, sweetened condensed milk, and Yogurt.
Buttermilk is made when special bacteria are added to lowfat milk;
therefore, an average eight-ounce serving has about 100 calories. It is
available in most supermarkets, in 1-quart containers.
Sweetened condensed milk is evaporated milk to which sugar has been added.
It is very high in calories about 980 calories in a cup.
It is sold, unrefrigerated, in most supermarkets. Yogurt is milk that has
been allowed to ferment to a semisolid consistency. It can be made from
either whole or skim milk. It is often used as a substitute for sour cream,
since it often achieves a similar result.
If you do attempt to substitute yogurt for sour cream, use whole milk
yogurt if possible and drain carefully of excess water. Yogurt has far
fewer calories as well about 120 as opposed to sour cream's average of
475 per cup. Yogurt is sold in all supermarkets in eight-ounce and larger
containers. You can also make it at home quite easily.
EGGS Since the cheeses and creams used in
cheesecakes have such a high moisture content, it is necessary to have an
ingredient that can hold or absorb water. The most popular and the most
elegant solution to this problem is the egg. Also since egg yolks and
whites harden as they bake, they add body and texture to the cheesecake.
Egg yolks in particular contain lecithin, an emulsifier, which has the
effect of congealing the fats in the cheese. Generally a cheesecake recipe
with a high fat content will also call for relatively more eggs.
EGG WHITES; Many recipes require you to separate the eggs and to beat the
whites until they form stiff peaks with the beaters of your mixer. As egg
whites are beaten, the albumen is spun out into a finer and finer web of
protein, the finer the structure, the more moisture the batter can hold. If
the whites are overbeaten or overheated, however, the delicate structure
collapses and the result is a soggy cheesecake.
Since air is also encapsulated, the egg whites also add lightness to the
cake. Oddly enough, the freshest eggs are not the best for cheesecakes;
the whites of eggs that are a few days old can be beaten to a larger
volume. Unless you have access to farm fresh eggs, though, this isn't
likely to be a problem as most of the store bought eggs are already at
least several days old.
When beating the egg whites, add a dash of cream of tartar to make them
more stable. To make the whites stiffer 9 if this is desired) you can
blend in some confectioners' sugar or a boiling sugar syrup once the whites
have reached the soft peak stage.
BUTTER AND SHORTENING Except for a few special
cheesecakes, butter is not found among the ingredients in the fillings.
However, it is basic for most of the crusts. Please use sweet butter rather
than the salted.
FRUITS AND NUTS Many of the cheesecake recipes use
the grated rind of a lemon or orange. For the best results use the fresh
peel rather than the dried because as the peels are dried they lose much of
their aromatic oils. The only part of the peel that is used is the
outermost, colored layer, called the zest. The zest can be removed with a
zester or with any ordinary grater.
Many cheesecake recipes call for a small amount of lemon juice.
Fresh is the best to use, but good results can be obtained using
reconstituted lemon juice. You may wish to experiment, varying the amount
to suit your own taste and which kind to use.
Many times ground nuts are called for and it has been found that lightly
toasting them brings out a better flavor in almonds and hazelnuts
(filberts). They retain more of their crunch when used in the batter. To
roast the nuts, spread them out on a baking pan and bake for 10 minutes or
so in a 350 degree F. oven, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.
If you use hazel nuts (filberts) that still have their paperlike skins, the
skins must be removed before use they acquire a burnt taste during the
The cost of nuts, especially walnuts, in small quantities is outrageous,
but you can save a bundle if you buy them in the bulk and in the shell.
Shelled nuts turn rancid fairly quickly, though, store them in the
refrigerator or freezer, well wrapped.
SPICES AND FLAVORINGS Spices such as cinnamon, cloves,
ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom will appear frequently in cheesecake recipes
because the contrast so well with the mildness of the cheeses. Spices do
deteriorate as they sit on your rack, so be sure to always have fresh ones
on hand for your baking day. Cinnamon and ginger can be used ground
commercially, but you may want to grate your own nutmeg and grind your own
cloves or cardamom from the whole spices. A coffee grinder is one of the
best ways to do this.
Certain flavorings such as vanilla extract or instant-coffee powder are
used in cheesecakes. Rosewater is used in some and can be found in
specialty stores as well as the drugstore.
Chocolate is used in the mocha-flavored and chocolate-flavored
cheesecakes. Please use the real chocolate, baking or semi-sweet

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