History of Cheesecake
I am not going to go into a lengthy detail of this. There is really no way of knowing when or where the very first cheesecake was made.
There is evidence of cheesecakes being made by the Greeks. They used flour, wheat, honey and cheese to bake wedding cakes with. This a far cry from some of the cheesecakes made today!
The writer Athenaeus is credited for writing the first Greek cheesecake recipe in 230 A.D. (By this time, the Greeks had been serving cheesecake for over 2,000 years but this is the oldest known surviving Greek recipe!)
This recipe is also pretty basic:
1:pound the cheese until it is smooth and pasty.
2: mix the pounded cheese in a brass pan with honey and spring wheat flour.
3: heat the cheese cake “in one mass”.
4: allow to cool then serve.
The Romans also made cheesecakes. After conquered Greece, the cheesecake recipe was just one of the spoils of war. The Romans modified it including crushed cheese and eggs. These ingredients were baked under a hot brick and it was served warm.
The cheesecakes were served on special occasions by the Romans.
Great Britain and Eastern Europe benefitted from the Romans as they began experimenting with ways to put their own unique spin on cheesecake.
It was the 18th century before cheesecake started to look anything like something we recognize in the United States today. Around this time, Europeans began to use beaten eggs instead of yeast to make their breads and cakes rise. The Europeans immigrating to America brought the cheesecake recipes here.
You can find a much more detailed history of Cheesecake at Cheesecake dot com.
First things first! Making the Dulce De Leche
This is as simple as falling off a log, falling asleep watching the late night TV shows!. You will only need one single ingredient! Seriously, this is made with only one ingredient!
You only need a can of sweetened condensed milk. If you want to prepare some ahead, go ahead and place a few cans of condensed milk in a deep stock pot. No doubt, after making this, you will want to have more on hand for your next one! I really think you will be making more soon! Fill it with water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours. If you want it a darker color let it simmer longer. The longer you let it simmer, the darker it gets.
• Read the ingredient list on the can. It should only contain milk and sugar. That’s it. If it has other ingredients, then I wouldn’t recommend it. It might explode.
• Be sure the cans are fully covered with water when simmering. If your water level goes down, be vigilant to add more hot water. The cans will explode if you don’t keep them fully submerged in water. Just keep a close eye on it. It also helps if you keep the pot covered, the water doesn’t evaporate as fast.
• We don’t recommend using condensed milk with the “easy open” lids, like peel off kind. We have never used those kind, I was always always afraid the lid seals might not hold and that they would explode.
Ingredients and directions for Dulce de leche Cheesecake
For your graham cracker crust you will want to use about 2 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs. You will need 8 tablespoons of butter also. Many folks use unsalted butter so as not to add any taste to the mix but we use regular butter and it serves us fine.
You can add a pinch of cinnamon or brown sugar for taste if you would like to. There are a lot of ways to make this cheesecake filling and it will change the taste with each recipe.
You can use a food processor to grind your crackers or as we do, just put them in a large baggie and crush them with your rolling pin or the flat bottom of a good heavy cup or whatever you have handy! Just be sure to mash up any large crumbs.
I find it easier to melt the butter first. We use the microwave and then just pour it over the crumbs. They will have the correct consistency when you can crush them in your fingers and they stay together. If they are too dry add a little more butter such as another tablespoon. Just add a little bit at a time so as to not over do it.
We prefer a 9-inch springform pan. We also prefer to line the bottom with parchment paper. I think you can find it already cut of you can just put it in your pan and after attaching the sides, trim off the excess. You can also lay your pan bottom on the paper and trace it out with a pencil and cut it to fit. Either way works and it is just whatever you prefer.
Once you have your pan bottom lined, you will want to use some cooking spray on the pan sides There are lots of them out there and we usually just by the store brand and they seem to wok well for us.
Now you can add the crumbs to the pan! Spread them evenly on the bottom and up the sides an inch or two. A measuring cup works well for building up the sides of the crust. Just press the crumbs against the wall of the pan and work your way around the entire pan.
Now, you can use your fingers or an offset spatula to even the top of your crumbs. Just press down gently all the way around to get the top even. This gives a nice appearance when the pan is removed!
Freeze your crust for at least 10 minutes prior to filling so it will not tear when you are spreading your ingredients.
1. Combine all ingredients for cheesecake in a large bowl and mix with hand mixer. Mix until well combined and smooth.
2. Add whipped cream and mix in.
3. Add to frozen Springform Pan with Graham Cracker Pie Crust.
4. Put in refrigerator and allow to set.
Be sure to check out our other cheesecake recipes.
Enjoy and let us know what you think.
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