The history of cheesecake:
Over 4,000 years ago in the fifth century BC, the ancient Greeks on the island of Samos created the earliest known cheesecake. This rudimentary cheesecake was made with patties of fresh cheese that were then pounded smooth with flour and honey. The creation was then baked on an earthenware griddle before being enjoyed by the masses. Back then, cheesecake was considered a great source of energy and there is evidence showing it was served to athletes during the first Olympic Games in 776 BC. Cheesecake was also popular as a wedding dessert!
During the late medieval ages in Europe, cheesecake transformed to include a pastry base in a tart form. The first English cookbook, written in 1390, included multiple variations of the cheesecake recipe that included eggs and various flavor profiles. For the next five centuries, almost every English cookbook included at least one cheesecake recipe, signifying the love the English people had for the delicious dessert!
Since the English loved their cheesecake, it is not surprising that the delicacy made its way to the American colonies. In the 1730s, Philadelphia became home to the “Cheesecake House” tavern! Martha Washington’s prized and gifted cookbook features three different cheesecake recipes, one of which being a cheesecake without a crust. These recipes were also flavored with rosewater and other spices. In the 19th century, cheesecake recipes began to feature more subtle ingredients like lemon and vanilla.
250g softened cream cheese (such as Philadelphia)
1/3 cup caster sugar (finely granulated)
1-2 tbs lemon juice (I like the extra zing of 2)
5 tbs thickened cream (cream with at least 35% fat)
150-200g biscuits (cookies). I often use Arnotts Nice, but use your favourite. Try Ginger Nuts for something different
70-100g melted butter (use the larger amounts of butter & biscuits if you prefer a thicker base)
How to make it :
Crush biscuits to fine crumb in processor or do it old school – pop in a freezer bag and crush with rolling pin/tin of tomatoes or whatever heavy object you have handy.
Stir in melted butter until well combined. Use salted butter – goes beautifully with the sweet biscuits.
Line a muffin tin with paper cup cake cases.
Press biscuit mix into cupcake cases. Push it in firmly and level as will be on display when served. Set aside.
Combine cream cheese & sugar until smooth and creamy. I use my food processor but any mixer / hand held etc will do.
Add egg and beat until all combined.
Add lemon juice and cream and beat again. You want it combined but not over beaten as excessive beating will cause cheese cake to crack and split.
Spoon into cupcake cases – fill to about half a cm below top of paper case – they wont rise much.
Bake at 160 for 20 mins.
Calories: 98 Fat: 4 g Saturated fat: 2 g Carbohydrates: 14 g Sugar: 7 g Sodium: 96 mg Fiber: 0 g Protein: 2 g