Today, I have decided to make this cheesecake recipe, which is not British but from New York. But it is Jamie Oliver’s version of this classic dessert, and as he is my favourite English chef, I believe that this counts, don’t you think? I love Jamie’s recipes and I love Jamie’s style as he makes everything look so easy. Each of Jamie’s recipes I have tried has worked, but that has not always been the case for me as I am not an experienced cook (please, don’t tell anyone), just a bit cheeky when sharing my cooking adventures with you.
This is also my husband’s favourite dessert so I had to give it a chance, instead of trying with a more traditional Bristish cake. On the other hand, I had my suspicions on the origins of the cheesecake as there are many different kinds of cheesecakes all over Europe and I am sure that the British must have contributed to the recipe. I have made my little research on the history of the cheesecake and I will tell you what I have discovered.
It seems that the first “cheese cake” may have been created by the Greeks. Anthropologists have excavated cheese molds on the Greek island of Samos which were dated circa 2,000 B.C. It was considered to be a good source of energy and it was also used as a wedding cake by Greek brides and grooms. Flour, honey and cheese were formed into a cake and then baked. When the Romans conquered Greece, they took the cheesecake recipe and, as they expanded their empire, they brought the cheesecake recipe all over Europe. The recipe took many different forms depending on the country where it was baked.
Great Britain also experimented with the cheesecake recipe. Even Henry VIII’s chef did his part when he cut up cheese into very small pieces and soaked them in milk for three hours. Then, he strained the mixture and added eggs, butter and sugar. In the 18th century beaten eggs started to be used instead of yeast to make the cakes rise. It was this recipe the one that Europeans brought to America. Cream cheese was the American contribution to the cake.
There are many cheesecake recipes. I chose this one as it is Jamie Oliver’s… Sorry, I had already said that before, hadn’t I ? Besides, it does not require the use of double cream, which sometimes is a bit difficult to find in the Spanish supermarkets. I’ll let you have a look to the original recipe, as I didn’t change many things. I only reduced the amount of digestive biscuits to 250 g instead of 350 g and used granulated sugar for the cheesecake and icing sugar for the meringue topping, instead of caster sugar (caster sugar is not common here either). I also did not use the proper cake tin (mine was 26cm intead of 24cm) which is something that it should not be done when baking. But it turned out fine.
This is the result. It looks nice but it tastes much better. Absolutely delicious !!!