White Chocolate Cheesecake with Glazed Strawberries

Cheesecakes, Desserts | May 15, 2018 | By

Cheesecake is one of my favorite things to bake and my recipe file contains some 180+ variants of it.  It is a dessert with a history and may have dated as far back as ancient Greece.  The earliest literary reference to a cheesecake is by the Greek physician Aegimus, who wrote a book on the art of making cheesecakes (πλακουντοποιικόν σύγγραμμα—plakountopoiikon suggramma). In Cato the Elder’s De Agri Cultura there are two recipes for cakes for religious uses: libum and placenta, although these cakes were very different from the cheesecakes we have today.  (And, to be sure, none of us wants to see a recipe for anything called placenta cake!)

The cheesecake that we all know and love was developed in 1872 by William Lawrence of Chester, New York. James Kraft developed a form of pasteurized cream cheese in 1912 upon which he acquired the Philadelphia trademark in 1928, thereby creating the celebrated Philadelphia cream cheese.

In the U.S., there are many different styles of cheesecake.

Chicago Style cheesecake is firm on the outside with a creamy center.

Country-style cheesecake uses buttermilk.

New York-style cheesecake contains sour cream or heavy cream (or both). It is rich and has a dense, smooth and creamy consistency.

Pennsylvania Dutch-style cheesecake uses farmer’s cheese.

Philadelphia-style cheesecake has a lighter texture and sometimes a richer flavor than New York cheesecake.

I developed the recipe below in honor of the 40th birthday of a dear and long time friend of mine who specifically requested a fruity cheesecake on the sweeter side.  This recipe is a New York style cheesecake with a slightly dense and very creamy texture, full of the flavor of white chocolate.  Not for the faint of heart, this recipes has all the fat, calories and carbohydrates one should demand in a truly decadent dessert.  It should be served with a generous dollop of freshly whipped crème Chantilly.


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