A long standing favourite, cheesecake is versatile and caters to different tastes. But how did cheesecake come to be?
Who would have thought cheesecake would have been served in ancient Greece, let alone written about by a Greek physician? The concept of baking the crust first and then baking the creamy cheese mixture with the crust was called, unappetizingly, “placenta”. An old British cooking book from 1390 mentions this method as well, whilst in the 1800s an American tradition started to surface with uncooked cheesecakes.
And of course there are lots of desserts around the world which are, in a way, a twist on the original cheesecake concept. Think German Kasekuchen, using Quark, a type of set yoghurt, or the Italian version with ricotta and honey. The Netherlands has one typically made with cream and red berries or cherries whilst in Brazil they use condensed milk and mulberry jam. Japan has soufflé style cheesecakes that have gone viral and are known for their bounciness. Even within the US there are different types: New York cheesecake is creamy, traditionally made with heavy cream or sour cream whilst Chicago cheesecake is more fluffy.
Historically, cheesecakes were also served as a savoury dish with blue cheese, vegetables and other ingredients, that would have made it similar to a quiche. Nowadays these are finding their way back onto menus as creative starters with interesting flavour combinations.
There are very few people that don’t like cheesecake, and it’s easy to explain why- it caters to different palates, with the creamy, slightly salty tanginess of the cheese mixture, and the base, made with cookie crumbs is crunchy and can also be a bit salty. The fact that cheesecake is often less sweet than, for example, a chocolate cake or normal sponge cake with icing, makes it popular and versatile.
Versatility of the dessert-style cheesecake is of course also found in the toppings, with cheesecakes often being on the menu of even the most expensive restaurant, with creative twists from recent trends such as salted caramel, peanut butter, matcha and so on. The topping can make the dessert lighter, and can be made sweeter, heavier or more tangy as well to suit people’s tastes.
We don’t know about you but our cheesecake-craving hit us when we typed the title of this article. And we all know Cheesecake Factory, so we know we have to tell you about the other best cheesecake places in town.
Magnolia Bakery at Dubai Mall and JBR
Everyone from the UK to Dubai raves about the red velvet cheesecake from Magnola, and for good reason. The best of both worlds in one little mini treat, that you don’t even have to feel super guilty about.
Nobu at Atlantis
Combining cheesecake with crème brulee is quite a good idea. Combined with tangy redcurrant it’s simply perfect.
La Petite Maison at DIFC
Keeping things simple often gets you the best results. LPM does a cheesecake that has a nicely balance flavour, and is served with red berry compote.
Omnia at Jumeirah Fishing Harbour
Is it still early in the week, that phase where you are still naively thinking this is the first week of a great new diet? We have a cheesecake option for you too. Omnia’s raspberry cheesecake is gluten free and sugar free and is divine.
Yamamote Atelier at Dubai Mall
One of the places to try the fluffy soufflé style Japanese cheesecake. Au naturel or with chocolate, it comes with cream and berries.
Panini at Grand Hyatt
Famous for their cheesecake, this is a strawberry variant with a great balance of creamy cheese mixture vs. base vs. strawberries.
Prime 68 at JW Marriott Marquis
These guys know their stuff. Instead of having a cheesecake as one dessert option on the menu they have a cheesecake trolley. We have one word: HEAVEN.
Mitts & Trays at City Walk
We keep hearing about M&T’s saffron cheesecake – its velvety texture and how the combination of the saffron comes together with pistachio and the nutty base. A must try.
Gaucho at DIFC
Gaucho serves a salted dulce de leche and hazelnut cheesecake. We don’t really need to say anything else do we?
This is a New York style cheesecake – thick, creamy and with the original graham cracker crust. A contender for the number 1 spot.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse at Address Marina
A deep-dish version with berries. Very tart and with a lovely texture. Worth saving space for in our humble opinion.
if you are lazy and don’t want to head out to satisfy your craving, try SugarMoo for sweet delivery to your doorstep. All their cakes are top notch, so we wish you luck and discipline. Going for a Middle East twist, they have a pistachio rosewater baklava cheesecake. Think about it, visualize it, and yes, it’s as amazing as you think it would be.