Cheesecake. There’s a lot of it on this blog. There are full-sized cheesecakes, mini-cheesecakes, savory cheesecakes, fall cheesecakes, cheesecake yogurt, cheesecake pops, cheesecake protein shakes and nowwwwwww….cheesecake cheeseball.
Yep. I. Love. Cheesecake. Thanks for noticing.
As opposed to extolling the virtues of cheesecake (because, really, who has to be convinced that cheesecake is good?), I thought that in the true spirit of Bariatric Foodie I’d break down to you what makes cheesecake taste like cheesecake so that you can “cheesecake” anything you’d like.
Speaking in terms of cheesecake as a dessert, here are three essential things must be present (in my humble opinion) for anything to taste like cheesecake:
- Cheese. Obviously. But a creamy cheese. True fact. Does not have to be cream cheese. You can use other types of cheeses (goat cheese comes to mind) but the key is to have a cheese that is a soft solid. Things can be mixed into it but when it cools it needs to form a mass that stays together. K?
- Sweetener. Use whatever you like. I’m a Splenda girl. (Stevia people, I thank you not to convert me. I will die of something someday and I’d like to have lived a happy life up to then, k?) The big thing to remember though is that my recipes assume Splenda which measures cup-for-cup against sugar. (That means that 1 c sugar = 1 c Splenda.) When converting to your favorite sweetener, be sure to check their conversion guides and use the amount of your preferred sweetener against the amount in my recipe. (So if I say use a 1/2 c. Splenda, check your measurements against your preferred sweetener’s half cup suggestion for sugar. Does that make sense?)
- Vanilla. This is the thing that I find missing in a lot of cheesecake flavored things. Or there’s too much of it and it overshadows the cheesiness. Vanilla is important but you can’t use too much and you can’t use too little. For a full-sized cheesecake I use a teaspoon. So when thinking of making something cheesecake themed, think about what size it is in relation to a full-sized cheesecake and adjust from there.
There is one other thing that’s commonly used in New York-style cheesecakes that I use on quite a few of the cheesecake themed recipes here on the blog, which is lemon juice. I learned the hard way it’s easy to overdo it. One time I made a mini-cheesecake for my girls to split and they remarked that it tasted creat but smelled like dish soap. Ba-dum-bum. Lesson here, easy does it on the lemon. Or better yet, use lemon zest!
I tend to serve these with two types of dippers:
- Graham crackers (shown)
- Fruit slices (specifically apples or pears)
Use your own discretion, Foodies! And with that, I leave you to your cheeseball.