Always savour your last mouthful of cheesecake.
- Cheesecakes are generally a type of dessert that are made primarily of a cream cheese mixture, and they often feature multiple layers.
- Ancient Greeks are believed to be the first to have designed cheese-based cakes, somewhat similar to modern recipes; and it is said that the Greek Aegimus, a physician in the 5th century BC, wrote the first cheesecake recipe.
- The main ingredients of a cheesecake generally include sugar and cream cheese, or other type of creamy cheese like cottage cheese or ricotta, and sometimes eggs or cream are included.
- Cheesecakes may have a crust that is often a type of pastry or cookie crumb mixture, and/or a top layer of fruit, cream, syrup, sauce and/or nuts.
- An early recipe for a cheesecake was developed in the 1300s, in a Middle-English recipe collection.
- Cheesecakes can be either baked in an oven or chilled in the fridge, depending on the ingredients and recipe, while these vary depending on the country or region; and there is some controversy as to whether the dessert is a custard, pie or tart.
- The baked New York cheesecake is one of today’s most common versions, and its main ingredient, cream cheese, was invented by the American William Lawrence, in the United State’s New York in the 1870s, with the new styled desserts becoming popular soon after.
- Cheesecakes are commonly made at home, but they are often available in cafes and restaurants as a dessert option, and they can also be purchased from specialised cheesecake shops, and often from supermarkets in a fresh or frozen form.
- The United States national day for cheesecakes is observed on the 30th of July, and it is commonly celebrated by the dessert outlets around the country with discounted products.
- Cheesecakes can be a good source of vitamin A, riboflavin, protein, and phosphorus, although they usually contain a significant amount of fat.
Doughnuts are delicious delicacies.
- Doughnuts are also known as ‘donuts’, and are edible food items that are flour based and are traditionally a round shape.
- Doughnuts can be made from a cake-style dough, or a yeast-like dough, and are typically eaten as a dessert or sweet food, often as a snack.
- Doughnuts are primarily made of a deep fried dough mixture that typically uses wheat flour and a combination of other ingredients, like eggs, milk, sugar, oil, and sometimes yeast.
- Doughnuts often contain up to 20 to 25% oil, and are typically covered with a sweet flavouring such as icing or glaze, chocolate, syrup, or sugar that sometimes has cinnamon added.
- Doughnuts are most often disc shaped, with or without a hole, although shapes can vary, and the hole is said to have been introduced so that the doughnuts cook more evenly and one is not left with a doughy centre.
- Doughnuts without holes often contain a filling such as custard, a sweet condiment like jam and/or cream, although sometimes a savoury filling is used.
- The ‘holes’ of doughnuts, typically cut by a puncher, may be coated and sold commercially, however they are often made from small balls of dough to look like ‘holes’.
- Fried dough mixtures similar to doughnuts originated in both Ancient American and Eurasian societies; while modern versions are often said to have been based on the Dutch ‘oliekoeken’ (oil cake).
- The first known printed doughnut recipe is from 1803, and those with holes are often said to have been invented by American sailor or captain, Hanson Gregory in 1847, although there are various versions of the story, and the truth of the matter is not known.
- America’s Canada is the largest doughnut consumer in the world, and they have the most commercial outlets for the snack, per person.
Sorbet is a simple but exquisite dessert.
- Sorbet is a culinary dish often made and eaten as a dessert, and it is commonly used as a palate cleanser between courses, particularly in France.
- Sorbet is typically made of sugar, ice and a flavouring, such as juice or puréed fruit or vegetables, or alcohol.
- ‘Sorbet’ is also known as ‘sherbet’, although the two are notably different desserts, with the latter usually containing dairy.
- The origin of sorbet is uncertain, however it likely originated from a cold dessert made from snow that Ancient Romans consumed in the first century, or a similar dessert from Asia.
- Sorbet is often used as a low-fat and dairy-free replacement to ice-cream.
- ‘Sorbet’ is possibly influenced by the term ‘sorbire’ or ‘sorbere’, meaning to ‘eat and drink simultaneously’ in either Italian or Latin respectively, and likely comes from the Turkish word ‘serbet’.
- Sorbet, although often sweet, can be piquant, and flavours like tomato, celery, beetroot, pea, and capsicum are not uncommon.
- Sorbet has a fairly smooth, icy texture, that easily melts in your mouth.
- Sorbet comes in a variety of colours, that usually reflects the flavouring ingredient that has been used.
- Depending on the main flavouring ingredients, sorbet can contain significant to low quantities of carbohydrates, and very few or many vitamins and minerals.
Do you like your chocolate brownies fudgy or cakey?
- Chocolate brownies are a cooked, sweet food that resembles something between a cookie and a cake, and are presented in the shape of a bar or a square.
- Chocolate brownies often have the texture of cake or fudge, and can have additional nuts, frosting or icing, cream, chocolate chips or the like.
- Chocolate brownies are generally made with flour, butter, eggs, cocoa powder or chocolate, and sugar.
- A chocolate brownie is often served by itself as a snack or dessert, with ice-cream, cream or icing sugar, often as snacks with tea, milk or coffee.
- It is believed that cake like chocolate brownies were first made by one of Chicago’s (USA) chefs from the The Palmer House Hotel, in the 1890s, for American Bertha Palmer, as a lunch box snack for ladies, originally containing walnuts and using apricot glaze.
- It is rumoured that chocolate brownies were made due to a mistake of either placing chocolate in a cookie batch, no flour in batter, or no baking powder in batter.
- Chocolate brownie recipes were first published in 1904, in two different American published cookbooks, with slight variations in the recipes, one of which was called ‘Bangor Brownies’.
- If the chocolate brownie ingredients are altered slightly by removing or substituting the chocolate with another ingredient, it is known as a ‘blondie’.
- Although the origin of the name is uncertain, ‘chocolate brownies’ may have come from the characters of the 1887 book ‘The Brownies: Their Book’ by Palmer Cox.
- Chocolate brownies quickly became popular, and have remained a common treat, and their popularity has spread to a number of other nations in the world.
Chocolate Brownie, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate_brownie
Martin C, Brownies: The History of a Classic American Dessert, 2012, History Scene, http://www.ushistoryscene.com/uncategorized/brownies/
Delicious pfeffernüsse cookies, perfect for Christmas.
- Pfeffernüsse are cookies that are made of flour, sugar and spices, often pepper, and sometimes ground nuts.
- Pfeffernüsse are generally believed to be of German origin, although some people believe they are a Dutch cookie known as ‘pepernoten’, however, a number of Scandinavian countries have their own recipes of a similar named and tasting cookie, which is probably the main cause for confusion.
- ‘Pfeffernüsse’ are also known as ‘peppernødders’, ‘pfeffernusse’, ‘peppernuts’ and ‘pebernødder’.
- Pfeffernüsse are popularly and traditionally eaten during holidays, particularly at Christmas or during the Christmas season.
- Pfeffernüsse were traditionally eaten at special feasts in Germany, Netherlands and Belgiums on the 5 and 6 of December, and are similar to the German ‘lebkuchen’, a type of gingerbread.
- Pfeffernüsse are sometimes bitter due to the spice combination, so are often coated in powdered sugar (icing sugar).
- Pfeffernüsse are traditionally very hard and firm once cooked, so they are typically dunked in liquid prior to consuming.
- Pfeffernüsse are typically ginger-coloured, with a snowy white coating, and home made cookies are best left to develop their flavours and soften for a few days before being eaten.
- Pfeffernüsse are among the biscuits with the least amount of fat, as they generally lack butter and oil, although recipes vary greatly, and some do use butter.
- Pfeffernüsse are generally shaped as round balls or drops, and can be often purchased from supermarkets and other shops, although these are usually soft cookies.
Pfeffernüsse, 2012, The Chic Brûlée, http://thechicbrulee.com/2012/11/30/pfeffernusse/
Pfeffernüsse, 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pfeffernusse
Fruitcake may sound healthy… But it has lots of sugar!
- Fruitcake is typically made of dried and/or candied fruit, with added spices, flour, sugar, egg, butter, and often nuts.
- ‘Fruitcake’ is also known as ‘fruit cake’, ‘Christmas cake’ and ‘black cake’.
- Fruitcake is a cake that is commonly eaten during the Christmas season or at weddings, and sometimes at other occasions including special anniversaries.
- Fruitcake, in some countries, is covered with icing, or marzipan, or eaten with cream or similar, while many countries eat it plain.
- Fruitcake started to become popular during Ancient Rome, where preserved fruit was made into a cake with other ingredients.
- Many countries of the Commonwealth cook dark brown coloured fruit cakes, known as ‘traditional fruit cakes’, that emphasize the use of nuts and fruit, and light fruit cakes are sometimes baked in these and other countries.
- Some Christmas cake recipes use alcohol, like rum, brandy or whiskey, to enhance the flavour and extend the shelf-life of the cake.
- Fruitcake has been used as a tossing item in competitions, particularly in the tossing tournament in the US’s Colorado.
- Once candied fruit was being produced in the 1500s, fruit cake became more common and cheaper.
- Fruitcake can be preserved for over 20 years with the use of alcohol, even without refrigeration, and has been used by soldiers due to its long shelf life.
Douglas J, Ultimate Guide to Fruitcake, 2013, TLC, http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/fruitcake1.htm
Fruitcake, 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruitcake