Cheese info (3 of 3)

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\N \N MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS Milk is used infrequently in
\N \N EGGS Since the cheeses and creams used in
\N \N BUTTER AND SHORTENING Except for a few special
\N \N FRUITS AND NUTS Many of the cheesecake recipes
\N \N SPICES AND FLAVORINGS Spices such as cinnamon,

cheesecakes. Other milk products that appear more frequently in cheesecakes are buttermilk, sweetened condensed milk, and Yogurt.

Buttermilk is made when special bacteria are added to lowfat milk; therefore, an average eight-ounce serving has about 100 calories. It is available in most supermarkets, in 1-quart containers.

Sweetened condensed milk is evaporated milk to which sugar has been added. It is very high in calories -- about 980 calories in a cup.

It is sold, unrefrigerated, in most supermarkets. Yogurt is milk that has been allowed to ferment to a semisolid consistency. It can be made from either whole or skim milk. It is often used as a substitute for sour cream, since it often achieves a similar result.

If you do attempt to substitute yogurt for sour cream, use whole milk yogurt if possible and drain carefully of excess water. Yogurt has far fewer calories as well -- about 120 as opposed to sour cream's average of 475 per cup. Yogurt is sold in all supermarkets in eight-ounce and larger containers. You can also make it at home quite easily.

cheesecakes have such a high moisture content, it is necessary to have an ingredient that can hold or absorb water. The most popular and the most elegant solution to this problem is the egg. Also since egg yolks and whites harden as they bake, they add body and texture to the cheesecake. Egg yolks in particular contain lecithin, an emulsifier, which has the effect of congealing the fats in the cheese. Generally a cheesecake recipe with a high fat content will also call for relatively more eggs.

EGG WHITES; Many recipes require you to separate the eggs and to beat the whites until they form stiff peaks with the beaters of your mixer. As egg whites are beaten, the albumen is spun out into a finer and finer web of protein, the finer the structure, the more moisture the batter can hold. If the whites are overbeaten or overheated, however, the delicate structure collapses and the result is a soggy cheesecake.

Since air is also encapsulated, the egg whites also add lightness to the cake. Oddly enough, the freshest eggs are not the best for cheesecakes; the whites of eggs that are a few days old can be beaten to a larger volume. Unless you have access to farm fresh eggs, though, this isn't likely to be a problem as most of the store bought eggs are already at least several days old.

When beating the egg whites, add a dash of cream of tartar to make them more stable. To make the whites stiffer 9 if this is desired) you can blend in some confectioners' sugar or a boiling sugar syrup once the whites have reached the soft peak stage.

cheesecakes, butter is not found among the ingredients in the fillings. However, it is basic for most of the crusts. Please use sweet butter rather than the salted.

use the grated rind of a lemon or orange. For the best results use the fresh peel rather than the dried because as the peels are dried they lose much of their aromatic oils. The only part of the peel that is used is the outermost, colored layer, called the zest. The zest can be removed with a zester or with any ordinary grater.

Many cheesecake recipes call for a small amount of lemon juice.

Fresh is the best to use, but good results can be obtained using reconstituted lemon juice. You may wish to experiment, varying the amount to suit your own taste and which kind to use.

Many times ground nuts are called for and it has been found that lightly toasting them brings out a better flavor in almonds and hazelnuts (filberts). They retain more of their crunch when used in the batter. To roast the nuts, spread them out on a baking pan and bake for 10 minutes or so in a 350 degree F. oven, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning. If you use hazel nuts (filberts) that still have their paperlike skins, the skins must be removed before use -- they acquire a burnt taste during the roasting.

The cost of nuts, especially walnuts, in small quantities is outrageous, but you can save a bundle if you buy them in the bulk and in the shell. Shelled nuts turn rancid fairly quickly, though, store them in the refrigerator or freezer, well wrapped.

cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom will appear frequently in cheesecake recipes because the contrast so well with the mildness of the cheeses. Spices do deteriorate as they sit on your rack, so be sure to always have fresh ones on hand for your baking day. Cinnamon and ginger can be used ground commercially, but you may want to grate your own nutmeg and grind your own cloves or cardamom from the whole spices. A coffee grinder is one of the best ways to do this.

Certain flavorings such as vanilla extract or instant-coffee powder are used in cheesecakes. Rosewater is used in some and can be found in specialty stores as well as the drugstore.

Chocolate is used in the mocha-flavored and chocolate-flavored cheesecakes. Please use the real chocolate, baking or semi-sweet

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