Nobody wants piping hot cheesecake. It’s one of those rare delicacies that must be chilled before enjoyed. You have to mix, measure, pour and stir. You have to taste, make sure it’s sweet, but not too sweet and bake it just right in a spring pan to ensure that it won’t stick and ruin. You have to take it out of the oven before it appears to be done and then remove it from heat and let it cool before serving.
Actually, if cheesecake isn’t chilled then it isn’t really done. It’s more like a soup. A warm semi-slushy cheesecake soup — not very palatable.
Most other foods are preferred hot – or at least warmed in the microwave. No one wants lukewarm shrimp scampi or room temperature mashed potatoes. We even like our pumpkin and apple pies fresh out of the oven if possible, but we do want our cheesecake cool.
The secret of this special dessert is in the chill. It’s during the cooling process that the cheesecake sets, becomes firm yet pliable and takes on its form and texture –- the firm, smooth, creamy decadent texture that belongs to cheesecake alone. It is in the chilling process that the ingredients become the dessert we all love. If it wasn’t for the form of this cake, we wouldn’t want to eat it.
I feel like cheesecake right now. I’ve been measured and tested, shaken and poked. I’m ready. Now, I just need to chill to take on my true form.