October 1999 – My specialty – cheesecakes. When I am asked to bring a dessert somewhere, chances are it will be a cheesecake. When my aunt sees a cheesecake recipe in a magazine she cuts it out for me.

The classic cheesecake is a plain baked cheesecake, often served with a fruit topping, but it doesn’t stop there. There are an endless variety of cheesecakes, and even unbaked chilled cheescake desserts.

Cheesecakes are pretty easy to make, but are very elegant desserts. To keep the top from cracking after baking, run a knife around the outside of the crust to loosen it from the side of the pan. (If it cracks anyway, just top it with a nice garnish before serving, and no one will notice!)

Try to make your cheesecake the day before serving – the flavors will have time to blend and mellow overnight. And cheesecakes keep well (if they have a chance) for two or three days at least. The baked variety can also be made a couple weeks in advance and frozen.