Each season we eagerly await the return of our favorite seasonal bakery items. But there is something about a classic cheesecake that makes it delicious all year long. At Heinen’s, that special something is the passion that our skilled bakers have been pouring into each individual cheesecake since we perfected our own recipe over 15 years ago. But before you take that first bite, Heinen’s Head Bakers, Mary and Al, are giving us an inside peek at what makes these beloved sweet treats so special.
Cheesecake has a very standard recipe: It uses a creaming method, it is held together by eggs, and it has a crust. So 15 years ago, when we began making our own cheesecake, our bakers set out to find a way to make this classic dessert a Heinen’s signature. Tinkering with the ingredients and cooking methods has led to great taste and consistency, but in his 13 years of baking at Heinen’s, Al sees our cheesecake niche as the ability to produce nearly 450 cheesecakes a day while being personally involved in every step of the baking process from hand pressing crumbs, to mixing the batter, to slicing the individual pieces.
So what does this involved baking process look like for Mary and Al? It starts with mixing 96 pounds of the oh-so-creamy batter in an 80 quart mixing bowl for about 20 minutes using large industrial mixers. The next 30 minutes consist of transferring the batter to the baking tins lined with hand-pressed crumbs. The batter is placed into a device called a hopper, which holds the creamy-delicious mixture until it is ready to be placed into baking tins. The hopper is connected to a long tube that dispenses the perfect ratio of batter into the tins. Then it is off to the ovens for 2-3 hours and after 24 hours of rest, the cheesecakes are marked with lines to ensure that every slice is even in size.
The care that goes into baking our cheesecakes is only half of what makes this sweet treat unique. The other half involves you. Mary and Al only bake the original cheesecake flavor so that you can get creative with toppings. From chocolate to caramel, and from nuts to even seasonal fruit, our bakeries are stocked with endless topping possibilities so you can have your cheesecake exactly how you like it. There’s no need to pre-order; a Bakery Associate is happy to add your favorite topping to a whole cheesecake or slice whenever you need.
Between the meticulous care Mary and Al put into baking each cheesecake to the endless possibilities for you to make each slice your own, we’ve discovered that skill, passion and love are the perfect secret ingredients for making our signature cheesecake.