Chef News

Anatomy of a Cheesecake with Beth Goldwater of Bertha's Cafe

Page 2 of 2

Bertha's Cafe is one of those awesome "secret" spots that everyone knows about, which explains the packed lunch crowd still going strong well past one o'clock on a weekday.

Sure, it's lunchtime and all, but we bet that many patrons simply use lunch as an excuse to go for a slice of one of owner Beth Goldwater's signature cheesecakes. Flavors rotate on a regular basis -- many inspired by other classic desserts -- and include baklava, tiramisu, white chocolate raspberry, banana cream and Kahlua brownie, to name a few.

The bakery case in the modest storefront contains all kinds of homey delights -- the kind that immediately dance across the mind when someone mentions the phrase "from scratch." Think cookies, cupcakes and luscious dessert bars loaded with heavy doses of chocolate chunks, caramel, toffee, or coconut.

Set on the bottom row (perhaps a marketing technique to steer customers' eyes toward other goods first), only a few pieces fan favorite fluffy banana cream cheesecake remain for the day. Walking around her shop with a brand new bouncing baby in tow to the delight of many of her regular customers, petite Goldwater epitomizes sweetness in her quaint little cafe.

To Goldwater, the perfect cheesecake is a bit light and fluffy as opposed to the super dense and heavy dessert that most people are accustomed to. The body of the cake is primarily off white in color with a creamy texture, the top is a light golden brown and edges of the crust are a slightly darker. Additional flavorings should be subtle, not overpowering, and each cake comes topped with a layer of whipped cream.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mabel Suen
Contact: Mabel Suen