Home › Cheesecake Recipes
Let us start with a short introduction to a perfect cheesecake adored by a classic to show us how powerful a good cake recipe can be. And of course, the baker!
'You ask me, milord, why I was so foolish as to marry a woman eight years older than myself, when there were so many pretty young belles in the country seeking husbands. Ah, milord, do you not remember that famous line in my first play, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach"? Let me tell you than, that my Anna can bake the most delicious cheesecakes that ever melted in the mortal mouth of man. Add to this most necessary quality of a charming personality, a handsome figure, and a rather pretty face - my Anna would stand a good chance in a beauty show - and you will believe me when I say that I should have married her had she been forty-eight, instead of eight, years my senior. Milord, I simply can't resist cheesecakes; my mouth waters even now at the thought of those my Anna bakes, and were it not for the fact that I go down to Stratford every month or so, there to feast on this solid nectar of gods, I should be tempted to chuck this whole stage of business of writing and acting plays, and retire to the old home town to live, as I sometime mean to do.'
William Shakespear, 1601, London, about his marriage to Anne Hathaway
Cheesecake is quite different from other types of cake, such as foam or butter cakes. The ingredients are almost the same: sugar, eggs, sour cream and cream cheese instead of butter, but their proportions are different and the technology is completely different.
The main part of the cake is cream based unlike pastry based cakes. So the technical task consists of two parts:
- to create a steady but moistened enough crust basis,
- to have a thick layer of cream cheese fixed.
All the steps of the cheesecake recipe are aimed at successfully managing those two tasks. Additional requirements may come up: for example, how to keep the baked cheesecake all white or how to make sure that the cheesecake doesn't crack after baking.
Here are some typical questions answered about the technology.
The recipe requires to refrigerate pressed crumbs-butter layer before baking. Why?
If you refrigerate the crumb crust before baking it will taste softer, and possibly even like slightly unbaked in the middle - at the edge between the cream and the crust.
The recipe requires to bake pressed crumbs-butter layer separately, before baking cheesecake. Why?
Opposite to the previous advice. This pre-baking will make the crust a bit firmer. However the filling will moisten it while baking anyway.
Some cheesecake recipes advise to wrap the baking pan with a foil and to place it into a larger pan filled with boiling water. Why?
First it helps to moderate the temperature and to prevent cheesecake from cracking, and second it helps to keep the cheesecake white, not to turn the sides golden brown while baking.
Why leaving cheesecake in the oven before it cools down?
It will help the cake cooling down gradually, thus avoiding cracking.
The cheesecake got not as creamy and soft as it meant to be. Why?
Probably the reason was overbaking: 60-80 minutes is enough. Even it is still wet in the middle, it IS ready. All you need to happen in your oven is to have the eggs and flour set up inside the cake structure. You will be unable to see this process visually, but 60-80 minutes should be enough, depending on the form size. The rest of the ingredients, cream cheese, will solidify when the temperature is lowered down.
The recipe requires cooling down cheesecake overnight?
Overnight is not necessary, but recommended. Minimum is 4 hours in a refrigerator to achieve a creamy tender texture. The temperature should change gradually as eggs and cream cheese form a very delicate structure.
Why does cheesecake crack down?
There are maybe several reasons for that:
- quick change in temperature or not letting the cheesecake to cool completely in the oven;
- overbeating the batter, probably at high speed, and incorporating too much air;
- not well greased baking pan, the cheesecake sticking to the sides.
To prevent cheesecake from cracking you may either avoid the mistakes above or to try a no bake cheesecake recipe which is a guaranteed no crack.
Although sometimes this crack looks so temptingly delicious!
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