Cheesecake have earned an immense endearment from us. Everyone holds an affection for this luscious, rich, creamy, tangy-sweet, wonderfully dense treat that pelts on the palates for a lingering pleasure. It’s almost seductive to have a slice of perfect cheesecake without sharing.
In spite of all the love, and appreciation, not much of cheesecakes baking is done at homes. We land-up doing more of those comfort bakes at home. But you can bake absolutely excellent cheesecake in your oven at home if you know a few top-scoring tricks.
I have jotted down quite a lot of information below that will help you get the cheesecake right without cracks and watery leaks.
I have made mini cakes today, but you can make a big cake using the same recipe. Baking time will differ though, which I have expounded in the points below.
This is not an eggless recipe. If you wish to have an eggless version, you can make a no-bake cheesecake at home. Which is quite delicious. I have a lemon cheesecake summer jar recipe for you here.
Lemon Cheese Cake Summer Jar
For a basic cheesecake, all you need is good biscuits for a crust, cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Adding different flavours to the cheesecake is what makes it different. Raspberry, strawberry, lemon curd, blueberry, caramel, chocolate, nuts, key lime, Nutella, peanut butter, pumpkin-spiced, coffee … I can go on and on with the options.
Some recipes call for other ingredients like sour cream or ricotta cheese, and some recipes use other types of cheeses too. I prefer sticking to cream cheese and ricotta doesn’t get to my pleasure-seeking tastebuds as I feel ricotta makes the texture grainy.
Think of cheesecakes as custard in engagement with cream cheese. It’s nothing complicated.
By the way, if you have missed on this article about custards, give it a try.
The question I’m asked most frequently about cheesecakes is “Why did my cheesecake crack?
The answer can be – you have overcooked the cheese cake.
There was lack of moisture in the oven, or the oven was too hot.
It is equally important to cool the cake gradually and slowly to prevent cracks. Let the cheesecake sit in the turned-off oven with the door ajar for about an hour, then remove it from the water bath and let it cool completely.
One of the trickiest things to predict is, for how long, do I need to bake the cheesecake. Cheesecake can be quite a deceptive buddy. A perfectly baked cheesecake will be puffed around the edges. When shaken, about an inch in diameter in the centre should jiggle. Jiggle in the centre is very important. It might appear underdone/ totally runny in the centre, but don’t over bake. Overcooking causes proteins to shrink and the cake to dry out, leading to-cracks as it cools. you will be amazed to see the cake cook in the internal heat as it cools, inspires of a jiggly centre.
If you only have a 10-inch pan and you want to make a recipe for a 9-inch cheesecake, it’s fine to use the pan you have. Changing the pan size when making cheesecake will affect the height of the cheesecake and its cooking time (thinner cheesecakes will cook a bit more quickly).
BAKING TIME An 9inch cake pan will take around 50 – 55 minutes of baking time. And the mini cakes will take almost 20 minutes to bake.
Don’t be frightened if your mini cheesecakes seem underdone after baking, they will firm up.
Doline the muffin tray with paper cups and always use a springform cake pan to bake a bigger cheesecake.
I always prefer to line the bottom and the sides of the pan with parchment paper, because it’s easy to clean and un-mold the cake from the pan.
There are also three different baking methods when it comes to cheesecakes. The first is the traditional method where the cheesecake is baked at moderate temperature (300-325°F) until the edges are set and the middle is still jiggly.
Another method is the New York method which involves baking the cake at 500°F for 15 minutes and then decreasing the temperature to 200°F for an hour, after which the oven is turned off and the cake is cooked in the oven with the door open.
Another method is the water bath method where the bottom of the cheesecake pan is coated in aluminium foil and placed in a larger pan with boiling water that covers about an inch of the base of the cheesecake pan. These pans are then placed in the oven and the cheesecake is baked as in the traditional method.
For the creamiest, smoothest cheesecake – I always recommend a water bath. A water bath reduces drastic changes in temperature, keeps moisture in, and causes cheesecake to bake more evenly.
I have not used any starch in this recipe, but many cheesecake recipes call for flour in the ingredients. Adding starch to cheesecakes, or to any custard, affects both the cooking method and the texture, making it firmer and less likely to curdle or weep.
The texture of cheesecake without starch is quite smooth and, if the batter contains sour cream, it’s also incredibly creamy and luxurious.
The secret to a good cheesecake is never over-beat the batter. We don’t want air pockets in the batter. The air in the batter will cause the cake to swell in the middle while in the oven and then deflate once it is cooled, leaving a depression in the middle of the cake.
Make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature. This makes it easier to mix everything together and reduces the amount of air that gets into the batter.
Eggs should always be added one at a time and the batter should be mixed after each addition.
Try not to open the oven, the rush of cold air into the oven will not be good for your delicate mini cakes.
Cool slowly (about an hour) on a wire rack, away from any drafts.
I have used strawberry preserve to top up the cheesecakes, feel free to choose the flavour you like. You can purchase the preserve or can also make it at home. This article can help you make perfect preserves and jams at home.
Chill. I recommend chilling your cheesecake in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight before serving. The flavour actually improves when the cheesecake chills.
Loosely cover, when you keep the cakes in the fridge.
If you plan to make a bigger cheese cake, the bottom of the pan can be removed from the cheesecake once the cake has firmed in the refrigerator.
Garnishing a cheesecake should only be done within 1 to 2 hours of serving.
Cheesecakes taste best when brought to room temperature. This takes about 30 minutes.
Tips for making perfect Cheese cake
- Food Processor
- For the Crust:Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tray with papers cups https://amzn.to/2E1muyV and set aside.
- Add Graham crackers and toasted almonds to a food processor https://amzn.to/2YdIxJm and pulse until broken into small pieces. Add sugar and butter and run the processor on pulse mode again. Use a tablespoon to transfer the mixture to your cupcake tin. Press the mix using a shot glass or any small flat tool. Bake for about 8 minutes at 350 F, or until fragrant and a slightly darker golden colour. Remove from oven, set aside.
- For the Filling:Add ROOM TEMPERATURE cream cheese, sugar and the salt to the bowl and use a whisk to combine all. Mix until completely homogenous. Add sour cream and vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Mix well then add the eggs and yolks one at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding the next. Scrape the bowl down and mix until completely smooth. Use an ice cream scoop to transfer the cheesecake mixture to your cupcake tin. Fill about 3/4 the way up to the top.
- Bake https://amzn.to/2EfSvTs at 350F for 18-20 minutes. Turn oven off but leave the door closed and allow the cake to rest for an additional 20 minutes in the oven. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Garnish the cakes with strawberry preserve and enjoy these cake to the fullest.