Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Creating a Perfect Cheesecake


M3brewboy
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have been plagued with tiny bubbles and ripples on top of cheesecakes (unless I remember to put a windscreen in the oven to block the air from the convection fan, which I usually think of just about the time the stuff set up). My solution is to cover the top of the cheesecake with fruit preserves, chocolate, lemon or lime curd, etc.

I have had some success with combing through the batter after it is in the pan, using a small cheese comb (used for cutting the curd when making cheese). This seems to liberate the larger bubbles deeper in the batter.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And there it is...for a cheesecake I would not use "Convection". Just bake it in the normal bake mode...the air will only brown the top more and make a harder crust on top...I would recommend very highly that you just bake at the normal setting and do not use Convection!

Try it out,

Robert

Chocolate Forum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that over mixing is probably the largest cause, I prefer to mix the batter and let it sit overnight, tapping the pan on the table also works well. But I do sometimes have one "cancerous" lump that I cant explain. Seems to happen most with vanilla or lemon, but not chocolate.

tn_gallery_45387_3963_786927.jpg

cancer bump

tn_gallery_45387_3963_273749.jpg

anyone know what would cause this (flavor is lemon blueberry)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And there it is...for a cheesecake I would not use "Convection". Just bake it in the normal bake mode...the air will only brown the top more and make a harder crust on top...I would recommend very highly that you just bake at the normal setting and do not use Convection!

Try it out,

Robert

Chocolate Forum

Aha! I thought that even on a "low" setting that it wouldn't interfere with the cake, but alas you're probably right. The next chzcake he makes will be done in the regular oven. I'll keep ya posted.

Executive Chef

The Villa

Alpharetta, Georgia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that over mixing is probably the largest cause, I prefer to mix the batter and let it sit overnight, tapping the pan on the table also works well.  But I do sometimes have one "cancerous" lump that I cant explain.  Seems to happen most with vanilla or lemon, but not chocolate.

tn_gallery_45387_3963_786927.jpg

cancer bump

tn_gallery_45387_3963_273749.jpg

anyone know what would cause this (flavor is lemon blueberry)

The only thing I can think of is a small lump of sugar (perhaps clumped with lemon zest?) that would be susceptible to overbrowning. This happens to me sometimes with cookies; a tiny bit of brown sugar lump will go unnoticed in the batter, but it spreads as it heats and makes a brown bomb crater.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that over mixing is probably the largest cause, I prefer to mix the batter and let it sit overnight, tapping the pan on the table also works well.  But I do sometimes have one "cancerous" lump that I cant explain.  Seems to happen most with vanilla or lemon, but not chocolate.

tn_gallery_45387_3963_786927.jpg

cancer bump

tn_gallery_45387_3963_273749.jpg

anyone know what would cause this (flavor is lemon blueberry)

The only thing I can think of is a small lump of sugar (perhaps clumped with lemon zest?) that would be susceptible to overbrowning. This happens to me sometimes with cookies; a tiny bit of brown sugar lump will go unnoticed in the batter, but it spreads as it heats and makes a brown bomb crater.

All dry were sifted and mixed smooth, It just happens on the edge, and only in one spot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is stil possible to get lumps even with sifting...this depending on your mixing method...and the temp at which the ingredients are at. That brown spot could have been a clump or a buble that poped...

what is the procedure of adding ingredients for you?

Robert

Chocolate Forum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Might this also be caused by an irregularity in the pan's density at one specific spot (especially since it is at the edge)? Maybe it is happening with the chocolate one, but because of the darker color, it just isn't noticable.

Flickr: Link

Instagram: Link

Twitter: Link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is stil possible to get lumps even with sifting...this depending on your mixing method...and the temp at which the ingredients are at. That brown spot could have been a clump or a buble that poped...

what is the procedure of adding ingredients for you?

I beat cream cheese, cream with sugar, add eggs slowly, then a bit of cream. It is possible that it is a bubble but i cant figure it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are the steps I take to avoid bubbles (as well as create a denser end product)

1. Avoid overmixing

2. Pre-heat the cream cheese (microwave briefly, stir, repeat) until hot enough so the eggs don't cook when added. A warmer batter will be less viscous, and, in turn, will be less likely to hold air bubbles.

3. Pound the crap out of the batter filled pan (40-60 times on the counter).

4. Bake at a very low, indirect heat (water baths are a waste of time, imo)

This gives me a very dense, air pocketless cheesecake

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And there it is...for a cheesecake I would not use "Convection". Just bake it in the normal bake mode...the air will only brown the top more and make a harder crust on top...I would recommend very highly that you just bake at the normal setting and do not use Convection!

Try it out,

Robert

Chocolate Forum

I can do that in my big oven, however, unless I am baking a large batch, multiple cakes, or whatever, I use the Cadco 1/2 sheet oven that does not have a way to turn the fan off.

If the oven is on the fan is on.

It seems like such a waste to fire up the big oven to bake just one cheesecake - in any event, the huge fan in the Blodgett would blow the batter right out of the pan.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Water baths are a waste of time? I would say use a water bath everytime...expecialy in a kitchen oven...it keeps the heat that goes into the cheesecake and most constant and lower temperature...I ALWAYS use a water bath and I make A LOT of cheesecakes...it will make it so it cooks evenly and make it so the middle doesn't fall lower then the sides...it will make an even texture as well....Use a waterbath if at all possible...you can do it without of course but a waterbath will make a better cheesecake everytime...remember it is a cooked custard(we are dealing with eggs)

Hey Scott123...what was the reason for not using a water bath? Maybe I didn't know something that you do? let us know if you have a specific reason?

Have a good one,

Robert

Chocolate Forum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert, let me first qualify my statement by saying that water baths are a waste of time for cheesecakes. When I make traditional custards, I do use a water bath.

Cheesecakes are, indeed, a type of custard. Traditional milk/cream based custards have a different chemistry than cheesecake, though. The milk proteins in the cream cheese make cheesecakes far more stable than traditional custards. In addition, many cream cheese manufacturers add vegetable gums to their products, further enhancing stability. Lastly, fat is a stabilizer. Cheesecake contains more fat than custard.

The even and gentle temps required for unstable milk/cream based custards are NOT necessary for cheesecakes.

Don't get me wrong, you can't broil a cheesecake :smile: You do want to keep the temperature low and avoid extremes, but a water bath is overkill. Gas ovens are generally a little more stable than electric ovens. The fluctuation in temperature of electric ovens is due, in large part, to the radiant energy emanating upward from the red hot element as it cycles on and off. This radiant energy can, to a great extent, be removed from the equation by placing a sheet pan on a shelf between the element and the cake. This is all that's required- low indirect heat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hum....well I would still have to humbly disagree(somewhat)...you are right in many of your points but I still think that a water bath definitely helps a cheesecake...but if you make them ok your way and I make them ok my way...there's no worries...

Maybe I will try without a waterbath again soon and see my results with a side by side comparison...thanks for the info

Have a good one,

Robert

Chocolate Forum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good advice...try those techniques out now and tell us how it comes out...

Robert

Chocolate Forum

After further review, I have discovered that it is due to the mixing process. Actually it's due to using the Robot Coupe to soften the cream cheese. Yes, he does incorporate the eggs one by one using only a wisk.... but I believe that the robot coupe is the reason. CSI (culinary sciense investigation) case closed!

Thanks all for your help!

Executive Chef

The Villa

Alpharetta, Georgia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Hum....well I would still have to humbly disagree(somewhat)...you are right in many of your points but I still think that a water bath definitely helps a cheesecake...but if you make them ok your way and I make them ok my way...there's no worries...

Maybe I will try without a waterbath again soon and see my results with a side by side comparison...thanks for the info

Have a good one,

Robert

Chocolate Forum

I agree with you. I tested cheesecakes with many different recipes and ratios and techniques. Although I could make a crack-less, dense cheesecake in a very low temp oven I preferred the texture of a cheesecake baked in a waterbath. It was creamier and smoother as opposed to drier and more cake-like. Even if I put a pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf of the oven to add moisture, it wasn't the same as baking with the pan in the waterbath.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

dumb question: How are you mixing the batter? Using the whip attachment on a standard KA mixer is designed to incorporate the minimum amount of air into the batter. If you are using a whisk attachment or mixing some other way, then more air is going to get in.

PS: I am a guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you sure you meant to say "a whip is supposed to add the minimum amount of air"? a whip is going to ADD air...

Either way I use the paddle...not the whip....and the paddle works good for me...it incorporates everything nicely...

Robert

Chocolate Forum

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I am looking to make a plain cheesecake (I am using Dailey's "Lindy's Cheesecake" recipe for the filling) with that (I think) baked on sour cream topping layer. Someone ordered it from me and I cannot find instructions on any recipe for doing it this way! Can someone help me, please?? I need to get this cake made and in the freezer before next Monday (I am having hand surgery and won't be able to bake for awhile). Thanks so much!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anytime I've done a cheesecake with the sour cream topping, I baked the cheesecake till it was almost done, and then I took it out of the oven and spread the sour cream mixed with some sugar, on top, reserving about 1/4 cup. Then depending on the flavour, I would add that component to the left over and make a spiral on the cake using a piping bag and drag it out with toothpicks to make an attractive design. Then, back into the oven for about 5 minutes. Good luck!

Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

tweety69bird is correct...lightly sweeten the sour cream with granulated sugar and top the cheesecake straight from the oven. return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes. the sour cream will look liquid but will set up upon cooling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same advice here. Stir together 16oz sour cream, one tablespoon of sugar, and one teaspoon vanilla. When cheesecake is not quite set, remove it from the oven and set it on a rack. After it stands for 5 minutes, drop spoonfuls of sour cream topping around the edge of the cake and spread/smooth it over the center. Return it to the oven for 10 more minutes.

I love the sour cream layer! Delicious tasting, pure white beauty, and great camoflage if your cheesecake cracks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

What is the best way to layer two flavors of cheesecake together?

Typically when I make my coconut - keylime cheesecake I use a recipe for coconut cheesecake that is baked. Once that has cooked and cooled, I top it with a keylime cheesecake that is cooked on the stovetop and set with gelatin.

The taste is good, but the consistency of the 2 cheesecake layers is different. I'm not wild about the mouthfeel of the dessert.

Can you offer some recommendations for creating layered cheesecakes? I'm going to be baking them in square pans and cutting them into triangles for service.

Many thanks!

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...