Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Making Cheesecakes, Wonder Cheesecakes

How to make perfect cheesecake.

I've had several people ask me how I make such nice cheesecakes. All I can really tell them is, Practice, Practice and more Practice. Like the saying goes, "practice makes perfect".
If we understand the scientific basis of cheesecake, we can make a wonderful, rich product. The primary rules for making cheesecake are these:
Do not over mix. Over mixing causes a lot of air to get into the mix. Your cheesecake will puff proudly while baking, then deflate when cooked and too much air to start with means a flattened area or a crack at the end.
Cook gently in a slow oven. Once again, we are avoiding a deflated cheesecake. Slow cooking allows air and moisture from the wet ingredients to escape slowly.
Do not overcook. Overcooking lowers the cheesecake even further-it goes from deflation into shrinkage. A shrunken cheesecake is a pitiable creature, one with a sorrowful presence on the table.
Cool slowly. Just as you ice an injury to make swelling disappear, so cooling makes a cheesecake shrink. The slower the better. Cooling in the oven with the door slightly ajar and heat turned off, so no cooking continues is a good trick.

Simple Secrets to a Perfect Cheesecake

Use these 10 easy tips to make sure your cheesecake comes out uncbottom and perfectly baked.
1) The cream cheese should be at room temperature (and soft) before you begin mixing, or you'll end up with lumps in your cheesecake.
2) Do not overheat your cheesecake batter.
3) Cheesecake should be removed from the oven before it looks done, the center will appear jiggly. Cheesecakes become firm only after they've chilled for several hours.
4) When you remove your cheesecake from the oven, immediately run a thin knife along the edges, pressing the knife against the pan to loosen the top. This prevents cracking as the cheesecake cools and contracts.
5) If your cheesecake batter has starch in the recipe (flour or cornstarch), you do not need a water bath.
6) If you use a water bath, use this foolproof method:
Wrap aluminum foil around the sides and bottom of the spring form pan.
Place the spring form pan that has all the cheesecake ingredients in it, into a larger deep baking pan (approximately 3 inches deep) that it will fit into with room to spare.
Place the pans in a preheated oven. Using a teakettle filled with very hot water, pour into the larger pan about halfway up the sides of the pan.
Bake cheesecake as directed. When the cheesecake is done baking, remove from the water bath pan and set aside so you can remove the larger pan with water in it from the oven. Be very careful, as it will be extremely hot.
Remove the aluminium foil from the sides and bottom of the pan after the cheesecake has chilled completely in the refrigerator.
7) Do not cool your cheesecake in the oven. If the recipe calls for the cheesecake to finish baking in a turned off oven, however if you are to remove it from the oven, do not leave it in to cool.
8) Do not attempt to remove your cheesecake from the pan until it has chilled overnight, at least 12 hours. This will ensure that it is firm enough to avoid breakage.
9) To remove the cheesecake from the spring form pan bottom, make sure the cake has been chilled in the refrigerator overnight. Place the cheesecake in it's pan (with sides) over a burner set at low heat and turn it every 10 seconds until the entire bottom is warmed. This softens the butter in the crust, which will help release the cake from the pan.
10) To remove the cheesecake from the spring form pan sides, use a very thin knife that gas been warmed by dipping in hot water and dried. Go around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it using a slow up and down motion. Open the spring form pan's ring. The cheesecake will slide easily on to a plate.

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