7 Tips For The Perfect Cheesecake

Cheesecake tip #1: Choose your favorite crust.

Graham cracker crusts aren’t the only way to go! Try using other cookies – vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, even oreos, to name a few. Or go with a cake crust, as they do in Brooklyn.

 

Cheesecake tip #2: To prevent lumps, have everything at room temperature.

A lumpy batter going into the oven won’t magically transform itself into lump-free cheesecake as it bakes. Having all of your ingredients at room temperature makes it much easier to combine everything thoroughly into a smooooooth, lump-free batter.

 

Cheesecake tip #3: For best texture, mix the batter at low speed.

For the perfect epitome of cheesecake texture – dense without being heavy – beat filling ingredients at low or medium-low speed. Beating at high speed adds air to the batter; longer, slower beating yields a pleasantly dense cake.

 

Cheesecake tip #4: How to prevent the dreaded cracked top.

Cheesecakes sometimes develop a cracked top. Here are some tips for crackless cheesecake:

  • Make sure your oven is at the correct temperature. Use an independent oven thermometer to confirm. Cheesecake baked at too high a temperature (and/or for too long) will crack.
  • Wrap your pan in cake strips, to even out baking from edge to center. Alternatively, place a pan of water on the shelf below your pan, to get steam throughout the oven.
  • Make sure your cake cools slowly. Cold can “shock” cheesecake into cracking. When your cake tests done, turn the oven off, prop the door open a couple of inches, and leave the cake inside to cool completely in the cooling oven.
  • If your cake cracks while baking, spread the top with sour cream 10 minutes before turning the oven off; and/or top with fruit before serving.

 

Cheesecake tip #5: To test for doneness, take the cake’s temperature.

To ensure your cake is baked all the way through but not over-baked, take its temperature. The perfectly baked cake will register 175°F about 1″ from the edge of the pan. Its center will still appear soft; that’s OK. Turn off the oven, it’s done.

 

Cheesecake tip #6: For best shape, loosen the cake’s edges.

To help prevent a slumped center, run a thin spatula or table knife all around the edge of the cake as soon as you remove it from the oven, and before returning it to the oven to cool.

 

Cheesecake tip #7: Have fun with designs!

Once you've played around and figured out the best way to make a simple cheesecake, but don't want to try any crazy batter, have fun with garnishing. Drizzle caramel, chocolate, or a berry puree on top. Add fresh berries or pretty slices of citrus fruit on top. Serve on beautiful dishes with a fruit tea that compliments! Then as you get more comfortable, try adding more to your batter. 

Damien Seelbach