It’s not all about the baking; make sure you have quality ingredients. They don’t have to be top of the line, but a good cream cheese (or whatever cheese you may be using) makes a world of difference when it comes to taste and texture of cheesecake.
• Bring cream cheese to room temperature. This makes it easier to cream the cream cheese.
- On a side note, not from these websites, cream cheese can be frozen for later use. If you are using cream cheese that was previously frozen it may be thinner than non-frozen cream cheese. Freezing cream cheese makes it crumbly when it thaws but will cream up nicely when mixed. However, if you plan in swirling something like preserves, they may sink.
• How to prevent cracking: You could follow all the baking instructions perfectly and once your oven timer goes off you could open the oven door to find your cheesecake cracked. To prevent cracking:
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the mix (may result in a cake-like texture)
- Check to make sure your ovens temperature is right. A crack could mean the cheesecakes has over-baked, or even under-baked.
- Cook your cheesecake in a water bath. Fill a roasting pan or another pan with sides that your springform pan will fit into. Place 2-3 inches of water in the pan before placing your springform inside. *Note: wrap springform in aluminum foil to prevent water from seeping into batter.
- Only allow your cheesecake to cool for 20-30 minutes on a cooling rack. Cool the cheesecake to completion in the fridge (make sure you set it on a towel of oven mitt). You can also leave the cheesecake cool in the oven (turned off) with the door open slightly. This helps the cheesecake cool down slowly and prevents cracking.
- Don’t overbeat your mixture. This can cause bubbles on the surface and cracking.
Be careful not to over-bake your cheesecake. A cheesecake is done when the sides start to pull away from the springform pan but the middle is still jiggles a little. Don’t worry; the middle will set as the cheesecake cools.
If all else fails cover it up! If your cheesecake cracks there’s no need to panic; create a topping to cover up the cracks, decorate the top with fresh fruit, or chocolate curls!
If you’re in need of cheesecake fix and you live in the Madison are try these tasty cheesecakes:
• Grace’s Cheesecakes delivers in the Madison area. They also sell at the Farmers’ Market! Some of their flavors include: apple crisp, mint chocolate chip, and turtle. Many flavors are also available in gluten-free or minis. Click here for more information.
• Gigi’s Cupcakes: Don’t’ let the name fool you, Gigi’s cupcakes now serves cheesecake! Find a Gigi’s near you by clicking here.