We’ve all heard that baking is a science. And those of us who have tried, know that a dash of this and a pinch of that does not always work with baked goods. Cheesecake is one of those intimidating desserts that many novice bakers steer clear of. And there’s good reason for this: soggy crusts, eggy texture, and the dreaded cracked top, are things no baker wants to experience! So how do you prevent these common issues? Read on to find out!
If until now, you’ve been intimidated by the mere thought of baking a cheesecake, then we’re here to tell you: it’s gonna be okay! With our tips you’ll be baking smooth, creamy, and rich cheesecakes in no time!
The Right Foundation
Just like how you would start building a house, your cheesecake needs a sturdy foundation. Many cheesecake recipes are almost destined to fail, because the crust is not strong enough to begin with. When making your crust (usually a graham cracker crust), use a smooth-bottomed glass to firmly press the crust into the bottom of your pan. Make sure that the thickness of the crust is evenly distributed, otherwise your cheesecake will look slanted once you remove the springform band. It’s also a good idea to have the crust firm up for about an hour in the fridge before adding your filling.
Room Temperature Ingredients
Pro bakers already know this tip by heart, but many of us amateurs try to take shortcuts and are sorely disappointed every time. If you want a smooth filling, your ingredients should all be at room temperature (no exception!). If you work with ingredients directly from the fridge, there’s a greater chance your cheesecake will be chunky or lumpy.
Patience Is A Virtue
The number-one struggle that many new bakers have, is not having enough patience. Baking requires you to slow down and work meticulously. But few other recipes change the hurried baker as much as the cheesecake. Why? Well, besides spending up to an hour in the oven, it needs to cool for another hour or two on the kitchen counter (or a switched-off oven). After that, it needs to chill another 4 hours more in the fridge! If you’re used to eating warm cookies straight out of the oven, then you can see why the cheesecake poses such a challenge.
Go for Gadgets
You might be used to beating ingredients to a smooth, silky mixture. But when it comes to cheesecake, the hand mixer (or even better, the stand mixer) is your best friend! By using these gadgets, you end up with a beautifully smooth, lump-free filling.
Don’t overdo it
While it’s important to make sure that the filling is mixed thoroughly, you should take care to not overbeat the ingredients. When you whisk the mixture at a high speed, you are incorporating too much air into the batter. This air contracts during the baking process, causing the dreaded crack which is all too common with cheesecakes. For the same reason, you should add the eggs last, to prevent it from being over whisked.