How to Repair a Cheesecake – Troubleshooting Guide | 2021
Cheesecake should be relatively hassle free but sometimes problems do arise. Over the years, the following questions have been asked of us.
“What’s the easiest way to make crumbs for my peel?”
Many people use a food processor; We do not care. We use a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag and crush the biscuits or cookies with a few rolling pins at a time. Save the plastic bag for the next crust. If we’re in a hurry, we use bagged graham crackers instead of crackers.
“I have lumps in my cheesecake. How do I avoid that?”
Often lumps of globules of cream cheese are in the mixture. Before adding any of the other ingredients, whisk together the cream cheese and granulated sugar until just combined. The sugar crystals will break up the cream cheese to break up the pellets. In the oven heat, the sugar melts and more pieces open.
If your recipe calls for chocolate, whether white or dark, the lumps may be chocolate. When the chocolate is mixed into the cold mixture, it hardens and forms clumps. To avoid this, make sure the melted chocolate is hot, well above the melting point. With mixer running, sprinkle hot chocolate into mixture. As the chocolate heats up, it will disperse before setting.
“I bake my cheesecake for the time specified in the recipe and the middle is still soft. What am I doing wrong?”
You may not be doing anything wrong. Baking times in recipes are always estimated and can be affected by the temperature in your oven (calibrated temperatures are rarely correct), the depth of the batter, whether the pan is light or dark (dark pans bake faster), and how cold the batter is. , and other factors. Don’t worry about the time and bake until done. (See next question.)
“How do I know if the cheesecake is done?”
There are three ways. You can gently shake the cheesecake. If only the center is still vibrating, it is done. This is not very accurate but with practice, you can get this way well.
The most common method is to stick a knife into the mixture about an inch from the center. If this is done, it will come out clean.
The most accurate way to know when a cheesecake is finished is by using an Insta-read thermometer. Place the probe in the center of the cheesecake and see what it reads. Cheesecake is prepared when the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. This is when the proteins in the eggs coagulate.
“How can I prevent my cheesecake from cracking?”
A cheesecake top without a crack seems to be the ultimate measure of success. It should not be. The crack does not affect the taste. Several cheesecakes are covered and the toppings cover any cracks.
There may be a number of causes of cracks:
– Too much air in the filling may cause cracks.
Too much baking time will bake up the filling which is a common cause of cracks.
Uneven baking may be the cause. If you use light gauge, reflective pans, consider switching to heavy, dark gauge pans.
Too high a temperature may cause cracking. Consider baking at 325 degrees instead of 350 degrees.
If the cheesecake cools too quickly, it may crack. Do not let the cheesecake cool in a draft.
Cheesecakes with starch in the filling are less likely to crack.
“My crust falls apart when I try to serve the cheesecake. What am I doing wrong?”
Butter is like a mortar that holds the crumbs together. The butter should be mixed well with the crumbs. There should be enough butter, at least four tablespoons per crust. The mixture must be compressed with constant pressure. Use a pastry tamper or a heavy cup to press the bottom and press the sides.
Always slice and serve cold cheesecake. This way the butter is solid. If the cheesecake becomes too warm, the butter will melt and the crust will fall apart.
Baking the crust is not necessary but it does tend to stick the crust together. Sugar dissolves in bread and tends to hold things in place once they’ve cooled and set.
“I always seem to get rid of my slices when I’m cutting a cheesecake. What’s the best way to cut a cheesecake?”
Use the appropriate knife, a sharp knife with a thin blade. Don’t use a serrated knife because the filling and crumbs tend to stick to the teeth.
Cut with downward pressure, pulling the knife as little as possible. After each cut, wash and dry the knife until you have a clean blade that cuts through the cheesecake.
“My slats seem to stick to the base and are difficult to remove. Is there an easy way to remove the slats neatly?”
There is an easy way to get the slices to slide off the base of the pan. Heat a wet kitchen towel in the microwave. Lay the towel on the counter and place the cheesecake directly on the hot towel. Within 2 minutes, the heat will soften the butter on the base and the slices will slide off easily.
It helps to have a spring mold with a smooth base.