Can I freeze my cheesecake?
Yes, the richer the cheesecake, the better it freezes. After baking, cool the cheesecake completely in the pan. Do not add the topping until serving time. Place the cheesecake on a tray, plate or baking sheet and freeze uncovered for 6 hours. Remove from the freezer and wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil or place in a large resealable plastic freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight.
Do I need to grease a springform pan?
Generally, you do not grease the sides of the springform pan. The delicate batter rises higher if it can cling to ungreased sides of the pan. However, some recipes direct that you need to lightly grease the side of the springform pan. Be sure to follow those specific directions.
Do I need to soften the cream cheese for cheesecakes?
Yes, the cream cheese and other ingredients should be at room temperature. It will be much easier to combine the ingredients and achieve a smooth mixture.
How can I make cheesecake easier to serve at a party?
Be sure to refrigerate the cheesecake at least 8 hours, or even better, 24 hours before serving. The cheesecake should be completely cooled. It will get firm as it cools. Add the topping just before serving.
To eliminate the possibility of losing the bottom of the pan when taking it to a party, cover the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil and secure the pan bottom in place, foil-side up, with the clamp on the side of the pan. Prepare the cheesecake. Transport the cheesecake to the party in the pan. Remove the bottom of the pan at serving time and pack it away to take home. Cut excess foil around base of cheesecake for presentation.
How do I know when my cheesecake is done?
The best test of when a cheesecake is done is its appearance. The sides should be raised and just beginning to brown. The center may still be a little soft at this point, but it will firm up as the cake cools.
How do I prevent the cheesecake from cracking on top?
There are several reasons why a cheesecake cracks on top:
- The eggs may not have been beaten in properly. Use an electric mixer. Beat at low or medium speed. At higher speeds, too much air may be beaten into the cheesecake which may cause the cake to puff, then fall and crack.
- There may not have been enough moisture in the oven while baking. To add moisture to your oven, place the cheesecake in a water bath. Place the springform pan inside a larger pan which has been filled with an inch or so of water or place a pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Since your springform pan may not be water-tight, cover the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil before placing the pan in the water bath.
- Baking at a temperature that’s too high or over-baking can cause the top to crack. Check the baking time at the minimum time in the recipe. The cheesecake is done when the center appears nearly set. Do not do a knife or toothpick test in the cheesecake’s center – doing so may make it crack.
- Resist the temptation to peek into the oven while the cheesecake is baking. It is important that the cheesecake be baked with even heat. Drafts can cause a cheesecake to fall or crack.
- Cool the cheesecake correctly. Set a timer for the exact cooling time suggested in the recipe. We suggest placing the cheesecake on a wire cooling rack to cool.
My cheesecake cracked. Can I still serve it?
Yes, the cheesecake can be served, it only affects the presentation. Unsightly cracks can be hidden with interesting toppings, such as sour cream, fruit, sauces, etc.
What is a springform pan and why do I need it for cheesecake?
This round baking pan has high, straight sides that expand by means of a spring or clamp. The bottom of the pan can be removed from the sides when the clamp is released. Springform pans range in size from 6 inches to 12 inches in diameter.
Traditionally cheesecakes are baked in a springform pan. One main reason is that because the texture is more custard than cake. The cheesecake will be easier to remove from the pan before cutting it when baked in a springform pan. The sides of the pan are higher than a regular cake pan which allows for the cheesecake to be higher.
What's the easiest way to cut a cheesecake?
Use a wet sharp thin bladed knife or a piece of dental floss. Do not use a serrated knife because clumps can form around the ridged edges. Dip the knife in hot water and wipe it dry before each cut. Another way to cut is to use a piece of dental floss. Stretch a piece of dental floss between your hands and press down firmly through the cheesecake.