Tips for Making the Perfect Cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of the most delectable desserts. It’s creamy and delicious and can be paired with almost anything from fruit to nuts and chocolate which make it very versatile. Most people, however, feel a bit intimidated by attempting to bake their own cheesecake so here are a few tips to make your cheesecake turn out perfectly every time.

1. Always use a spring form pan to bake your cheesecake and make sure that pan has a good seal. If it doesn’t seal properly, throw it out and get a new one. Next, cut a piece of parchment or wax paper to cover the bottom if you want to transfer your finished cheesecake from the spring form pan bottom to another serving dish. Then wrap the spring form pan tightly in two layers of foil all the way to the top. Finally, make sure to generously butter the sides and bottom (parchment paper) of the pan before adding the crust and filling for your cheesecake.

2. Now on to the cheesecake itself, first create a starting base by adding one packet of cream cheese and about one-third of the sugar and blend them until smooth (add the corn starch as well if your recipe calls for it). After establishing this starter base, continue adding the cream cheese one package at a time. Wipe down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Finally, add the rest of the ingredients saving the eggs for last. When you are ready to add the eggs, add them one at a time and make sure that each egg is completely incorporated into the mix before adding the next.

3. Once your cheesecake batter has been poured in your spring form pan, place that pan inside a larger pan (one that is taller than the spring form pan) and add hot water about half way up the side of the spring form pan. The water doesn’t have to be boiling hot, just use hot water from your tap. The foil around the spring form pan will keep the water from seeping into the pan. The water bath itself adds moisture to your oven and keeps the temperature around the pan from fluctuating so your cheesecake will bake evenly with no cracks.

4. Preheat your oven to the desired temperature and add your cheesecake in the pan of water to the oven after it has been heated at the desired temperature for at least thirty minutes. Resist the urge to open the oven door to peak at your cheesecake for at least the first thirty minutes to give your cheesecake time to setup. Opening the door could cause your cheesecake to fall.

5. When your cheesecake is done, it should be a nice golden brown on the top but still slightly wiggly in the middle. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place it on a rack to cool down for at least two hours. Simply walk away and forget about it. After that time, remove the foil and wrap the cheesecake (still in the spring form pan) in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until it is completely cool (approximately four hours but it’s best to leave it overnight).

6. Once it’s completely cool, remove the springform pan surrounding the cake. You may also run a knife under the cake to remove the springform pan bottom if you wish to transfer it to another serving plate. Then, decorate the cake with your favorite fruit, etc. or leave it plain to show off your perfectly smooth, flat, golden cheesecake. Enjoy!

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