Cheese cakes have become a very popular dessert world over. Cheesecakes come in various textures: from dense to airy and light, from rich to creamy and smooth.
The main content of cheese cakes is the cheese: such as ricotta cheese, cream cheese, Cheddar and Swiss cheese and even cottage cheese. A cheese cake may or may not have a crust with materials like graham crackers and bread crumbs. For the filling, cheese is creamed with eggs, sugar and other flavourings.
The batter is poured into a special can called as spring form pan and then, baked. After the baking, the cheesecake is chilled thoroughly, and usually topped by fruit, sour cream or whipped cream or other toppings.
Whatever be the type of cheese cakes, here are a few tips on how to bake a cheesecake like a professional:
- Before mixing, bring all ingredients to room temperature, which might take half an hour.
- To make cream cheese soft, microwave a packet for 15 minutes.
- Use a special pan called as spring form pan for baking. It is pan with removable bottom and side. Place the pan on a water bath or baking sheet to prevent leaks in the oven.
- Cut cream cheese into cubes for easier mixing as well as quicker softening.
- Don’t use fat free or low fat cream cheese for cheese cake. It will cause the texture of the cake to be crumbly or rubbery.
- It is the type of cheese that forms the character of the cake. Light Italian is made of Ricotta cheese while dense and rich New York style is made of cream cheese.
- Chill chocolate or strawberry sauce before swirling it in the cheese cake so that it is thick enough.
- Take care not o over mix ingredients and only till just done.
- Don’t over beat filling of the cheesecake. It traps in more air and leads to cracking of the surface of the cheese cake.
- The main trick of preparation is coaxing, gentle heat. It requires slow baking as well as slow cooling. Sudden changes in temperature will cause the cake to crack
- Place a shallow pan of water on rack below the cheese cake so it is moist.
- Don’t open oven before half an hour of baking as it will let in air that will cause it to crack.
- A cheese cake, which has been baked perfectly will puff up around the edges and jiggle at the centre.
- Cool for at least an hour on the wire rack without drafts of air.
- A crack in the cake must not upset you. Simply start cutting the cake from the place of the cracks.
- Store in the fridge, wrapped loosely for up to 4 days.
- Use two spatulas to move the cake out of the pan to the serving dish.
- One must garnish a cheese cake only within 1 to 3 hours of serving.
- Cheesecakes can be kept in freezer for 2 months.
- Don’t insert a knife in the centre to check if the cake is done before it is cooled properly as it will cause cracks
- Dip a knife in hot water before using it to slice the cooled cheese cake.
These are some of the tips for baking the perfect cheesecake. If you fail in your early attempts, you can always do online cake ordering. But with experience, you will become mistress of baking cakes.