- Avoid over-beating the batter as this can incorporate additional air and tends to cause cracking on the surface of the cheesecake. To avoid the additional air or cracking be sure to eliminate all possible lumps in the cream cheese before you add the eggs. It is the eggs that will hold air in the batter, beat them in one at a time and mix as little as possible once they are added. It is best to add the eggs last. Just reverse steps 2 and 4 in the previous image.
- Avoid over-baking the cheesecake. Baking times are not always exact, due to variations in ovens. The cheesecake will continue to bake after it is removed from the oven. The center of the cheesecake should be just slightly moist when it is ready to be removed.
- Cheesecakes, like custards, rely heavily on eggs to set, which means they must cook gently and slowly. Otherwise the eggs will overcook and constrict when cooled, resulting in an undesirable split in your smooth cake. Quick changes of temperature upset the structure of the cake, which can also cause cracks. It is advised once placing cheesecake in the oven; do not open the oven door for any reason, except after it has reached the minimum 45 minutes baking time. Cheesecakes are baked in a water bath (a pan of water) to moderate the temperature. The water bath remains at a constant temperature, the cake sets slowly, resulting in a well-cooked cheesecake.
- Upon removing the cake from the oven, loosen the cake from the edge of the pan by running the tip of a knife or narrow spatula between the top edge of the cake and the side of the pan. This will allow the cake to pull away freely from the pan as it cools and also avoid cracking the center of the cake.
- Baked cheesecakes freeze well. But cheesecakes with high water content, such as fresh fruit mix into the cheesecake, may become icy, so freezing is not advised. To freeze the cake cool completely and wrap it securely in heavy-duty foil or plastic wrap, but do not freeze cheesecakes with garnishes or toppings. The cake will keep its quality in frozen form for up to 1 month. When ready to serve remove cake from freezer and allow thawing to room temperature. Remove the wrapping place on a dessert plate. Top with your desired garnish, plate and serve.
- If cracking does accrue, fill the cracks with soft cream cheese or sour cream. The image below shows a cheesecake cracked and was filled with sour cream. Cracks will happen time to time, even if you did everything right.
- Always use one egg per 8 ounces of dairy.
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