Cheesecake Tips

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When should I bake my cheesecake in a water bath?

No Water Bath

Cheesecakes that have no starch (flour, cornstarch, potato starch) must be baked in a water bath or at a very low temperature.

   
Do I need to clean my beater before whipping cream?

Saving Your Beaters

Most unbaked cheesecake recipes call for beaten egg whites (pasteurized only, please) and beaten whipped cream. To save a cleaning step, beat the whites, then using the same, unwashed beater, beat the cream. The egg white will actually help stabilize the cream, and you have saved a step.

   
Can I use uncooked eggs in recipes?

Raw Eggs

When making a no-bake cheesecake, many older recipes call for using uncooked eggs in the batter. Make sure that you purchase pasteurized eggs for these recipes, for food safety reasons.

   
Do you have a recipe for mini cheesecakes?

Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

Chocolate Chip Base

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 6 ounce package chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars together. Stir in egg and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, baking powder and salt and blend. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Place 1 tablespoon of the base in each muffin cup.

Cheesecake Filling

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup flour
1 can cherry pie filling

Beat softened cream cheese with butter thoroughly until smooth. Add sugar and beat well. Add eggs and vanilla and blend thoroughly. Add flour and stir until well combined. Top base with cream cheese mixture, filling muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until tops are light brown. Cool slightly and serve while warm. Top each with a spoonful of cherry pie filling. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

You will probably have some base dough left over. Guess what - it's chocolate chip cookie dough! Just chill it, well covered, and bake cookies some other time for a fast treat. (375 degrees for 8-10 minutes)

   
Do you have a rich and creamy cheesecake recipe?

Smooth and Creamy Cheesecake w/variations

1 Tbsp. melted butter
3 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream

Line bottom of 9" springform pan with foil, tuck foil underneath pan bottom, assemble pan, then pull foil up around sides of pan. Brush bottom and sides with butter and sprinkle with crumbs. Cover outside of pan with a sheet of heavy duty foil and set in large roasting pan. Bring kettle of water to boil.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape bowl frequently. Add vanilla. Stir in cream and sour cream by hand.

Pour into pan. Set roasting pan on middle oven rack and pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 55-60 minutes, until perimeter is set and center jiggles like jell-o when pan is tapped. Turn off heat and open oven door, leaving ajar for 1 hour. Remove pan from water bath and set on wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.

FOR DENSE CHEESECAKE:

Prepare as above, but follow these baking directions:

Pour into pan. Set pan on middle oven rack. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees, leaving oven door open until oven temperature reduces. Bake until perimeter is set and center jiggles like jell-o when pan is tapped, about 1 hour longer. Turn off heat and open oven door, leaving ajar for 1 hour. Remove pan from oven and set on wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.

FOR AIRY CHEESECAKE:

Separate eggs. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape bowl frequently. Add vanilla. Stir in cream and sour cream by hand.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold whites into batter.

Pour into pan. Set roasting pan on middle oven rack and pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until perimeter is set and center jiggles like jell-o when pan is tapped. Turn off heat and open oven door, leaving ajar for 1 hour. Remove pan from water bath and set on wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.

   
Do you have a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups finely crushed oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix crumbs and 1/4 cup melted butter in medium bowl and press in bottom and 1/2" up sides of a 9" springform pan.

In large bowl, combine cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Beat until smooth. Add sour cream, eggs, and 1 tsp. vanilla and beat until well blended. Pour onto crust.

In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup butter, brown sugar, 1/4 cup sugar and beat until combined. Add water, 1 tsp. vanilla and beat well. Stir in flour and chocolate chips until combined. Drop this cookie dough in 1 Tbsp. portions evenly over cheesecake surface. Gently push dough beneath the surface.

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 35-40 minutes until cheesecake jiggles slightly when gently pushed. While cake is baking, combine 1 cup sour cream, 2 tsp. sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla in a small bowl and spread this topping over the hot cheesecake when it comes out of the oven. Let cake cool on wire rack, then chill in refrigerator 4-6 hours until cold. Serves 12

   
How can I keep my cheesecake from cracking in the center?

Keep your cheesecake from cracking

Cheesecakes crack when they have been overbaked. The center should still jiggle slightly when they are done. It is hard to do, but turn the oven off, keep the door closed and walk away for about an hour. The center will become firm during the cooling process.

   
How do I make cheesecake?

Cheesecake tip

It is important when making cheesecake to bring all of the ingredients to room temperature before mixing.

   
Do I have to cool the crust for a no-bake cheesecake?

Cool Crust

Make sure that the crust for your no-bake cheesecake is absolutely, completely cool before you add the filling, or the filling will melt.

   
Do you have a recipe for a no-bake cheesecake?

Angel Cheesecake Pie

Angel Cheesecake Pie

1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Combine flour, nuts and brown sugar. Cut in butter to make a crumb mixture. Place in 9" pie pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Cool. Remove 1/4 cup and set aside. Press rest of crumbs into pan to form a crust.

1/3 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg white
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Combine 1/3 cup sugar, gelatin and salt in saucepan. Blend in egg yolk and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat. Beat in cream cheese, lemon juice and vanilla until creamy. Chill until mixture is very thick. Beat egg white until soft mounds form, then gradually beat in 2 Tbsp. sugar; beat until still peaks form. Beat cream with powdered sugar, using same beaters, until stiff. Then, using same beaters, beat chilled cheese mixture until creamy again. Fold egg white and cream into cheese mixture. Spoon into pie shell and sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Chill 4 hours before serving.

   
I need a recipe for a light and airy cheesecake. Can you help?

Light And Airy Cheesecake

1 Tbsp. melted butter
3 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream

Line bottom of 9" springform pan with foil, tuck foil underneath pan bottom, assemble pan, then pull foil up around sides of pan. Brush bottom and sides with butter and sprinkle with crumbs. Cover outside of pan with a sheet of heavy duty foil and set in large roasting pan. Bring kettle of water to boil.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape bowl frequently. Add vanilla. Stir in cream and sour cream by hand.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold whites into batter.

Pour into pan. Set roasting pan on middle oven rack and pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until perimeter is set and center jiggles like jell-o when pan is tapped. Turn off heat and open oven door, leaving ajar for 1 hour. Remove pan from water bath and set on wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.

   
Do you have a recipe for a dense and firm cheesecake?

Dense and Firm Cheesecake

1 Tbsp. melted butter
3 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream

Brush bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan with butter and sprinkle with crumbs. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated. Scrape bowl frequently. Add vanilla. Stir in cream and sour cream by hand.

Pour into pan. Set pan on middle oven rack. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees, leaving oven door open until oven temperature reduces. Bake until perimeter is set and center jiggles like jell-o when pan is tapped, about 1 hour longer. Turn off heat and open oven door, leaving ajar for 1 hour. Remove pan from oven and set on wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.

   
Do you have a recipe for white chocolate cheesecake?

White Chocolate Cheesecake

2 cups crushed Oreo cookie crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups white baking chips, melted
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
12 oz. frozen raspberries

In medium bowl, mix crushed cookie crumbs and butter and press in bottom of a 9" springform pan. Chill.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Then gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla, the melted chips and half and half until well blended. Pour into chilled crust.

Bake at 325 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes until the center is set. Cool 60 minutes, then cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

Combine juice cocktail, 2 Tbsp. sugar and cornstarch in 1 quart saucepan. Stir in raspberries and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Cool completely and store in refrigerator. Loosen the edge of the cheesecake from the pan and remove the sides. Serve cheesecake with the sauce.

   
How can I make the smoothest chocolate cheesecake?

Smooth Chocolate Cheesecake

Make sure that the melted chocolate you add to your cheesecake batter has cooled slightly, and that the cream cheese is well softened. Otherwise, lumps of white cream cheese will be apparent in the finished cheesecake.

   
Do you have a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

2 cups finely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9" springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

To Make Cheesecake: In large bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy and smooth. Add 1 cup sugar, and beat well. Add 1 cup sour cream, the eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well and pour into prepared crust.

To Make Cookie Dough: In a bowl beat 1/4 cup butter, brown sugar and 1/4 cup sugar. Stir in water and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in flour and chocolate chips until combined.

Drop cookie dough by teaspoons evenly over the top of the batter, pushing dough beneath the surface. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes, until set around edges and jiggles slightly in center. Spread Topping over hot cheesecake. Let cool, then chill in refrigerator until cold, at least 4 hours.

To Make Topping: Mix the remaining 1 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 2 tablespoons sugar until smooth.

   
Do you have a recipe for chocolate chip cheesecake?

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

2 cups crushed creme filled chocolate sandwich cookies
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 eggs
2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine crushed cookies and melted butter and mix well. Press into bottom and 1" up sides of a 10" springform pan.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add whipping cream and beat well. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared crust and bake at 325 degrees for 60-75 minutes until set. (Place a shallow pan half full of hot water on rack below cheesecake during baking to minimize cracking, if you wish.) Remove from oven and cool.

   
What beaters should I use when mixing cheesecake?

Mixing Cheesecake

If you have a paddle attachment for your mixer, use it when mixing cheesecake. Also, beat on the lowest setting possible. This cuts down on the amount of air mixed into the cheesecake batter, and helps minimize cracking.

   
How do I prepare ingredients for cheesecake?

Smooth Cheesecakes

When making cheesecakes, be sure that your cream cheese is thoroughly softened before you begin mixing. If the cheese isn't soft, it will never completely blend with the other ingredients and the finished product will be lumpy.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.