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How to make a cheesecake - Tips and tricks if you're making them from scratch

Updated on December 12, 2011

The art of making a cheesecake from scratch is one that takes multiple efforts, and learning from mistakes. It is a delicate process and you shouldn’t be discouraged if your first efforts turn out to be rather disappointing. I have compiled a list of tips that will help ensure that you get the best results from your cheesecake making endeavors.

  • Use a spring form pan. You can buy these at any store, practically. What exactly is a spring form pan? It usually looks like a regular cake pan, except that the bottom lifts out and separates the pan into two separate parts, the bottom disk and the metal ring.
  • Make sure that you bring your cream cheese to room temperature. Attempting to mix the cream cheese before it is softened will often result in a batter that is lumpy (and pretty nasty, to be honest.) If it seems that no matter how long you beat your batter, it just won’t get smooth. This is probably the mistake that you have made.
  • Do not over mix your batter. Mix until well blended. Over mixing will cause your cheesecake to lose that creamy texture that makes it so delicious.
  • To avoid sticking of the cheesecake to the pan upon removal, butter your pan generously, or take a knife that you have dipped in warm water and run it along the edges, in between the metal of the pan and the cheesecake.
  • Do not open the oven while the cheesecake is baking. Doing so can cause the cake to crack or sink in the middle. If you really feel as if you must check up on it, turn your oven light on and peer in that way. It may seem like it is taking an awful long time to bake, but patience is key, and remember that cheesecake cooks much slower than your normal chocolate or other flavor cake.
  • Use a water bath. This is when you take a shallow pan of water and put it in the oven on a rack below where the cheesecake will be. Put this pan of water in about fifteen minutes before you put the cheesecake in so that it has time to start making water vapor.
  • To prevent your cheesecake from getting too done on the top and becoming overly brown, cover it with aluminum foil and poke small holes in it using a fork.
  • After baking for the time suggested, do not be alarmed if your cheesecake is still jiggling in the middle. This is normal, and the cheesecake should set up upon chilling. It is best to let your cheesecake chill at room temperature for about an hour before transferring over to the refrigerator.
  • Do not attempt to remove the bottom disc of the spring form pan from the cheesecake until the cake is completely set up. This could cause it to cave, ruining the presentation.


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