Cheesecake Woes
  Re: (...)
One of my girlfriends reminded me of a Praline Cheesecake I use to make every year until I started ordering my cheesecakes from Carnegie Deli in New York. I thought I would make one for a change this year to cut down on my expenses. I just took it out of the oven and it has a crack in it. I don't remember that happening before. What could have gone wrong to cause this crack?
  Re: Cheesecake Woes by wheatleyp1 (One of my girlfriend...)
Well, that is hard to say. Did you use a water bath? Is your oven calibrated?

I have a praline cheesecake recipe I use a lot....if it cracks...sometimes that happens, I "FIX IT" by arranging pecan halves over the top and dribbling syrup over it. I'm sure your cheesecake will "taste" better than store bought...I'd gift it anyway!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Cheesecake Woes by Gourmet_Mom (Well, that is hard t...)
No I did not use a water bath. Had Sears come out to check my ovens last Friday and they are OK. I also purchased an oven thermometer from Williams-Sonoma this weekend and it is reading accurately.
  Re: Re: Cheesecake Woes by wheatleyp1 (No I did not use a w...)
Beyond the waterbath...were your eggs good? room temp? HMMM?

Dunno....maybe someone else can help. Especially since you've not had the problem before.
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Cheesecake Woes by Gourmet_Mom (Beyond the waterbath...)
I'd go with Daphne's solution. Put some toasted pecans on top drizzled with some caramel or fudge chocolatey stuff. You can't fix the crack now. I'd say it was because you didn't use a water bath.
  Re: Re: Cheesecake Woes by HomeCulinarian (I'd go with Daphne's...)
I am a huge fan of water baths and do agree with the "decorating" ideas of the others. Cheesecake is one of the few desserts I love to make. I have over 100 different cheesecake recipes and some of those can be modified to give me nearly a cheesecake a day for an entire year. Both sweet and savoury cakes!
"Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected, by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table."-Charles Pierre Monselet, French author(1825-1888)
  Re: Cheesecake Woes by wheatleyp1 (One of my girlfriend...)
Hi wheatleyp1,

I just made a cheesecake for my department's holiday party and when I pulled out the recipe, I discovered I had saved an article with a lot of info to make a succcessful cheesecake.

Work with proper temperatures: The cream cheese should be at troom temp for more complete blending and silken results. Remove eggs from the fridge just long enough in advance to remove the chill. You've already invested in an oven temp to make sure it's correct.

Prepare the pan: Grease the sides of the pan adequately so that as it cools, it will release the cake and not cause any cracking. I actually cut a circle of parchment for the bottom so I can remove the cake from the pan to plate it.

Mix the cake carefully: Beat the mixture at low speed, adding eggs one at a time and beating until each egg is blended.Beating the mixture at high speeds will incorporate too much air into the batter and produces an inferior consistency. Fold in any chunky ingredients (chocolate chips, nuts, candied fruit) at the very end, stirring just enough to fully incorporate.

Add moisture to the oven: a humid environment helps to keeep a fine cheesecake from drying out during baking. Position a samll ovenproof pan on the lower rack of the oven, and fill it halfway with hot to boiling water. Bake the cake on a rack positioned above the panful of water.

Know when it's done: Curb your curiosity to keep opening the oven door and peaking in. Trust your recipe and bake to the minimal amount of time recommended before testing.

Loosen immediately: Leave the springform locked, but carefully runa thin spatula or knife blade around the inside of the springform. This loosens any stickier parts before the pan is removed.

Let it rest: Allow 10 minutes before adding any glaze or other topping.

Cool it in the fridge: Author Myra Chanin recommends to run your cake directly from the oven to the fridge, or the cheesecake will develop cracks and fissures. Allow 4-5 hours, but overnight is preferable. (My recipe says to bake it for an hour, turn off the oven, and let it cool in the oven for 5 hours and it came out beatifully. I then chilled it overnight in the fridge.)

Garnish it beforehand: Many toppings will drip, break down, or stain the cake. Your best bet is to decorate the cake no more than one to three hours before serving it.

Serve it "warm": Remove the cheesecake about 30-40 minutes before serving. This will eliminate the chill and allows the rich, dairy subtleties to shine through.

Okay all, don't shoot the messenger, but that was a synopsis of whole article. I used "Chantal's New York Cheesecake" recipe from It has over 1800+ 5-star reviews and is the easiest recipe I've ever encountered. It came out with lightly browned edges, and was light and smooth. It was a hit with my department manager!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Then find someone whose life has given them vodka.
  Re: Re: Cheesecake Woes by BarbaraS (Hi wheatleyp1,[br][b...)
Yup, must use a water bath for a moist oven.
Don't wait too long to tell someone you love them.

  Re: Re: Cheesecake Woes by BarbaraS (Hi wheatleyp1,[br][b...)
Barbara thanks. There is a lot of things I did not do correctly. As far as the water bath can you explain how that works. Do you actually sit the pan in a bath of water or is the pan of water placed in the oven for the humidity?

I appreciate the tips from everyone. My cream cheese was at room temp but my eggs were not.
  Re: Re: Cheesecake Woes by wheatleyp1 (Barbara thanks. The...)
From what I read of Barbara's post, she puts the pan on a shelf UNDER the cheese cake. I wrap my springform pan in foil, set it in my roasting pan, place on oven rack and add about an inch of hot water to the roasting pan.
Keep your mind wide open.

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