Cheesecake is a popular dessert admired by everyone. Several styles have been incorporated with the dish,which made each cheesecake unique. The basic ingredients are now being substituted with modern ingredients to complement the modern palette.
Ever since the dawn of time, mankind has been trying to achieve perfection in every actions that they make- and cheesecake is no exception. Fortunately, there are several guidelines that can help one create the perfect and delightful treat that has been available for several centuries.
Learn the Basics
In the United States, cheesecake has become one of the most popular desserts. The several cheesecake variations have also been subject to debates by several culinary experts. There are some who like creamy and rich cheesecake, while others favor the dense New York style cheesecake. Additionally, there is the airy and light variety and the myriad of crusts, which range from the classic graham cracker to the Oreo cookie. The whole subject of cheesecake perfection is confusing but regardless of the type that you prefer, there are few secrets in baking cheesecakes like a pro.
First off, remember to use first rate and quality ingredients. Only opt for AA grade large eggs and always remember that full-fat cream cheese can produce the taste and texture that you are looking for. Fat-free varieties of cheeses are only apt for baking cheesecake that is chalky, soft, and slightly rubbery inside.
Next, choose heavy cream that is pasteurized instead of ultra pasteurized. Make sure that the sour cream you are about to use has not actually spoiled or soured. Additionally, make sure that all of the ingredients are stored at room temperature before you begin mixing, most especially the cream cheese. If the ingredient is hard and cold, it will only create a lumpy cheesecake and beating it to death will also not help.
In order to achieve a creamy almost custard-like, moist and rich cheesecake, remember to bake the cake in a water bath, also known as a bain-marie. Cheesecakes that are baked using this method are insulated from the direct dry heat of the oven. Always remember that cheesecakes benefit from the gentle even heat a water bath can provide much like the bread pudding, flan and crème brulee.
Lastly, the fruits are best reserved for use as toppings since their flavors can get lost and muddled in the cheesecake when baked together with the cake. Plain cheesecakes topped with fresh berries finished with liquefied preserves or cooled fruit compotes will provide a stunning presentation and optimum taste.
Extra Helpful Tips
Always avoid on beating the cheesecake filling excessively. Doing so would only incorporate additional air and cause cracking on the surface of the cheesecake. In addition to baking, make use of a spring-form pan, with removable side and bottom. Place the pan on a baking sheet in order to aid in avoiding leaks in the oven.
During the actual baking process, make sure that the cheesecake is placed on the center rack of the oven. Do not be enticed to open the oven during the first 30 to 40 minutes as drafts can create cracks and cause the cheesecake to fall.
Over-baking should also be avoided. Always be aware that baking times are not always exact because of several oven variations. Make sure that the edges are puffed and the center slightly “jiggly” and moist; these are the most common indications of a perfectly baked cheesecake.