How to Bake a Perfect Cheesecake. Step-by-Step Tips

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cheesecakeCheesecake is one of favourite American cakes. But it isn't easy to make this cake. There are lots of different peculiarities which you should know, because it is very easy to spoil a cheesecake. If it falls or cracks, it is ruined. So be very attentive and follow all the rules when baking it. Especially be careful with time and temperature. Good luck.


Ingredients (one of variations):

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (or other crumbs)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounce) cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs


Step 1. Choose the right baking pan. The best is springform, because it is removed easily. Other types of pan also can be used, but they're much less convenient. Put parchment paper on the bottom and grease it well with butter or oil.

Step 2. Prepare the ingredients. If you want your cheesecake to be high and beautiful, don't use ingredients right from the fridge. Let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Especially it should be done with eggs and cream cheese. If you don't have that time, put your soft cheese to the microwave for 30-45 seconds. But be careful not to overheat the cheese.

Step 3. Prepare the crust mixture. Melt the butter and add to dry ingredients. Make sure the mixture is homogeneous and moist. Pres this crust into the pan – the bottom and sides of the pan. The crust should be a little bit higher than the filling.

Step 4. Prepare the filling. Beat cream cheese, flour, and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then add some sour cream, heavy cream (or milk), and beat with a mixer. After that add eggs.

While mixing eggs together add them one at a time. You shouldn't beat air into the mixture, because your cake will fall. Also don't overbeat the mixture to avoid cracking.

Your filling for the cheesecake should be smooth, creamy and airy. Of course, it also should be very homogeneous, without any lumps. The color of the mixture is light beige.

Step 5. Mixture to the pan. Slowly and carefully pour the mixture into the crust-lined pan. Spread it and make the surface even and smooth.

Step 6. Put the pan to the preheat oven. There are 2 ways of baking a cheesecake: ordinary baking and using a water bath.

In the first case just put the springform pan strictly in the middle of an oven. Don't open the oven door during the first 30 minutes of baking – drafts can ruin your cake. Also don't cover the pan while cheesecake is baking and cooling. It can make the cake fall.

If you're baking your cheesecake using a water bath, follow these recommendations. Preheat the oven. If you are using a springform pan, wrap aluminum foil completely around its bottom and halfway up the sides. This will prevent water from seeping into the removable bottom. Take a pan with high sides and put the springform pan with your cake into it. Put both pans into the oven. Pour hot water to the outer pan. During the process of baking add water if necessary.

Usually a cheesecake is baking for 1 hour and a quarter or 1 hour and a half. But it depends on your recipe.

Step 7. Ready or not. Cheesecake is very soft, so it is hard to decide whether it's ready. The best way to check is to measure the temperature inside the cake. It should be around 160-165 degrees F (70-72 degrees C). If it's lower, let your cheesecake bake for some more time. But! Don't let the temperature get higher then 165 degrees, because the cake will crack. It is better to turn off the oven at 150 degrees in the center of cheesecake, and let it stand inside the oven for some time.

Step 8. Cooling. Cheesecake needs a lot of time to cool completely. Better to let it overnight. Don't put it to the fridge at once, let it cool slowly. About 15 minutes after baking loosen the sides of the cake with a small sharp knife. After another 30 minutes unlock the sides of the springform. Get your cheesecake out of a pan.

Step 9. Serving. You can leave the cake as it is or use any decorations before serving. It may be chocolate chips or fudge, chopped nuts, fruit sauce or raw fruits, etc. After 4-12 hours of cooling you may cut your cheesecake. Dip the knife into a hot water and dry with a towel each time before cutting.


Here are several great recipes of a cheesecake:

Mixed berry and white chocolate cheesecake

Ingredients:

Biscuit base:
* 250 g (9 oz) digestive (oatmeal) biscuits
* 125 g (4 1/2 oz) butter, melted
Cheesecake:
* 150 g (5 oz) white chocolate
* 275 ml (9 fl oz) double (thickened) cream
* 1 sachet powdered gelatine
* 200 g (7 oz) Philadelphia light cream cheese
* a few drops vanilla essence
Topping:
* 400 g (14 oz) mixed summer berries, e.g. strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, redcurrants
* 2 tbsp raspberry jam
* 2 tsp water
* 50 g (2 oz) white chocolate


Wholemeal lemon cheesecake

Ingredients:

* 75g (3 oz) wholemeal flour
* 25g (1 oz) ground hazelnuts
* 50g (2 oz) Stork margarine
* 25g (1 oz) castor sugar
Topping:
* 250g (8 oz) low fat soft cheese
* 50g (2 oz) castor sugar
* Grated rind of 1 lemon
* 100ml (4 fl oz) whipping cream
* 2 eggs, beaten
* Few drops vanilla essence


Honey cheesecake

Ingredients:

3 oz butter
6 oz sweet biscuits, crushed
1 lb cream cheese
4 oz caster sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1/4 pint sour cream
3 tablespoons clear honey
For the decoration:
7 oz cherry pie filling
1/4 pint double cream, whipped

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