It's true bakers like to make things sound complicated. Put a pan of water in the oven with the cheesecake as it bakes, prop the door open slightly, reduce the temperature while it's baking. Always blend the ingredients in a certain order. Sure, these techniques work great, but the simple fact of the matter is, making a cheesecake is a lot easier than it's made out to be. Read on for a few simple tips for making a perfect dessert every time.
The first thing you'll want to do is make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature so they'll blend together smoothly. You can leave your cream cheese, eggs and other ingredients to thaw on the counter for about 30 minutes. To speed this process up, you can microwave ingredients like cream cheese and chocolate. Place your ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave them for 15 seconds at a time until your ingredients are soft and close to room temperature.
When you mix your filling, be careful not to over beat. This will incorporate too much air in the batter and will affect the texture. Use a spring form pan and cut the cake away from the edges with a thin knife or spatula right when it comes out of the oven. This will keep the surface uniformly smooth as cheesecake slightly reduces in size at it cools. It will also help prevent unsightly cracks and edges that are higher than the center of the surface. Place the spring form pan on a baking sheet and line the bottom and the sides with aluminum foil to avoid leaks in the oven. Use a shallow pan of water in rack below cheesecake to keep oven moist.
Don't peek, keep the oven door shut during the first 30 minutes of baking. Your cheesecake is ready when you can tap the side of the pan and the center barely jiggles, or is almost set. Don't worry, it'll solidify as it cools and the result will be creamy and smooth.
- 1½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 40 oz cream cheese
- 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- In medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, egg yolk and butter into a ball.
- Wrap in plastic and chill about 10 minutes, then roll out your dough to about ¼ inch in thickness and 11 inches in diameter.
- Press along and up the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan.
- Place crust in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, let cool.
- Increase oven temperature to 475°F.
- Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well blended.
- Add flour and continue beating until smooth.
- Stir in orange and lemon zest, then eggs, one by one, beating on low speed after each addition.
- Last, blend in heavy cream.
- Pour filling over crust.
- Bake 20 minutes then reduce heat to 200°F and continue baking for 55 to 65 minutes or until center is almost set.
- Run a thin knife or metal spatula along the rim of the pan to loosen cake.
- Cover; refrigerate 4 hours to overnight.
- Remove cheesecake from pan.
- Top with fresh fruit, strawberries or raspberries are great with this one.
- Eat and enjoy.
- Cover and refrigerate any leftover dessert.