Thanks to the Kraft cheesecake web site, I’ve taken some of their tips for various issues that have cropped up as I was making cheesecake. I’d like to add that you will find it easier if you can raise your springform pan when you’re going to remove the cake from it (ie: putting it on a large jar). It will make the removal process easier.
To Prevent Cracking:
- Avoid opening oven door while baking cheesecake. Big cracks across the cheesecake are most often caused by drafts.
- Avoid overbaking! Check for doneness at minimum baking time.
- Cheesecake is done when the edges are slightly puffed. The center area should be about the size of a silver dollar and appear soft and moist. The centre will firm upon cooling.
- Once you remove a cheesecake from the oven, run a thin metal spatula or knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen it from the side of the springform pan. Do not unlatch or remove rim of springform pan during cooling.
- Cool cheesecake on rack in draft-free location for 1 hour.
- Refrigerate uncovered 3 to 4 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap or foil across the top of pan; secure. Refrigerate overnight.
Use a springform pan:
A springform pan with a removable outer rim allows for easy release of cheesecake while leaving crust intact.
- Use a heavy-gauge pan and the size called for in recipe for even baking.
- Spray sides of pan lightly with cooking spray before filling to help prevent cheesecake from sticking and cracking.
While preparing filling, heat oven to recommended temperature to ensure proper heat level when ready to bake.
- Bake cheesecakes on middle rack of oven unless recipe indicates otherwise.
- Help prevent cheesecake from cracking, by baking it in a moist oven. Place a 13 x 9-inch baking pan half-filled with hot tap water on bottom rack of oven while cheesecake bakes on middle rack.
Do not over-beat:
Over-stirring can add too much air into batter, which can cause cheesecake to crack.
- Beat in eggs, one at time, on low speed until just blended. You can also stir eggs in by hand with a spatula.
- Gently stir in flavouring ingredients, such as chocolate, fruit or nuts, at the end of mixing process or as directed in recipe.
Opening the oven door while cheesecake is baking causes drafts that may lead to cracking.
- Cheesecake is done if the top is slightly puffy and set except for a small area in the centre that should still appear soft and jiggly (about the size of a loonie). This will set upon cooling.
- Do not insert a knife to check for doneness as this will cause cracking upon cooling.
- When done, remove cheesecake from oven and place on wire rack.
To prevent cracking, immediately run a knife or thin metal spatula around edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. Do not unlock fastener or remove from pan right away.
- Cool cheesecake, away from drafts, for about an hour before refrigerating.
- To remove from pan, unlatch fastener and lift straight up, away from cheesecake.
- Refrigerate cheesecake for time indicated in recipe or overnight to allow flavours to blend.