Cheesecake should only be a source of pure bliss for everyone. There should be no frustration, distress and no tears at all. Everyone dreams about making the perfect cheesecake, but it takes time and effort to learn the secret of how to do it. Even if there is a crumbling crust or crack in your cheesecake, it will still taste just as delicious. But, when you are putting in your time and money into making such a decadent dessert, you want to do everything to make it just perfect. Wouldn’t it be great to bake a cheesecake that doesn’t have a single-crack on top? It is undoubtedly a huge baking success and one worth bragging about.
You can certainly show off to your friends and family. But, to be able to do it, you first need to make it happen. Chef Ido Fishman explains how you can make the perfect cheesecake. To get started, these are the ingredients that you will first need:
- Cream cheese
- Graham crackers
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract
Once you have the ingredients you need, you can start making the perfect cheesecake. However, before doing so, Chef Ido Fishman suggests that you fully understand what it means to have a perfect cheesecake. There are certain qualities it should have, such as it should be creamy, smooth, with no crumbling crust and no crack and should melt in your mouth with every bite. The cheesecake should taste like heaven and look fabulous.
Now, are you ready? Here are some of the instructions you can follow for creating the perfect cheesecake. With these instructions, you will be able to make the best, smooth and creamy vanilla cheesecake with a no-crumbling, perfect crust:
Step 1: Preparing the Pan
Take a sheet of parchment paper and trace the pan on it, as the bottom of the springform pan needs to be lined. This can be helpful later on when you want to remove the cheesecake from the pan. You can just slide the knife under the parchment for removing cheesecake from the bottom of the pan. Use aluminum foil for wrapping the bottom of the pan, as this will prevent the water from getting into the pan.
Step 2: Making the Crust
Take a mixing bowl and combine sugar, graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in it. Press it up the sides and into the bottom of the pan. It can be quite helpful to use a flat bottom measuring cup.
Step 3: Making the Batter
You need to beat the cream cheese until it has turned creamy. Add some sugar and then mix the two. Next, you need to add vanilla, sour cream and flour and then mix all of them properly.
Step 4: Baking the Cheesecake
Once the batter is ready, it is now time for you to add beaten eggs into it and then mix them slowly, until they are incorporated. The batter should be poured in a pan and then set in a roasting pan. Some hot water should now be added and then you can put the cheesecake into the oven.
Along with these steps, there are some expert tips provided by Chef Ido Fishman that can help you in making the perfect cheesecake that you have always dreamt about.
Want to know what they are? Let’s take a look:
- Bake the cheesecake in a water bath
If you want a top that doesn’t have a single crack, then you should definitely follow this tip. You will have to add some extra five minutes to your preparation time, but it is worth the gift it gives. Take two sheets of aluminum foil and line the springform pan with them. Next, place this pan in a roasting pan. Take two cups of water and boil them. When you are ready to bake the cheesecake, pour the boiled water into the roasting pan enough that it comes up to an inch up the sides of the pan. However, make sure it doesn’t go too high or else it will flood your cheesecake. The water can be refilled after you have baked it for 50 minutes.
- Always go with a springform pan
You do have the option of using a pie pan or a regular cake pan, but trying to get the cheesecake out of these would be a major challenge. In fact, there is a strong chance that you will end up with a mess. But, as Chef Ido Fishman says, if you go with a springform pan, its sides will help you in releasing the cake, so you can show it off and slice it perfectly.
- Use softened cream cheese for a smooth texture
The cream cheese needs to be very soft. It should be so soft that you require a knife for scraping it off the silver wrapper. If the cream cheese doesn’t have a soft enough texture, there will be small chunks of it in the batter and it will not give you a smooth texture. If you are making a pumpkin or chocolate cheesecake and every slice has small white dots in it, then it means that the cream cheese was not as soft as required.
- Be cautious about the cheese to egg ratio
If you take a look at all the great cheesecake recipes, you will realize that the eggs to cream cheese ratio is 1:1. Hence, if you are using three 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, then you will have to use three eggs. According to Chef Ido Fishman, this is the secret to a perfectly dense, rich and creamy cheesecake.
- Making the perfect graham cracker crust for a cheesecake
This is of the utmost importance if you want a perfect flat crust that will come out in one piece when you slice the cheesecake. You don’t want half the crust of your slice to remain stuck to the pan. If you want the best base for the filling, then you will want crust to be quite flat i.e. without any hills. You need to use ½ cup of melted butter for every 1 and ½ cup of cookie crumbs, which can be traditionally graham cracker crumbs, but also Oreo’s, gingersnaps and Ritz crackers. This ratio is recommended by experts for 8 or 9 inch cheesecakes.
This ratio has been recommended by experts and it is the perfect combination because it is not excessive enough that it gets stuck in the corners and allows you to make a strong base for your filling. If you pre-bake the crust for about 7 to 8 minutes, it will become hard enough to prevent it from crumbling when you slice the cake. For making 1 and a ½ cup of graham cracker crumbs, 10 sheets of 4 crackers each will be required that are attached to each other.
- Adding Greek yogurt and flour
Even though this might come off as a little strange, but it is a good idea to add some Greek yogurt (sour cream) and a little bit of flour to your cake batter. This will help in improving the texture of the cake to make it smooth and the end result will be perfectly creamy. Typically, 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour are good for cheesecakes.
- Be cautious about the oven temperature
Keep things slow and low. The cheesecake requires some time to bake. You are definitely not baking cookies, so there is no need for you to hurry it up. Rather than 350 degrees or 375 degrees, it is better to bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees. This will prevent the cheesecake from burning the top or over-baking. Keep the size of the pan in mind when you are making adjustments to the time.
- Cool the cheesecake in the oven for an hour after baking with the door open
Once the timer of your oven goes off to inform you that baking time is over, you can turn it off. However, open the door slightly and stick a wooden spoon inside for leaving it that way. You should leave the cheesecake in the oven for about an hour in these conditions. This is another secret that will give you a no-crack top.
- Use a knife to loosen the sides, but don’t take the ring off
After you have allowed the cheesecake to cool for an hour in the oven, loosen it up by sliding the knife around the sides. At this time, you shouldn’t take off the ring of the springform pan. Chef Ido Fishman says that if you don’t loosen the edges, then your cheesecake will crack because it will pull away during cooling. Let the cake chill in the pan and you will be able to achieve a crack-free cheesecake.
- Let the cheesecake chill
It is absolutely crucial for you to chill the cheesecake. This is the ultimate secret to having a perfectly dense, smooth and creamy texture that you want. It is a good idea to plan ahead when you are making a cheesecake and leave enough time for it to chill overnight. This will make a huge difference in how your cake turns out.
What to Do if the Cheesecake Cracks?
If the cheesecake is slightly overbaked, then you will probably see some cracks on the sides. The good news is that these will close when the cake is cooling down. But, if the crack appears in the middle of the cheesecake, there is not much that you will be able to accomplish, except using a topping to cover it, such as chocolate ganache, sour cream or pie filling.
How to Remove the Cheesecake from the Pan?
If you want to present the entire cake on a cake stand, then you will have to remove it whole. In order to do so, Chef Ido Fishman recommends that you line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Once the side ring of the pan is removed, you should remove the bottom of the pan by sliding the knife underneath the parchment paper. The paper also comes in handy for removing individual slices without the crust breaking or crumbling.
Storing and Freezing
As mostly dairy is used for making the cheesecake, you should keep it in the fridge. Unless the cake has any topping, you should place a plastic wrap over it. If there are any leftovers, those should also be kept in the fridge. It is possible to freeze an entire cheesecake or you can slice it into individual servings, use a plastic wrap for wrapping each, put it in a freezer-safe container and store it for up to 1 month.
Things you Shouldn’t Worry About
As per experts like Chef Ido Fishman, there will be a few moments when you will think that everything is lost. Some people get worried when they see small bits of cream cheese in the batter. This could be because the cream cheese was a bit chilly. No one wants to see large lumps, but these tiny speckles will not make a difference because they will melt into the cheesecake when it melts and will not destroy the appearance of your finished cake.
Similarly, a little water in the pan can also freak people out. Even if a little water works its way through the foil and leaks in your pan, you shouldn’t worry about it. Initially, the outside edge of the crust will come off as a bit soggy, but once you keep it in the fridge overnight, it will not ruin your cake.
Another thing that you shouldn’t worry about is the wrong pan size. If your recipe calls for a 9-inch cheesecake, but you have a 10-inch pan, it can still be used. According to Chef Ido Fishman, the pan size will affect the height of the cheesecake and the cooking time needed since thinner cheesecakes cook a bit more quickly, but at the end of the day, the texture and flavor will be unaffected. You will have the perfect cheesecake, just as you wanted.