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Cheesecake help

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am having a consistent problem with my cheesecakes, the center is soft and the outer edge is harder. I bake in a convection oven at 275 deg. in a water bath for 1 hour. I leave the cake in the oven with the door closed for 30 min. then with the door ajar for another 30 min. to cool. Is anything I am doing the cause of this problem?
I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks for your help.
post #2 of 16

By water bath do you mean

you line the bottom and sides of the pan with foil and bake it like a brulee, or just have a pan of water underneith on a separate shelf?

In the first instance it takes awhile for water to come to temp unless you start with boiling water. I would guess from a physics standpoint you're actually "baking" the outside of the cake at 212 rather than a highter temp.

I've only used that method once and didn't really like the result. (It was requested) Plus I baked it for longer at 325. Unfortunately the water never really gets over 212. I don't think an hour for the initial bake is long enough.

My favorite method is 325 with a pan of hot water in the bottom. The idea is to keep the air moist to prevent cracking but the overall cooking temp still gets to what you set the oven for. Then follow the slow cool down in the oven like you do.

Of course this is also for a very thick NY style. Another factor would be how thick your cheesecake is plus elevation. As in where do you live? That can affect the results as well.

Yeah, they can be tricky and you have to pretty much babysit them towards the end of your cooking time, but hey...

post #3 of 16


Good afternoon. It seems to me that you are doing everything right. First make certain your actual temp. is accurate. There are ovens that often fail to keep up with the oven dial reading. Assuming that it is the only other thing I can think of is are you baking this cheesecake in a greater than a 10 inch cake pan or perhaps a 9X13X2 inch pan or something simialiar ????? If you are that is your problem. There is a remedy for it.
Good luck & enjoy the upcoming holiday.

~Z~ BESTUS.:chef:
post #4 of 16
If you have the option of cutting the fan or using the conventional oven option then I would do that. I'm also assuming that when you leave the cc in the oven for 30 min. you are totally shut down, no fan. Also maybe go all the way up the sides with the foil if it's a thin gauge pan.
oh, and please post what you do as far as a water bath.
post #5 of 16
well I would have to agree with Panini. Cut the is going to crisp the outside of the cake and make the inside still soft...which is exactly what you are describing...
Keep the waterbath!!!! it is for cracks yes, but mostly for the evenness of me, the water bath is something you want to keep...If you have seen cheesecakes that have almost a rim around the sides and the middle of the cake is lower...that is what happens when not using a water bath(most of the time). So keep that water bath.
I would suggest, like someone else did, bringing your temp up to around 325...that is pretty standard temp for try it out...try those two things I mentioned and then see how it works...

post #6 of 16

cheese cake

This is a lovely cheesecake, and I have made notes on all the changes I made to get it right
If you prefer you can use a crumb crust. I do the pastry one. I also slice it when completely cold ,then placed 2 small pieces of food grade thin plastic between each slice and froze the whole thing, removing only what I want when I want it, It does make 12 good serving slices.

My corrections to recipe were added after 3 attempts to get it right

It is worth making
Mrs Marx Cheesecake.
Preheat to 275º

5 eggs

1 1/2 lb cottage cheese

1 1/8 cup sugar

1/2 pint sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons flour or cornstarch

Beat eggs until fluffy add sugar and then the cheese, mixing in well after each addition. Add flour or cornstarch, vanilla and salt.blending well, finally add sour cream. I completely mix by hand, or else it gets to light with too much air in cheese mixture and it puffs up like a soufflé, and then it will scorch on the top.

Completely line 9 inch spring form pan with pastry,
pour in batter. Dot with butter and a light sprinkle of cinnamon . Bake 1 hour 45 mins, DO NOT OPEN DOOR DURING BAKING OF FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS AFTER BAKING. Let stand in oven another 4 hours till quite cool. remove from oven to completely cool. chill overnight, remove pan.

Now the recipe says preheat oven 375º. Don't . 275 º is just fine.

The recipe calls for 1 1/2 lb cottage cheese,

I use 1 lb cottage plus 1/2 lb Philadelphia regular.

The recipe says dot with butter.

I don't, it sods up the surface of finished cheesecake.

It say's sprinkle with cinnamon, again I don't, why spoil the cheese cake taste with cinnamon.

It is tricky to make in as much as the pastry shell with the mixture in it can be tricky.

Don't have your pastry too thick, and don't have any holes splits or what ever in it or you will get a leak and it will look crappy.

I use 10% cottage cheese.

This cake freezes well..........................
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Cheesecake help

Thanks everyone for the help.
I use a 9" x 3" pan, I do not line the pan, since it is not a spring form.
For the water bath I place the cheese cake pan on a cookie sheet and add water.
I can try to cut off the fan & bake in a conventional oven at the higher temp, however, since I bake 2-3 cake at a time, would I need to rotate the cakes to keep them cooking evenly?

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the lovely cheesecake recipe...
post #9 of 16

Rotating? Well, that would depend.

Have you noticed serious uneven browning of items in the past? So far I haven't found a single oven that heats absolutely consistently, so I'm guessing yes, but yours might be the exception.

Unfortunately that also means opening the damned oven. Highly NOT recommended. So in that case a lower temp might be preferable but bake longer.

Using water is essential, but I still maintain that having a large 3 or 4" pan of water in the bottom of your oven is better. If you did have to rotate :eek: you could get away with less time messing with them and not dealing with splashing superheated water everywhere. You're not really trying to bake it using water, you're keeping it hydrated while it bakes. I guess you might want to try each method and see which one does the best for what result you're looking for. My version is more of the Jewish NYC thing that I learned 20 years or so ago.

Also doesn't your cookie sheet run dry way before your cakes are done?

The water baths I've used are 3 or 4" half or full pans and run the water up about an inch or sometimes halfway?

I'm curious though. How do you get it out without damage not lining or not using a springform?

post #10 of 16
When i do waterbaths I use a turkey roasting pan(about 3-4 inches deep) that way you dont have to worry about adding more water or getting boiling water on you when taking it out...I would try a deeper dish if possible...the water isn't just for the crust is for the entire cooking of the cheesecake...that is why I use a waterbath with the cheesecake in it...

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
I butter the sides of the pan well. Then once the cheese cake is done & has cooked in the oven for about 30 min. I rotate the pan so that the cake is released from the sides & somewhat loosened from the bottom. When thoroughly cooled, I flip the cheesecake.
I will try the water bath with a deeper pan & see if that is helpful.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I ment "Then once the cheese cake is done & has cooled in the oven for about 30 min."
post #13 of 16
Can you also try to point a corner of the pan at the fan. It just seems to me like this would be more aerodynamic. Just curious, I never use convection, but I think the less resistance in the air movement the better. OMGosh, a whole new exploration. I'm sure someone has don it.
post #14 of 16

I agree...

I don't like using those stupid fans either. I know it's supposed to distribute the heat better but I haven't found that to be the case.

Plus some of them are WAY too enthusiastic. You open it and lose half of your facial hair and anything in the oven that's not tied down!

post #15 of 16
Just a quick side note about WATER BATHS!

Make sure when you open the over you keep your face away...the steam in the oven will burn your skin...been there and it ain't pretty lol...

post #16 of 16
Thank you for that mental picture:lol:
I had a couple of convection ovens up till a few yrs ago. I must say, that when properly adjusted ( meaning tech coming in a placing a visual reostat on the oven fans so that we could adjust them) we were able to produce beautiful cakes without the the Keystone Cops thing we do now when we rotate.
Off subject, I have only offered seed money to two people in my career. One was this guy who did the fans on my oven. We probably could have made millions with an add on product until the manufactures woke up and made it a standard. The other was a man who made me 3 phase convertor boxes for my equipment. This allows me to run 3 phase equipment with only single phase coming in. 3 phase equipment like large mixers and such can be had for pennies on the dollar because a lot of new places are running single phase. He's a good ole boy and produces a small amount of these. A million dollars just waiting to be had. Disclaimer, I know there is converter boxes out there that do this, but nothing like mine. Been running 60 qt to 120 qt mixers for years on the same converter. Which can be installed by anyone including me:D
sorry, way off topic. sometimes wonder what goes on upstairs in my head
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