To easily remove cheesecake from a springform pan I follow these simple steps:
1. Unlatch springform pan.
2. Flip the base of the pan upside down so that the lip is facing down (the lip usually creates the problem when unmoulding).
3. Line the base of the pan with parchment paper leaving a two inch border.
4. Reassemble the springform pan.
5. After cooling and refrigerating cheesecake unlatch the springform pan and with the help of an offset spatula slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate or cardboard round. Because the lip is facing down sliding the cake off the paper is easy.
My best tips for preparing cheesecake (some have been mentioned above):
1. Bake crust first and just before adding filling grease sides of the springform fan with softened butter.
2. Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before beginning.
3. Beat on low speed and just to incorporate ingredients (beating too much air into the batter can cause cracks but it can also cause the cheesecake to collapse in the centre).
4. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl often but it's also important to scrape the paddle attachment.
5. To ensure a creamy, smooth filling, strain through a fine mesh sieve. This step catches any bits of cream cheese but will also help to remove any air bubbles that may have formed while mixing the batter.
6. Preheat oven until the oven chime goes off but then preheat for an extra 15 minutes to ensure the oven is at perfect temperature.
7. Bake in a water bath (160 C or 325 F until set around edges but still jiggles slightly in the centre when the pan is gently shaken - cheesecake will continue to set as it cools) ensuring the springform pan is wrapped tightly with a few layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. Do not open oven door within the first 30 minutes of baking time. And do not open the oven door too often to check for doneness; every time you open the oven door, the temperature decreases and will extend the baking time.
8. Cool cheesecake in springform pan away from drafts running a thin knife around the edges to prevent the cheesecake from cracking as it cools. The cheesecake will shrink as it cools, greasing the sides and running a thin knife around the edges after removing from the oven will allow the cake to pull away from the sides of the pan easily rather than pulling the edges away from the centre. (I often place a wire rack directly on the stovetop so that the cheesecake cools slowly). When completely cooled, transfer to the refrigerator in the springform pan loosely covered and chill for 24 hours but for best results 2 days. This not only allows the flavours to develop but the cheesecake will set to a perfect consistency.
9. For best flavour, serve cheesecake at room temperature but cut slices when cheesecake is cold (much easier to slice a chilled cheesecake). Cut slices using a knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry with a kitchen towel (repeat with each cut).