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falling cheesecake

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Is there a sure-fire way of preventing a baked cheesecake
from falling?

No matter how gradually it's allowed to cool, gravity wins every time..:(

Hope someone will offer a solution...thanks in advance,
post #2 of 27
My tried and true solution to this problem is two-fold:

1) When you add your eggs to the cream cheese mixture, beat them up first and add them a bit at a time, beating on the lowest speed possible. Scrape the sides of the bowl to smooth out lumps and then add the remaining eggs. What you want to avoid here is beating air into the eggs, and hence the mixture. During baking these air bubbles expand, but since there is no flour to support them they burst upon cooling and the center collapses as all souffles do eventually.

2) Bake your cheesecake in a water bath. In other words, place your cheesecake pan in a larger cake pan, then fill pan with water 2/3 up the side of your cheesecake pan. It will take longer to bake, but it will bake evenly and with little sinking or collapsing in the center. You may want to wrap the outside of your springform pan with foil to keep the water from seeping in through the joints. When the center of your cheesecake is set, but still a little jiggly, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool in the water bath until room temp, then chill.

Good Luck, I hope this works for you, it always does for me.

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post #3 of 27
Maybe you will find the following thread usefull as well.
One of my favourites in CT :)

Problems Baking Cheesecake
"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
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"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
Reply
post #4 of 27
It may not be the method of cooling which is making your cheesecake fall but rather any number of variables from how you made it, what order you incorporated your ingredients in and how, time and temperature of baking and cooling, and more.

Why don't you try the following recipe, see if it works for you and let us know how it turns out for you.

Sour Cream Cheesecake

:chef:
post #5 of 27

Cheesecake falling solutions

Hooray! A topic that I can finally post on as this is my only area of expertise. (I own an artisan cheesecake baking company in Portland, OR).

I agree with the others who are surmising that your method of combining the ingredients is most likely the culprit. It definitely sounds as if too much air is being beaten in with the eggs- add them one at a time on slowest speed possible and scrape both beater and bowl after each addition.

I do not use a water bath and I NEVER have cracked cheesecakes or ones that fall (since mine bake relatively flat and cool to absolutely flat) with the following practices:

1) When you preheat the oven, place a pie pan two thirds filled with water on the bottom shelf of your oven. I just use an aluminum one after I accidently broke a glass one that burned dry- oops! The steam from the water creates a similar effect as the water bath but it's a lot easier to deal with:bounce:

2) I bake all of my cheesecakes regardless of size or recipe at 325 degrees. I bake the 9 inch size for exactly 35 minutes and it is perfect every time (By the way I do pre-bake and fully cool every kind of crust be it shortbread or any kind of crumb crust first to enhance the crispness and longevity thereof). I also make the mini 4 inch size and bake those for 16 minutes at 325 degrees. The larger sizes will have an area in the center that appear undercooked the size of your palm or slightly bigger. Do not be alarmed! This will firm up while it rests on your cooling rack.

3) Grease (butter only) the inside of the entire spring form pan or Magic Line pan with the removable bottom (my favorite!) to help avoid the batter from creeping up the side and then falling. Also, after you have removed it after baking, let it cool approximately 7-8 minutes and then run a very thin bladed knife GENTLY around the very edge of the pan to separate the cake from the pan for the rest of the cooling process. It will make it much easier to remove from pan later. By the way, I actually cool the cheesecakes in their pans overnight before I remove them so that I avoid cracking them by removing the pan sides too soon ( a mistake I made several times earlier in my cheesecake forays due to being anxious to see it out of the pan)

Once you master one, you'll be hooked! Hope this helps! Let me know!!! Alison
Life is not worth living without cheese....
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Life is not worth living without cheese....
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post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

falling cheesecake

Oops!! Air, you say?? hmmmm.....:)

It is my husband who is the Cheesecake King at our house and
he usually manages to produce a wonderfully light, smooth,
creamy concoction that sits up straight (no slouching), but
this latest batch (all 12 of 'em) look positively deflated.

As he read your responses, I heard a distinct strangling noise,
so I asked (sweetly, of course), "were you in a hurry, dear?"

"I beat the ++++ out of it", said my king-sized Grump. lol

Ah well...live and learn..<g>

Thanks so much for your advice and for the speed with which you gave it!

My husband thanks you, all those who are waiting for his cheesecakes thank you ... and *I* thank you - the only thing
worse than a grumpy baker-husband is a husband who
never bakes!!

Thanks again...:)

K
post #7 of 27
Hey K!

Thanks for your kind response. I did want to mention that when I quoted the 35 minute bake time it is for my master recipe for a 9 inch pan which includes 3 8oz. packages cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, 3 whole eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and whatever else I'm mixing in the batter. I also line my pans with a parchment circle and because I prebake all of the custs, they are fim enough to be able to be lifted by hand from the bottom so I can peel the parchment off. :chef:

Happy baking to you and your hubby! Alison
Life is not worth living without cheese....
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Life is not worth living without cheese....
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post #8 of 27
BitnerSweets,
Your post about the water pan caught my eye. I would like more info on the steam theory. We have always used h2o baths. I always assumed it was to keep heat away from the sides of the pan. Is there a difference in texture when baked without steam VS bakes with steam. I have never baked our riccotta cakes or grain cakes w/h20, but now I'm wondering? any info would be appreciated.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you were to live forever. MG
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Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you were to live forever. MG
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post #9 of 27
panini,

The water in the bain mairie takes longer to heat and longer to cool than air, thus maintaining the temperature and making it much more stable and consistent and ensuring that the cheesecake (which is really a type of custard) cooks evenly.

There is an official scientific term for this phenomenon but I can't think of it off the top of my head. The recipe I posted above utilizes this method.

Only fill with water to 2/3 the height of the cake or you will be steaming it instead of baking.

:chef:
post #10 of 27

water bath leakage

With regard to using a water bath, does anyone besides me have the problem of moisture leaking into the springform pan from the water bath? I've tried wrapping the pan in aluminum foil but I notice moisture on the bottom of my cake pan. Is this just condensation or have I sprung a leak despite the foil?

I'd appreciate any advice on this problem.
You are what you eat.
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You are what you eat.
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post #11 of 27
homechef777,

Advice? Never use a spring form pan when utilizing a water bath. Use a regular, solid pan lined with parchment paper.
post #12 of 27

Steam theory

Hey panini- I was glad the moderator jumped in with a scientific reply. Because I am a home cook turned professional, I don't really have the background on all of the food science. I will tell you that in my personal experience, the cheesecakes baked in a steamy oven do not crack on me and are very creamy in nature, whereas the times where I did not use a pan of steaming water, they tended to develop hairline cracks all around the edges ( a sign of baking in too high of a temp or overbaking even though the time and temp were the same) and they cracked more often than not. I also found them to be slightly drier in their texture.
Life is not worth living without cheese....
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Life is not worth living without cheese....
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post #13 of 27

Bingo!

Aaahhh! "Water has a very high "specific heat" so it can absorb a lot of energy without changing temperature."

If you really want to know about making a cheesecake, check this out: The Trouble With Cheesecake

Read it all the way thru and I promise it will help. By the way, welcome to ChefTalk.

:)
post #14 of 27

I just recently  got  my  mom's cheesecake recipe , its  3 packages cream cheese , 1 cup sugar , 1 tsp  vanilla and 5 eggs ... she says  not to use room temp eggs ... and  she never uses a water bath of any kind and her cheesecakes are  always  perfect... I can't seem to keep mine  from  collapsing ... thats why I  searched and  found this  forum...   could she be  wrong on the egg  count ?  I have read several recipes here  one that actually calls for  cream  ( I am  assuming heavy cream )  that I want to try ....  but  egg issue has me confused   mom is 78 ..and she verbally  dictated the recipe to me over the phone  from memory ... but I  trust her LOL she is a proffessional baker :)  she has  been one for  60  years .....

post #15 of 27

regarding the water bath

i saw on tv that they put the springform pan into another bigger pan and that went into a water bath, i use the turkey roaster to put them in and it's perfect-no water leakage.-

my question is for mini cheesecakes is the pan of water in the bottom prevents them from falling?

I got the do not beat to much, part

post #16 of 27

The pan of water moderates the temperature of the cheesecake. Without it, the outer edge tends to over cook and become crumbly. Also by moderating the temperature of the cheesecake, it limits oven spring to a degree. Not as much lift so not as much fall. 

 

But really, a cheese cake should fall some. Cheesecake should have a density to it. While something lighter and airy and taller has  some appeal of it's own, it's something different from cheesecake. imho.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #17 of 27

Maximum height.

 

Cooling down in the oven, heat off for an hour. Still some lift left. After the full chill, it will be just above the rim of the pan. Run a knife around it, invert it out and plate it.

 

 

I gave up on spring form pans. I use a slicone cake pan. No need to worry about leaks at all. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #18 of 27

Oh my, that looks amazing @phatch ! You've just inspired me to bake a cheesecake tomorrow - after a long, long break...

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BitnerSweets View Post

Hey K!

Thanks for your kind response. I did want to mention that when I quoted the 35 minute bake time it is for my master recipe for a 9 inch pan which includes 3 8oz. packages cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, 3 whole eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and whatever else I'm mixing in the batter. I also line my pans with a parchment circle and because I prebake all of the custs, they are fim enough to be able to be lifted by hand from the bottom so I can peel the parchment off. :chef:

Happy baking to you and your hubby! Alison

 

I really hate bumping ancient threads (13 yrs, wow), and I'm assuming this person isn't still around...

 

That said, I was interested at the 35 minutes quoted here, which it seems every other 1.5lb cheesecake recipe I've seen has a substantially higher cook time (1 to 1.5 hrs).  As this person ran a bakery, I don't want to discount out of hand, but can any other cheesecake baker comment on this?

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coren View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BitnerSweets View Post

Hey K!

Thanks for your kind response. I did want to mention that when I quoted the 35 minute bake time it is for my master recipe for a 9 inch pan which includes 3 8oz. packages cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, 3 whole eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and whatever else I'm mixing in the batter. I also line my pans with a parchment circle and because I prebake all of the custs, they are fim enough to be able to be lifted by hand from the bottom so I can peel the parchment off. :chef:

Happy baking to you and your hubby! Alison

 

I really hate bumping ancient threads (13 yrs, wow), and I'm assuming this person isn't still around...

 

That said, I was interested at the 35 minutes quoted here, which it seems every other 1.5lb cheesecake recipe I've seen has a substantially higher cook time (1 to 1.5 hrs).  As this person ran a bakery, I don't want to discount out of hand, but can any other cheesecake baker comment on this?

 

 

Still on the hunt for a perfect cheesecake http://www.cheftalk.com/t/79925/cheesecake-help#post_461836 ?

 

It is hard to comment on a baking time without the full recipe and instructions including the type of oven being used.

 

What exactly are you wanting your cheesecake to do AKA what does the perfect cheesecake look like in your mind?

 

mimi

 

There was a member in the not too distant past (went by the handle boar_d_laze) who at one time posted what IMO was the perfect recipe.

Have been searching for the past 10 min (pretty long time for me to stay on task, lol) without luck.

He may have deleted it as the use of said recipe came with copywrite stipulations (I have the printed copy but hesitate to share).

Maybe a general google search would be in order (as he had a blog for a short time and may have left it intact with recipes)...

Good luck!

 

mimi

 

edit to add..... I see no problem resurrecting an old thread when it is full of great tips (as this is).....didn't anything from the above posts ring your bell?

 

m.

post #21 of 27
The best recipe I've used is, believe it or not, in the original Frugal Gourmet cookbook. I've won contests with it. The book can be purchased for pennies.

Next best is Anne Burrell's goat cheese cheesecake that is easily found on Internet.
post #22 of 27

oops.

Forgot to address the question.

The recipe I mentioned in the above post would fall but like the one @phatch pictured would end up being flat.

It is all in the mixing IMO.

Too much air beaten in causes an exaggerated rise then deflates as it cools.

 

mimi

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coren View Post
 

 

I really hate bumping ancient threads (13 yrs, wow), and I'm assuming this person isn't still around...

 

That said, I was interested at the 35 minutes quoted here, which it seems every other 1.5lb cheesecake recipe I've seen has a substantially higher cook time (1 to 1.5 hrs).  As this person ran a bakery, I don't want to discount out of hand, but can any other cheesecake baker comment on this?

I've made a few cheesecakes. I've always used a water bath. I think it has two qualities. One to keep the ambient temp. in the oven consistent and remove any direct

heat to the side of the pan. Two, help with keeping moisture in the heat during the process. I'm also of the belief, considering most cheesecake ingredients, that it is

closer to a pudding then a cake. So I envision it as setting the pudding. Not necessarily baking.

Um? 35 min. @ 325 will just not get it with most of my formulas. Maybe if you crank the corn starch. Even then it would take longer to bake the taste out.

Just sayin

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you were to live forever. MG
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post #24 of 27

Quote:

Originally Posted by flipflopgirl View Post
 

 

 

Still on the hunt for a perfect cheesecake http://www.cheftalk.com/t/79925/cheesecake-help#post_461836 ?

 

It is hard to comment on a baking time without the full recipe and instructions including the type of oven being used.

 

What exactly are you wanting your cheesecake to do AKA what does the perfect cheesecake look like in your mind?

 

mimi

 

There was a member in the not too distant past (went by the handle boar_d_laze) who at one time posted what IMO was the perfect recipe.

Have been searching for the past 10 min (pretty long time for me to stay on task, lol) without luck.

He may have deleted it as the use of said recipe came with copywrite stipulations (I have the printed copy but hesitate to share).

Maybe a general google search would be in order (as he had a blog for a short time and may have left it intact with recipes)...

Good luck!

 

mimi

 

edit to add..... I see no problem resurrecting an old thread when it is full of great tips (as this is).....didn't anything from the above posts ring your bell?

 

m.

 

Honestly, I don't know where the cheesecake recipe I use came from, but I'm not unhappy with it overall (tastes good, when I don't screw it up, it's quite pretty).  It's a generic 1.5lb recipe I've seen other places (1.5lb cheese, 1 cup sugar, 3 eggs, vanilla, cream, your choice of crust and toppings).  I use a 9" springform.  Occasionally I'll make a ganache with the cream before adding, other times I'll add some fruit chunks, and sometimes just leave it plain.  I'm cooking in a conventional home gas oven.  I've checked temps and it's spot on, so that's not it.  I've tried different conbinations of temps and times.

 

The cheesecakes still taste great, they're just a little ugly (sunken and cracked).  I invariably throw some homemade whipped cream on top and pretend it was on purpose. As they're just for family/friends and not for sale, nobody complains.  The last few times I made it I tried to be as gentle/slow as possible when adding eggs (as that was a recommendation above) and that didn't help.  Now I'm wondering if I'm cooking it too long.  I've tried various versions of a water bath to no avail.  Last time I cooked 60 min at 325, and when I jiggled it slightly just the center few inches were jiggly.  I let it cool in the oven with the door cracked an hour, then let it cool on the counter the rest of the way.  It sunk while it was cooling on the counter.  :(

 

As for the other question.... so long as it tastes good, I don't have a "perfect cheesecake" ideal in my head. 

 

Thanks for the replies!

post #25 of 27

@Coren ,

I'm to lazy to reread all the posts. I have a few questions for you.

...Do you have an instant read thermometer? Thermo pen makes a great one and you'll be surprised how much you can use it. Great home kitchen investment.

...I mention this because, just about all cheesecake formulas,  will crack when cooling if you have overbaked it. Once the center of the cake reaches 65c it is done.

...Some more minutiae,

...You can't have any of your ingredients chilled or cold. They must be minimum, room temp or higher. Just be careful how long you keep the eggs out.

...Use a good cream cheese. neufchatel has more moisture then regular CC. Can't use lite, whipped, W/O adjusting.Philly is really the best. Don't freeze it before use.

...Do Not !!! open the oven door to check. Don't bump oven when baking.

...If you don't have one, purchase an oven thermometer and make sure your oven is calibrated. 

...The Zen of CC. is important. There is nothing rough or masculine about CC. It needs to be gently heated. Hot rough fast heat will kick those eggs and they will expand. Which

    translate to deflating when cooling. It's better to err on the side of low heat and increase it gently.

...The same is true for the mixing. CC and sugar, mixed maybe 4 min. on med-low speed. salt, mix a bit more. Vanilla, mix a bit more. Then the eggs slip in one at

   a time, mixing a bit to incorporate, after each one. NOTICE, I say mix, not beat.

...Remember the CC will keep baking after the heat is turned off. Account for this if your going to gently open the door and let the CC remain for a while to set. End the heat

...oh, maybe 55, 56, 57c

If these things don't give you what you're looking for, I'll have to hop a plane with Flipflop and we'll bake one with you.:D hth's

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you were to live forever. MG
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post #26 of 27

Cheescake is a form of egg set custard. Thus the density, cracking and such. 

 

http://itsallabouttohappen.blogspot.com/2014/06/cheesecake-plain-and-simple.html is my blog guide to my cheesecake. 

 

As Brian Shaw noted, The Frugal Gourmet recipe is excellent. This recipe is a doubling of the Frugal Gourmet minus the small amount of butter he added that I don't.  With a doubling of the recipe, the baking time shifts around quite a bit. And the Frug didn't use a coast to completion method in the falling oven. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post
 

@Coren ,

I'm to lazy to reread all the posts. I have a few questions for you.

...Do you have an instant read thermometer? Thermo pen makes a great one and you'll be surprised how much you can use it. Great home kitchen investment.

...I mention this because, just about all cheesecake formulas,  will crack when cooling if you have overbaked it. Once the center of the cake reaches 65c it is done.

...Some more minutiae,

...You can't have any of your ingredients chilled or cold. They must be minimum, room temp or higher. Just be careful how long you keep the eggs out.

...Use a good cream cheese. neufchatel has more moisture then regular CC. Can't use lite, whipped, W/O adjusting.Philly is really the best. Don't freeze it before use.

...Do Not !!! open the oven door to check. Don't bump oven when baking.

...If you don't have one, purchase an oven thermometer and make sure your oven is calibrated. 

...The Zen of CC. is important. There is nothing rough or masculine about CC. It needs to be gently heated. Hot rough fast heat will kick those eggs and they will expand. Which

    translate to deflating when cooling. It's better to err on the side of low heat and increase it gently.

...The same is true for the mixing. CC and sugar, mixed maybe 4 min. on med-low speed. salt, mix a bit more. Vanilla, mix a bit more. Then the eggs slip in one at

   a time, mixing a bit to incorporate, after each one. NOTICE, I say mix, not beat.

...Remember the CC will keep baking after the heat is turned off. Account for this if your going to gently open the door and let the CC remain for a while to set. End the heat

...oh, maybe 55, 56, 57c

If these things don't give you what you're looking for, I'll have to hop a plane with Flipflop and we'll bake one with you.:D hth's

 

Thanks for the tips.  What's ironic is that my thermopen just arrived in the mail a few hours ago. :)

Eggs being chilled/cool could also be a possible issue.  While I am pretty good about remembering to soften the cream cheese, I usually forget to put eggs out.

 

I'm making another cheesecake for a coworker this weekend; I'll put all the tips to the test.  Thanks guys!

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