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Cheesecake help!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I volunteered to make a cheesecake for a fundraiser.  It's a pretty standard 1.5lb cream cheese recipe.  It's in a water bath at 325.  The recipe calls for 1h30m.  I expected it to be slightly jiggly in the middle at 90m, then let it set in the oven another hour or so with the door cracked to finish cooking.  At this point it's been cooking for over 2 hrs, but the thing just won't finish baking.  I'm concerned that it's no where close to done as the entire thing jiggles *a lot* at this point.  I just turned the oven off and set the 1hr timer.


Any suggestions?  I don't want to just leave it in there, but at this point I'd prefer to have overcooked to undercooked.


Does having a high-crust cause it to take longer to cook?  That's the only thing I can think that was done differently; usually I just use a flat crust on the bottom...



I've made this exact cheesecake recipe before and did not have this problem... but I only make cheesecakes a few times a year, so it's not exactly down to a science yet either.

post #2 of 7


Here is the recipe for the London Cheese cake by Nigella Lawson (Domestic Goddess and very very cute!!!)


I altered it very slightly by Crushing up the McVities wholemeal Digestive biscuits and mixing with melted butter, then really packing it hard into the mould with a metal spoon. This goes in the freezer to set hard.


Make up your cream as per the recipe.

It really is a good idea to put the mould in a hot water bath because this makes for a softer smoother cream when it is cooked. 


I cook it at 160c for about one hour, (the lower temp is because I personally don't like cheese cake with a brown crust on it.)

It should still be slightly wobbly in the middle after cooking. Press it with your finger and it should have the consistancy of a wobbly jelly.

This will set when it cools, and it really needs to go in the fridge later, so don't worry.


Nigella makes a white topping for her version.

I put some strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle them with a little sugar, and a little splash of balsamic vinegar.

This marinates in the fridge while the cheese cake is cooking.

Now, sieve the strawberries and you will end up with a deep red very very clear wonderfully tasty strawberry juice.

Warm up the juice and add just enough gelatine for it to set.

Let it cool, but, while it is still runny, pour it on to the top of your cheese cake. Try to make sure it just gets to the edge, but does not run down the sides. I wrap a sheet of cellophane around mine which makes it easy.


What to do with the strawberries? They will have changed colour a bit and are soggy, so no good for decorating the cheese cake.

Weight them and add 15% castor sugar, a squeeze of lemon and orange juice and wack this into your ice cream/sorbet maker.

This makes divine Sicilian strawberry sorbet. You could put a ball of that beside each slice of your cheese cake.


This cheese cake is really brilliant and the family love it. Good luck!

post #3 of 7

instead of gelatin to berries use starch

post #4 of 7

Thank you, BUT using starch can definitely turn my beautifully clear jelly, CLOUDY, which is not what we are looking for, at all!

So I think I'll stick with the gelatin, or perhaps Agar-agar.

The process was shown to me by a 3 star Michelin chef, who might just know what he is talking about.

Edited by black dog - 4/8/14 at 4:22am
post #5 of 7

I use agar-agar instead of gelatin for my cheesecake and it worked beautifully.  Did the agar-agar worked for you?

post #6 of 7


I am sorry. I did not see your comment until now.


Yes it does definitely work for me.

I tend use Agar-agar if I am preparing something for vegetarian friends since it is an entirely natural veg product made from seaweed.

It's advantages, as you know, is that you can work with it in liquids which have previously boiled, and it gels at between 32c and 43c, depending on which Agar-agar you are using.

It maintains it's firmness up to a temperature of just about 85c, which is extremely useful. 

The wide gap between its gelling temp at 32c and the melt point at 85c is unique in gelling agents.

Also, you can really play around with it adding very little for a very wobbly set, or more if you need a more solid result.

You only need a very little of it and it does not impart any flavour of it's own, but it does actually seem to draw out flavours from the preparations it is being employed in.


I make my own Gelatine from calves feet (which my butcher practically gives to me!), making aspics for my savoury applications etc.


I enjoy playing around with gelatine as well, soaking and squeezing for hot preparations like Crème Anglaise, or Crème Patissiere, if they need to be transported and used the following day. Of course, I use it when making a Crème Chiboust for a Gateau St Honoré.


I have learned also that you can add gelatine to cold preparations. In this case, you soak and squeeze as usual, then you melt the swollen gelatine leaves in a pan over a very gentle heat. Now add several tablespoons of your cold preparation to the melted gelatine and incorporate quickly and thoroughly, then add the rest of your cold preparation, mixing well. It is important to add your mix to the gelatine, not the other way around.


I recently did a cool experiment which I picked up from Heston Blumethnal for making super clear stocks. 

Normally, when I want to clarify a stock, I will beat egg whites and crushed egg shells and chuck them in to my bubbling  stock stirring around and then let all the particles get trapped in the egg whites which rise to the surface forming a raft. This results in a crystal clear stock.


Heston's story is that you allow your stock to start cooling and add a little gelatine.

Once it is completely cold, put this in the freezer until completely frozen. Remove this frozen lump and allow to melt back to room temperature straining through a fine double muslin. Again you have a hyper clear stock. It is actually quite a performance, and it can take a couple of days for the thing to melt entirely. I just wanted to see if it worked really, but I'll be sticking with the Escoffier egg white story in future.

post #7 of 7

Now worries, black dog!  I am, you make your own gelatin!!! Heston Blumethnal has fantastic tips and if you can get it to work for you, you have ace it...:)  I love using agar-agar and these days, I even prefer to use it compare to gelatin...haha!

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