Tips for the Perfect Cheesecake
Use these tips to create, bake and store your perfect cheesecake:
- Bring all ingredients to room temperature before mixing. This usually takes 30 minutes.
- To soften cream cheese in the microwave: place unwrapped 8 ounces cheese in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for 15 seconds. Add 15 seconds for each additional bar of cheese.
- Mix filling only until combined. Don't over-mix.
- Use a springform pan so that the sides can be removed.
- Place springform pan on a shallow pan, like a pizza pan, or cover bottom and up one inch around the sides with aluminum foil to avoid leaks in the oven.
- Place a shallow pan of water in rack below cheesecake to keep oven moist.
- Don't open oven door while baking.
- A perfectly baked cheesecake will be puffed around the edges. When shaken, about an inch in diameter in the center should jiggle.
- Use a metal spatula around the edges immediately after removing the cheesecake from the oven.
- Cool slowly (about an hour) on a wire rack, away from any drafts.
- Store in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for up to four days.
- The bottom of the pan can be removed from the cheesecake once the cake has firmed in the refrigerator. Use two spatulas to move cake to serving platter.
- Garnishing a cheesecake should only be done within 1 to 3 hours of serving.
- Cheesecakes taste best when brought to room temperature. This takes about 30 minutes.
- Securely wrap an already firm (about 4 hours in the refrigerator) cheesecake to be put in the freezer. Cheesecakes can be kept for up to 2 months in the freezer.
- Thaw frozen cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.