Tips / Handy Hints
To soften cream cheese, cut into cubes and place in a Microwave safe bowl on HIGH for 1 minute for each 250g block. Alternatively, leave at room temperature for 1-2 hours until soft.
To prevent cracking in baked cheesecakes:
Always beat cheesecake mixture on a very low speed for a short period of time.
Soften the cream cheese
Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven
Place a steam bath (baking tray filled with hot water) on the base of the oven to add moisture to the environment
Avoid over baking. A cheesecake is cooked when the edges are slightly puffed and the centre is slightly soft and custard like.
Always use the correct pan size.
To obtain an even biscuit base in cheesecakes use the bottom of a glass or a spoon or dessert spoon to press the crumb firmly into the tin.
When baking a cheesecake the best position is the low shelf in a gas oven, as the heat is slightly cooler down the bottom and in an electric oven, position the cheesecake on the centre rack, well away from the heating elements.
Where possible, do not bake cheesecakes with a fan forced oven as they can dry out. If you cannot switch off the fan reduce the temperature by 20°C.
To prevent a baked cheesecake from sticking to the knife when slicing, dip the knife into hot water and wipe with a teatowel or paper towel. Then slice the cake and wipe the knife clean between each cut.