13 febbraio 2013

Perfect Cheesecakes

Learn a few simple techniques to avoid lumps, cracks, and sunken middles.

Baking in a Water Bath

Cheesecake is a custard at heart. It's delicate, so you want to bake it slowly and evenly without browning the top.

The most effective way to do this is to bake it in a water bath. Since water evaporates at the boiling point, the water bath will never get hotter than 212 degrees F (100 degrees C), no matter what the oven temperature. This means that the outer edge of your cheesecake won't bake faster than the center, which can cause it to soufflé, sink, and crack.
See top-rated cheesecake recipe videos >>

Baking Cheesecake

It's common to overbake cheesecakes because, while they might look underdone, they are actually done when the center is still wobbly. At this stage, residual heat will "carry over" and the center will continue to cook.
Remove cheesecake from the oven to cool on a rack, or simply leave the door of the oven closed, turn off the heat and let the cheesecake cool for at least an hour. This helps prevent the cheesecake from sinking in the center.
After chilling, the once-wiggly center should firm up just fine.

Mixing Matters

  • The cream cheese should be at room temperature before you begin mixing, or you'll end up with lumps in your cheesecake.
  • Using cold cream cheese also leads to overbeating--whipping too much air into the batter--which forms unattractive air bubbles on the surface of the cake.
  • Unless the recipe instructions specifically note otherwise, you should beat the cream cheese by itself until it's smooth and light, before adding any other ingredients.
  • If you end up with lumps in your batter, run the mixture through a sieve or give it a quick spin in the food processor and you'll have silky smooth results.

Putting the Cheese in Cheesecake

Whether you're making an Italian-style cheesecake with ricotta cheese or a classic New York cheesecake with cream cheese, don't skimp on the fat content. Reduced fat and nonfat cream cheeses contain fillers that might prevent the cheesecake from setting properly. Never substitute whipped cream cheese for the solid block.

All About Texture

Eating cheesecake is a very sensual experience: texture is everything. Some recipes contain a small amount of starch, such as flour or cornstarch. These cheesecakes have a more cake-like texture. Cheesecake recipes that do not contain flour are intended to be luxuriously smooth and dense.

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake Recipe

"This recipe becomes a favorite as soon as it is tasted. It was once referred to as 'sinfully rich and velvety smooth'. Best if made a day before serving."  

  • PREP 30 mins
  • COOK 1 hr
  • READY IN 4 hrs
  • 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs 
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened 
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 8 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate 
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream 
  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water 
  • 1/4 cup coffee flavored liqueur 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur 
  • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate 


  • 110 g chocolate cookie crumbs 
  • 55 g butter, softened 
  • 25 g white sugar 
  • 0.6 g ground cinnamon 
  • 672 g cream cheese, softened 
  • 200 g white sugar 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 224 g semisweet chocolate 
  • 30 ml whipping cream 
  • 230 g sour cream 
  • 2 g salt 
  • 2 g instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water 
  • 60 ml coffee flavored liqueur 
  • 10 ml vanilla extract 
  • 235 ml heavy whipping cream 
  • 15 g confectioners' sugar 
  • 30 ml coffee-flavored liqueur 
  • 28 g semisweet chocolate 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter one 9 or 10 inch springform pan.
  2. Combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, softened butter, 2 tablespoons white sugar, and the cinnamon. Mix well and press mixture into the buttered springform pan, set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup white sugar mixing until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat at low speed until very smooth.
  4. Melt the 8 ounces semisweet chocolate with 2 tablespoons whipping cream in a pan or bowl set over boiling water, stir until smooth.
  5. Add chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture and blend well. Stir in sour cream, salt, coffee, 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
  6. Bake in the center of oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Center will be soft but will firm up when chilled. Do not over bake. Leave cake in oven with the heat turned off and the door ajar for 45 minutes. Remove cake from oven and chill for 12 hours. Just before serving top cake with mounds of flavored whipped cream and garnish with chocolate leaves. Yields 16 servings.
  7. To Make Flavored Whipped Cream: Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form, then beat in confectioner's sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur.
  8. To Make Chocolate Leaves: Melt 1 ounce semisweet chocolate in a pan or bowl set over boiling water, stir until smooth. Brush real non-toxic plant leaves (such as orange leaves) on one side with melted chocolate. Freeze until firm and then peel off leaves. Freeze chocolate leaves until needed.

Chocolate Frosted Marble Cheesecake

Chocolate Frosted Marble Cheesecake Recipe

"Marble cheesecake with chocolate crumb crust and chocolate sour cream frosting."

  • PREP 30 mins
  • COOK 50 mins
  • READY IN 3 hrs 20 mins
Original recipe makes 1 10-inch cheesecake


  • 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs 
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar 
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted 
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 
  • 3/4 cup white sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 3 eggs at room temperature 
  • 2 tablespoons milk 
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 2/3 cup sour cream at room temperature 


  • 50 g chocolate graham cracker crumbs 
  • 40 g white sugar 
  • 55 g butter, melted 
  • 672 g cream cheese, softened 
  • 150 g white sugar 
  • 15 g all-purpose flour 
  • 3 eggs at room temperature 
  • 30 ml milk 
  • 10 ml pure vanilla extract 
  • 85 g semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 225 g semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 155 g sour cream at room temperature 


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Wrap the outside of a 10-inch springform pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Mix the chocolate graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the butter in a bowl until thoroughly combined; press into the bottom of the springform pan.
  3. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Turn the oven's heat up to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese for a few seconds with an electric mixer set on medium speed until fluffy and smooth. Beat in 3/4 cup sugar and the flour until the mixture is smooth; beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the milk and vanilla extract. Beat the cream cheese filling until very smooth and well combined, about 3 minutes.
  5. Spoon 2/3 of the cream cheese filling into the springform pan in an even layer over the crust. Melt 3 ounces of chocolate chips over low heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly until smooth, and mix in the remaining third of the filling. Pour the chocolate filling in a swirl pattern over the white filling; use a table knife to cut through the filling and swirl it into a decorative marble design.
  6. Place the springform pan into a roasting pan and add enough water to the roasting pan to reach 1 inch deep. Place the springform pan with the roasting pan water bath into the oven and bake until the filling is set, 40 to 45 minutes.
  7. When finished baking, remove the springform pan from the water bath and set the pan onto a cooling rack for 10 minutes; remove foil from around the pan. Loosen the edge of the cheesecake from the pan with a thin, sharp knife. Release the spring from the pan, remove the ring, and allow the cheesecake to cool for 15 more minutes. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
  8. To make frosting, melt 8 ounces of chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth, and mix in the sour cream until smooth and well combined. Frost the cheesecake with the frosting and refrigerate 10 minutes to set the frosting before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

PHILADELPHIA INDULGENCE Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

PHILADELPHIA INDULGENCE Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake Recipe

"Rich and creamy white chocolate cheesecake with a whipped chocolate layer is topped with white chocolate curls and fresh raspberries." 

  • PREP 20 mins
  • READY IN 6 hrs 15 mins
Original recipe makes 16 servings


  • 24 LORNA DOONE Shortbread Cookies, finely crushed 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted 
  • 5 ounces BAKER'S White Chocolate, divided 
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 (8 ounce) tub PHILADELPHIA INDULGENCE Milk Chocolate 
  • 1 (8 ounce) tub COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed 
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries 

  • 24 LORNA DOONE Shortbread Cookies, finely crushed 
  • 10 g sugar 
  • 55 g butter, melted 
  • 140 g BAKER'S White Chocolate, divided 
  • 672 g PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 
  • 150 g sugar 
  • 10 ml vanilla 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 224 g PHILADELPHIA INDULGENCE Milk Chocolate 
  • 227 g COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed 
  • 125 g fresh raspberries 


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Mix cookie crumbs, 1 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 min.
  3. Melt 4 oz. white chocolate as directed on package. Beat plain PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
  4. Bake 50 to 55 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours. Meanwhile, shave remaining white chocolate into curls.
  5. Spoon PHILADELPHIA INDULGENCE into medium bowl; stir until creamy. Add COOL WHIP; whisk until blended. Spread over cheesecake. Garnish with white chocolate curls and raspberries.


  • Kraft Kitchens Tips
  • Need a sweet treat to serve a crowd? Try this rich, creamy dessert! Since it serves 16 people, it easily fits the bill.
  • Try preparing with PHILADELPHIA INDULGENCE Dark Chocolate.
  • Use bottom of dry measuring cup to easily press crumb mixture onto bottom of pan.

How to Bake Cheesecake, Step by Step

The key to perfect cheesecake is in the baking. This water bath method bakes the cake very gently, so it won't darken, curdle, or crack.

A springform pan works best because you can remove the cake easily, but muffin tins or any other cake pan will work fine. If you use a plain cake pan, grease it well and line the bottom with parchment paper

1. Preheat your oven to the temperature recommended in your cheesecake recipe. To prevent water from seeping into the removable bottom of the springform pan, wrap aluminum foil completely around the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Place the cheesecake into a jellyroll pan (or any baking pan with sides) and place the pans into the oven. Use a teakettle to fill the outer pan with hot water. Cheesecakes usually bake for about 1½ hours, so check the bath after the first hour and refill if necessary.

2. Because cheesecake is very soft, it can be difficult to judge when it's done baking. One way to check for doneness is to take the cake's internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. The ideal temperature for a cheesecake is around 160 to 165 degrees F (70 to 72 degrees C). You can also insert a small knife into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, the cake is done. Some bakers turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in it for an additional hour to ensure it's completely set.

3. Once the cheesecake has been removed from the oven, it needs to chill thoroughly--preferably overnight. The cake will have pulled away from the edges of the pan. Carefully run a small knife around the edge of the pan to loosen any bits that might stick to the pan.

4. Unclip the clasp at the side of the pan, watching for any areas that stick. Carefully lift the outer ring over the top of the cake. If you used a plain cake pan and don't want to serve dessert in the pan, invert a plate covered with a sheet of waxed paper over the pan. Tip the cake pan over the plate, and remove the pan. Invert a serving plate over the bottom of the cheesecake, and flip it over. Remove the top plate and paper, trying not to peel off the "skin" on the surface of the cheesecake. Any imperfections can be covered by chocolate ganache, a fruit sauce, or a layer of lightly sweetened sour cream.

5. For a seamless look, you can smooth the sides of the cheesecake with a hot, wet knife. Any toppings or garnishes can be added at this point.

Supreme Strawberry Topping

Supreme Strawberry Topping Recipe

 "Awesome restaurant style strawberry topping. Serve cold over cheesecake or ice cream."

  • PREP 15 mins
  • COOK 20 mins
  • READY IN 35 mins
Original recipe makes 4 servings


  • 1 pint strawberries, cleaned and stemmed 
  • 1/3 cup white sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 



  1. Cut about 1/3 of the strawberries in half. In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine strawberries, sugar and vanilla. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. In a blender, puree about 1/3 of sauce, then mix back into remainder. Store in refrigerator.

Fudge Sauce

Fudge Sauce  Recipe

"Keep in a jar in the fridge, and heat in the microwave by the spoonful to pour over ice cream, or cake and ice cream, or whatever!"

  • PREP 5 mins
  • COOK 10 mins
  • READY IN 15 mins


Original recipe makes 2 cups 
  • 1 cup white sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 


  • 200 g white sugar 
  • 15 g unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 3 g salt 
  • 2 g ground cinnamon 
  • 180 ml evaporated milk 
  • 5 ml vanilla extract 
  • 30 g butter 


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, salt and cinnamon. Stir to mix and to eliminate lumps.
  2. Pour in evaporated milk and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter.

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