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Can we talk cheesecakes?

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by Ellen, Sep 13, 2018 at 7:42 PM.

  1. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 13, 2018 at 7:42 PM
    I have a chocolate cheesecake recipe that I have used for many years. I love everything about it, except, no matter what I've tried, the top surface ends up looking like the surface of the moon. [​IMG] lol I have tamped the cake down gently before putting it in the oven, I have run my spatula through the batter trying to break up all the air bubbles, all to no avail.

    Can anyone tell me how to get a nice smooth top? I am taking one somewhere Sunday for a special event and I really want it to look nice. [​IMG]

    TIA!
     
  2. StephanieLynn
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    by StephanieLynn » Sep 13, 2018 at 8:04 PM
    I don't have any suggestions but I call dibs on being a taste tester once you figure it out @Ellen :P2
     
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  3. missy
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    by missy » Sep 13, 2018 at 8:08 PM
    @Ellen would you consider putting a topping on it to make it look prettier? We find that the top often cracks no matter what so we just put cherries on top and voila. Tastes amazing and looks beautiful.

    cherrycheesecake.jpg

    cheesecakenovember2017.jpg
     
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  4. missy
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    by missy » Sep 13, 2018 at 8:10 PM
    Oh wait here's a pumpkin cheesecake my dh baked that was perfect. He's at a meeting right now but I will ask him what he did to make it so perfect.

    pumpkincheesecakebydh2013thanksgivingeve.jpg
     
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  5. Matata
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    by Matata » Sep 13, 2018 at 8:16 PM
    Just shave some chocolate over the top or a thin layer of whipped cream with shaved chocolate and then you don't have to worry about it.
     
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  6. missy
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    by missy » Sep 13, 2018 at 8:57 PM
    OK DH is back home and he said the only cheesecake that doesn't crack on him is the Pumpkin Cheesecake. All the rest do no matter what he does. So he surmises it's something about the recipe for the pumpkin cheesecake that is different from the others that allow for smooth baking. However he doesn't know what that is...sorry @Ellen. A topping will take care of the issue though if you are open to it. Any topping at all though I am partial to cherries. Especially sounds good for a chocolate cheesecake though I have never had a chocolate cheesecake...

    Let us know how the cheesecake turns out and I am sure everyone will enjoy it very much. Baked with love by you how could they not love it.:kiss2:
     
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  7. jbake
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    by jbake » Sep 13, 2018 at 9:20 PM
    I stumbled upon this “low & slow” method of baking cheesecake a few years ago & have tried it a couple times with great results. I think what makes a big difference is starting out with room temperature ingredients & mixing on low speed so a lot of air doesn’t get mixed up in the batter.

    Instead of a water bath, I’ve started putting a 9x13 pan with an inch or two of water on the rack below the cheesecake. Then I don’t have to worry about water seeping into the cake somehow.

    This is the recipe I found with the baking method. I didn’t make this exact cheesecake, just borrowed the directions with ingredients from another recipe.

    http://benstarr.com/recipes/chocolate-espresso-cheesecake/
     
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  8. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 13, 2018 at 9:20 PM
    Thanks for all the suggestions! And the taste testing offer. :bigsmile: ;))

    It normally doesn't crack on me, the vanilla one does though sometimes. But the air bubbles cause tiny little craters in it. I know I can cover it up, I just want to learn how to make it smooth like the pros do. :devil:

    I tried looking on YouTube, but couldn't find this problem addressed. However Missy, I did find one for your hubs and me on how to keep from cracking. He even mentions tapping it for air bubbles, but that doesn't work for me.

    I don't know how many people like cherries, though they go well with chocolate. I'm thinking maybe of drizzling white chocolate over it. [​IMG]

    Missy, you have never had a chocolate cheesecake!!? Do you not like chocolate? And thank you for the sweet comment. [​IMG]

     
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  9. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 13, 2018 at 9:22 PM
    j, you posted while I was typing. Thank you for the link and your thoughts. The low and slow was mentioned in my video also!
     
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  10. jbake
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    by jbake » Sep 13, 2018 at 9:24 PM
    It felt crazy cooking cheesecake overnight the first time I did it! But it looked pretty & tasted great!
     
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  11. AGBF
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    by AGBF » Sep 13, 2018 at 9:27 PM
    I must confess: I have never made a cheesecake. I remember my mother used to make one, once in a great while, that had a lot of cream cheese in it. It was better than any other cheesecake. I have no idea how she got it to taste like that.
     
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  12. AGBF
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    by AGBF » Sep 13, 2018 at 9:41 PM
    I looked up cheesecake recipes and I think that my mother may have made a Chicago style cheesecake like this one. As I said, I remember a lot of cream cheese. A shortbread crust also happens to appeal to me. Supposedly this cake does not require a water bath. I may have to try it once fall is upon us as I audition recipes for the holidays! Ellen, you have got me going early this year!!!

    A Chicago Style Cheesecake...http://thezenkitchen.com/2008/01/elis-chicago-cheesecake-recipe/

    Deb/AGBF
     
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  13. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 13, 2018 at 9:48 PM
    [​IMG] :bigsmile:

    I will check out your link Deb! And they aren't hard at all. And soooo delish.

    To be honest, I have never done a water bath. :o
     
  14. lovedogs
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    by lovedogs » Sep 13, 2018 at 11:40 PM
    I tried the "water bath" method one year for an xmas caramel cheesecake and it worked well! It came out of the oven totally smooth. I think there was one crack after it was in the fridge for like 12 hours, but I smoooooothered it in caramel so no one could see :)

    Overall though, I think lower temp and water bath should help!

    EDIT. Just remembered that I was nervous about water getting into the cake itself, so I put a big casserole dish with water in it on the rack below. Did the trick (mostly).
     
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  15. kipari
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    by kipari » Sep 14, 2018 at 1:20 AM
    For air bubbles in my macaroons I tap down the whole rack (gently) a few times before putting it on the oven. I have the laurée and cookbook and they suggest this to get any trapped air bubbles out. I maybe worth a try and with cheesecake as well?
     
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  16. dk168
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    by dk168 » Sep 14, 2018 at 1:34 AM
    My cheesecake recipe does not involve baking, and I always cover it with a topping, such as a fruit jelly (made with packet jellies with added fruit pureé or juice and a bit of sugar) or chocolate fudge sauce for peanut butter cheesecake.

    Therefore I would suggest to cover the bubbles and cracks with a chocolate sauce or curls.

    DK :))
     
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  17. missy
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    by missy » Sep 14, 2018 at 5:46 AM
    I have never had the opportunity to taste it and if that is an offer @Ellen I will be right over...cause you know when it comes to desserts I am quite serious.
    [​IMG]
    (and just ask Greg I am the best taste tester ever :lickout:).

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 14, 2018 at 7:28 AM
    lovedogs, yeah, I would be way more comfortable doing a pan of water on the rack below, than putting the cake pan in water! Especially on this one. Maybe I will experiment sometime when it's just for us. And your caramel cheesecake sounds deeeeviiine. :lickout:

    kipari, thanks. I actually have tapped the pan like you suggested. I've even run a spatula through the batter several times to break the bubbles up. :/

    dk, yes, the easiest thing to do until I figure out what the pros do is cover it with something. Thanks!

    Ok Missy, you and Stephanie get your bibs on! [​IMG] :bigsmile: Missy, can you ask Greg how he gets the ring off the cake? I saw in that video I linked where the guy took a torch (or he suggested a hair dryer also) and warmed up the side of the cake so the ring slipped off. That never occurred to me, and I just ran a thin knife around the sides. But that does not leave a smooth side, not that anyone ever complained! But I am wondering how your hubby does it. Or anyone else!

    If I thought I could get it the way it looks in my head, I would do a covering of whipped cream rosettes over the whole top, and then curls of chocolate. But having never done it, I'm inclined to resist trying that. I think I will go with drizzled chocolate instead. The question is, milk or white?

    I can't find a pic with white chocolate, but here's one with, and without whipped cream. Any thoughts? I sorta like the whipped cream around the edges... My cake is darker in color. Not super dark, but not light. Made with semi sweet chocolate. So closer to the second pic, but darker and a bit more brown. In the pic that almost looks sort of caramel in color.

    [​IMG]

    or


    [​IMG]

    ETA Found one.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018 at 7:50 AM
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  19. missy
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    by missy » Sep 14, 2018 at 7:38 AM
    Hi Ellen, we are in the car so dh is right next to me. He puts a lot of shortening on the inside of the ring and it just slips off.

    That looks delicious by the way. We will be right over. 8) :bigsmile:
    You’re killing me with all this deliciousness this early in the morning. OMG goooooood. :lickout:
     
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  20. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 14, 2018 at 7:42 AM
    [​IMG]

    Wow, never thought of greasing the sides! (apparently I don't think much :bigsmile:) So that doesn't hinder the cake rising/climbing up the sides then? And would a good spray of coconut oil work?
     
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  21. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 14, 2018 at 7:43 AM
    Also, which pic do you like better as far as decorating?
     
  22. missy
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    by missy » Sep 14, 2018 at 7:51 AM
    No and Yes. :))

    And I like the first pic best. Less busy imo. The whip cream breaks up the pattern. And though I don’t like whip cream it sure is pretty. Both look delicious though and I wouldn’t refuse either. Just saying. :kiss:
     
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  23. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 14, 2018 at 7:55 AM
    Tell Greg Muchas Gracias!! And you too. ;)) And thanks for weighing in on the pics. I am leaning toward the first. And, I may not even do a criss cross. I may just do on an angle in one direction....
     
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  24. Babyblue033
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    by Babyblue033 » Sep 14, 2018 at 11:23 AM
    I have nothing to add as I don't bake, but I KNEW there will be cheesecake pictures! Makes me happy just looking at them (and hungry too, I gotta do something about that) :mrgreen2:
     
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  25. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 14, 2018 at 1:01 PM
    [​IMG]
     
  26. Arcadian
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    by Arcadian » Sep 14, 2018 at 1:10 PM
    I hate cheesecake but I know how to cook them...lol

    Overmixing can cause lots of bubbles and anytime I've made one it was done by hand, folding everything into the final mix it came out beautiful on top.

    I've done them with the kitchenaid and they will always bubble. No amount of tapping will get rid of all the bubbles either. (must be something to that).

    I always tapped the form (ok I more or less BANGED the hell out of it...lol) then let it rest a minute to see if anything erupts.
     
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  27. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 14, 2018 at 3:23 PM
    [​IMG]


    Well thanks for stepping in here with some advice all the same. :bigsmile: Mix it all by HAND you say? [​IMG] Can you really get all the lumps of cheese out doing it that way? Clearly it would have to be at room temp a long time..... I suppose I could try, and then if I had some lumps, just barely use the mixer on it..... I think I shall try it. Thanks Arcadian!

    p.s. If i never come back, it will be because my arm fell off from all that mixing. [​IMG]
     
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  28. Arcadian
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    by Arcadian » Sep 14, 2018 at 5:20 PM
    :lol:

    yes cream cheese needs to be super soft. I will whip by hand though and add a bit of milk if its too cold/stiff. But yeah kinda intensive but does work with patience.

    I'm also the weirdo that dosen't like icecream either, so......
     
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  29. tyty333
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    by tyty333 » Sep 14, 2018 at 7:31 PM
    I love, love, love cheesecake...cracks and all!:cheeky:

    Its the cake I get for my birthday every year. Have no idea how to make it crackless...like I said, dont even care because its just so yummy!
     
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  30. Ellen
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    by Ellen » Sep 15, 2018 at 6:20 AM
    :o If you hadn't given me the answer I was looking for (hopefully), I would probably have to show you the door for that. :nono: ;))

    And thanks for the milk tip! Quick question. It never occurred to me until this morning, but I have added coffee/coffee crystals to chocolate cakes before as coffee enhances the chocolate flavor. Do you think I should try it with this cheesecake, or just leave it alone?
     

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