Baked Cheesecake Question
I am attempting a baked pumpkin cheesecake - recipe says, "Be sure to allow cheesecake to cool for 8 hours (24 hours if possible) before removing from spring form pan." Does this mean it should be cooled in the fridge, or cooled at room temperature?
I let it cool somewhat and then run a knife around the edge to loosen it (sometimes the cheesecake can shrink w/ cooling but is stuck on the sides and pulls apart). I also open it to make sure it comes apart easily. You want to avoid sudden temperature changes so when it's cooled to room temperature, an hour or so, cover and put it in the refrigerator.
I, too, will run a knife around the edge to loosen it and avoid tearing as it cools, but I don't remove the ring until it's cold.
That being said, I had some customers who managed to talk me into serving them a warm slice once and were forever there after asking me to slice it when warm.....
I too would run a knife around the edge of the spring form pan. I would then let the cake cool at room temperature for a couple of hours then into the fridge. If you put the hot cahe in the fridge it will cool too fast and can cause cracks.
There are a great deal of theories when it comes to baking and cooling cheesecake. Most of these theories are meant to prevent the cheesecake from cracking. Which really has little to do with cooling, rather cracks in your cheesecake are from the protein being overcooked. So when the eggs cool they lose there flexibility and well crack.
Like all foods, the sooner you bring down the temperature the longer the food item will last before it goes bad. Allow your cheesecake to cool on the counter sitting on a wire rack, so air can cool the bottom of the cake. Once it is cool enough to touch with your hands, place it in the fridge covered or not. If you place anything still warm or hot in the fridge that is covered with something that will prevent air to entering or from being released, you are in danger of creating condensation, which will mean little droplets of water on your cake. And of course if you don’t cover then you risk your cheesecake from picking up other odors in the fridge.
Also, placing anything hot in your fridge will bring down the temperature of your fridge. This will place everything in your fridge at risk of entering into the danger temperature zone. We all have a thermometer in the fridge right?
The reason for the long period of cooling before removing from the pan is to allow the protein (eggs) to become cool enough to be handled. It is the eggs that provide structure in the cheesecake. If there are not cool enough, then your cake may fall apart when you try and remove from the cake pan. You can remove your cheesecake while still warm, I’ve done it. But it is not a safe practice.