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Adding flour to cheesecake?

I have heard various theories on adding flour to cheesecake from making it more dense to diminishing the likelihood of cracking. Are these true?

I made the creme fraiche cheesecake from the NYT and thought the flavor was amazing but it wass very messy to serve as it was a bit loose. Would it benefit from a few tablespoons of flour? I linked the recipe. To be clear, I am not looking for a dense NY style, but a cheesecake that will slice well when chilled.

I'm linking the recipe. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/din...

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  1. I've never added flour to cheesecake and it's never collapsed. It's best, texture wise, if refrigerated overnight before serving, after cooling an hour in the oven before coming out. If you overbeat cheesecake batter, it can be too mushy after baking, or if there aren't enough eggs for the amount of cheese.

    Looking at your recipe, I'm wondering of overbeating was the problem or if another egg or two would help. From the instructions, it looks as if overbeating is a strong possibility.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mcf

      I didn't realize it could be an issue of overbeating. That was most likely the case. Does the overbeating occur at the egg stage?

      1. re: jules127

        I don't think you want to fluff any stage up with extra air. IME, you can end up with something too loose and chiffon-y that way. I've made both ricotta and NY style cheese cakes by just stirring (ricotta) or beating on low (cream cheese) the least amount necessary to blend things with good results. I think the less you beat the better off you are.

    2. I've never added flour and haven't had it collapse or be loose. Did you cook yours long enough? There's a wide variation for baking time and the description isn't easy to follow. I cook until the outer 1/3 is firm but center if wobbly but then I leave it in the oven w/ it turned off and the door slightly ajar for an hour. The slow cooling helps prevent cracking, as does a water bath (which I'd highly recommend, too).

      That recipe looks really good. How was the flavor?

      7 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        I believe it was baked long enough, this time I will use an instant read thermometer to verify. Is 150 degrees is the correct temp?

        This was the first time I used a stand mixer for a cheesecake and I am afraid I overbeat it (I used to mix in my food processor). I beat the cream cheese and goat cheese together for several minutes before proceeding.

        My creme fraiche was more runny than usual (from Vermont Creamery) and I wondered if that could have made a difference as well.

        1. re: jules127

          I've used a stand mixer without problems but the cheeses should be at room temperature. Runny creme fraiche might make a difference but with those proportions, I don't think so. I've made cheesecake that have simliar proportions with added heavy cream that were creamy but held together well. I've never used internal temperature w/ cheesecake, mostly go by the way it looks and feels. As I said, I turn off the oven when it's slightly underdone and leave it in for an hour so it does continue cooking some. By the time I take it out, it's done.

          1. re: jules127

            I absolutely think it was overbeaten if you got the fluffy chiffon texture and as I said earlier, it might have needed more egg to compensate for the runny creme fraiche. Several minutes is an awful lot for cheesecake batter.

            1. re: mcf

              I used four eggs, so I can't imagine it was the amount of eggs that was the problem. As I said, I loved the flavor and have tons of cream cheese on my hands right now so I am going to try the cake again tonight. I will take care to not overbeat and bake to 150 degrees. Any other suggestions? I have baked tons of cheesecakes before, but never before with a mixer and never with such "messy" results.

              1. re: jules127

                I never take the temp of the cake, I go by feel and a wobbly middle the way chowser does. I use a bain marie, but honestly, have had wonderful results without it, too. Let us know how it comes out. My usual ratio is about 3 extra large eggs to 24 oz total of cream cheese and the liquid from a couple of lemons. More cheese, more egg. Some of your contents are wetter than cream cheese, so it still could be the eggs, or both beating and eggs.

                If you've had success in the past with similar batters and only the mixing method is different...

                Let us know how it comes out and good luck!

                1. re: mcf

                  Reporting back. I was careful not to overbeat and baked it significantly longer until only a small circle in the center was wobbly. It was a great success!! I think this will become my go-to plain cheesecake recipe. Thanks everyone!!

                  1. re: jules127

                    Thanks for reporting back! Glad it worked out for you.