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First cheesecake, any tips?

I am thinking of making this goat cheese cheesecake as my first ever cheesecake. http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2011...

I've read some cheesecake tips on here and elsewhere but am not sure which might apply to this particular recipe. Do I need to use parchment paper to help get the cake out of the pan? I was thinking of buying this pan to use, is this okay? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001...

Any tips, especially for this particular recipe? I'm not an experienced baker so some things that might go without saying in a recipe I may not know or be familiar with. Thank you so much!

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  1. That looks divine! It is a tall cheesecake made in a 9" pan and the pan you are considering buying is a 10" but with 2" sides. It probably will work, but since you have to buy a pan anyway, why not make it easier on yourself and buy a standard 9" springform?

    With that pan or a standard springform, you shouldn't have a problem removing the bottom. I think you'll be fine as long as you follow the directions. A cheesecake is pretty easy. If it cracks, no big deal since you will be covering it with the compote. Can't wait for you to make it and let us know if it tastes as good as it looks!

    5 Replies
    1. re: MrsJonesey

      Thank you. I don't know why I didn't notice the measurements being off. I ordered the pan but I think I will return it and get one that is the right measurements. I agree it looks amazing!

      Once I remove the bottom of the pan, do I serve it on that or can I transfer to a dish? If so, how do I transfer it safely?

      1. re: bythebay

        You can do either. A little careful wiggling should transfer it with ease, though. Good luck!

        1. re: bythebay

          Leaving the cake on the bottom can lead to scratches.

        2. re: MrsJonesey

          Thanks so much for pointing out the pan size discrepancy. I saw the one I ordered also comes in 9x3, that should be perfect right? I'm planning to order that one.

        3. Wrap the bottom of the pan in foil if you're going to use a water bath.

          3 Replies
          1. re: youareabunny

            I think the water bath thing is too much for me for my first try and the recipe did not call for it, so unless it's essential I think I will skip that this first time. It's not an absolute must is it? The recipe did say to wrap in foil so I will do that, thank you!

            1. re: bythebay

              No it's not necessary. But some swear by it and I believe it can alleviate issues relating to hot spots in the oven. But if you have baked successfully in your oven then no worries ;)

              Spring form pans almost always leak so the foil is a must.

              Good luck! I have to admit, I've not been so impressed by cheesecake cooked in bain marie, at least whenever I've made it. I like a slight rise in my cheesecake and they tend to come out more dense when baked in a water bath. In the end it's preference...

              1. re: youareabunny

                Thank you. I have actually had trouble baking in my oven, so maybe it will turn out I do need the water bath. I'll try without it the first time and see.

          2. The recipe looks great, I've never made this particular one before though, so here are some general tips.

            Don't overbeat your batter. Unlike with most cakes, you do not want to add extra air bubbles. After adding the creme fraiche and eggs stir only until incorporated. Too much air can cause an uneven surface and cracking.

            Parchment paper is helpful along the sides of the pan for easy release. You won't damage the pan or the cake by cutting them apart. You can put some on the bottom of the pan if you want to remove the whole cake. I can't think of a situation when parchment paper does not help.

            Do not overbake. As the recipe says, the cake will not be firm all the way through. When you take it out it will look about 2/3 done.

            If you are using a 10 inch pan instead of the 9 suggested, your cake will be significantly thinner so decrease the baking time. But good choice on a quality aluminum pan.

            This recipe uses a 250F temperature instead of a water bath, to heat the cake slowly and evenly. Don't be tempted to keep the temperature up, or the cake will crack.

            And even though this doesn't apply to this recipe, if you use a water bath, get heavy duty aluminum foil. Double wrap the pan to prevent leaks. Heck even triple wrap it.

            Good luck.

            5 Replies
            1. re: jibberjabberwocky

              Good cheesecake advice, especially on triple wrapping when using a waterbath (although not the case w/ this recipe). No matter how careful I am, there are times when it leaks. The heavy duty, extra wide works wonders but I always feel like I'm wasting so much wrap!

              1. re: chowser

                Ha ha, me too, I feel like I use a mile of foil every time I make a cheesecake. I might look into the gasket pan someone recommended below.

              2. re: jibberjabberwocky

                Double heavy duty foil wrap for water bath and then remove the wrap as soon as it comes out of the oven. The cooling cheesecake releases a lot of steam and moisture. Unless you live in a desert climate, this condensation will collect and puddle inside the wrapping, resulting in exactly what you were trying to avoid.
                I could never figure out why my carefully double or triple wrapped cheesecakes still had "water" in the wrapping when I would go to remove it hours later, and then I finally realized it was collecting there during cooling.

                1. re: splatgirl

                  Now THAT is good advice! I have often wondered why I had so much water in there myself, no matter how careful I was. Genius!

                2. That looks like a good recipe and a good pan for that recipe.

                  Start w/ all ingredients at room temp, not just the cheeses.

                  Parchment around the bottom round might help. Don't feel like you have to cut it exactly. The easiest way is to fold a square of parchment in half, then fold that again so you have a quarter circle. Approximate the size of the pan and cut but it will be smaller. You don't need to buy the parchment rounds suggested by Amazon that fit the pan perfectly.

                  Pay attention to the cook time. Start looking at 35-40 minutes (because you're using a larger pan than the recipe calls for). The cheesecake will look uncooked in the middle, only the outer 1/3 should be firm. I like to turn off the oven when it's done, prop the oven door open w/ a wooden spoon, and let the air slowly cool down. One reason cheesecakes crack is the sudden temperature drop when you remove it from a hot oven. Let us know how that cheesecake is!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chowser

                    Thank you so much. I'm so excited to try this with all these tips. I will definitely post an update.

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