April 23rd is National Cherry Cheesecake Day. If you want to bake your own at home, let us share some of our tips and tricks:
#1. Have all of your ingredients at room temperature.
Eggs, cream cheese, sour cream, milk - whatever is in your recipe, they should all be at room temperature when you begin. Ingredients that are not at room temperature can cause cracking and uneven baking; they also require longer mixing times to become blended, which does not bode well for your cheesecake. If you take care of that in advance, then you – and your cheesecake – will be golden.
#2. “Slow and steady” prevents cracking.
Cheesecakes, like custards, rely heavily on eggs to set, which means they must bake gently and slowly. Otherwise the eggs puff, overcook, and get grainy, then constrict when cooled, resulting in an undesirable split in your smooth cake and a frown on your face.
Also, cheesecakes should cool as slowly as they cooked. Bake for the amount of time directed on the recipe, then turn off the oven and let your cheesecake cool inside the oven. You can crack the oven door a tiny bit; just don't remove the cheesecake from the oven and set it immediately in the fridge. Again, you’ll end up with a crack in the top. Only put the cheesecake in the fridge after it has completely cooled and is ready to rest overnight.
#3. Use a water bath.
A water bath is a pan of water that you set your cheesecake pan in for baking, and this is key to achieving that ultrasmooth, silky texture from the edge all the way through to the middle of the cheesecake. The water remains at a constant temperature and moderates the temperature of the cheesecake, meaning it sets slowly and results in a super-creamy cheesecake.
And one last tip: If you do end up with a crack in your cheesecake, never fear; your cherries will cover it up. Or consider nuts, other fruits, chocolate, caramel - the possibilities for toppings are endless and can take your cheesecake to the next level.
Fresh from our oven to yours - happy baking!