Originally Posted by tiggerrrt
I made my very first cheesecake on Wed.
I used a water bath, double wrapped the pan, followed instructions on cooking time, didn't open oven for 5 hours like directions said, chilled for at least 1 hour like directions stated to do....the cake LOOKED great
...however the very middle of the cake about 1/2 down was not firm, more like a thick pudding texture
. It got slightly better after it had been refridgerated for a day but WHAT did I do wrong??
I am really hoping to get this cheesecake thing down as it is my family's favorite dessert but I am at a loss for where it went wrong. Anyone with any suggestions PLEASE help me so my next one turns out better.
Cheesecake is a "mystery food". There are so many ways to make it and some even require no baking at all.
The point of the water bath is to keep the heat even over the whole cheesecake and water does that better than dry heat. But adding a water bath adds more complexity to the operation and more chances to screw up
Believe me, I've been there...recently
OK... assuming you followed the ingredient list and prep instructions properly, the only logical answer to your question is the center didn't reach a high enough temperature to "set" upon cooling.
Why? Stove may not be heating at 325 even though it says so. The water you put in the pan may not have been boiling when it was put in and thus delayed in reaching the proper temperature. You chose an 8" spring form pan instead of the 9" called for. Probably others I can't think of right now.
Most people freak out about cracks in their cheesecake which is usually the opposite problem from yours; over cooking.
My recipe call for checking the middle of the cake with an instant read thermometer and removing when it reaches 145 to 150 degrees with the time given in the recipe a rough guideline. Most "leave in the oven" style recipes suffer from overcooking and cracking if anything.
Something seems wrong with a recipe that calls for five hours in the oven after cooking and is still under-cooked.