"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Desserts, Sweets & Cookies & Candy > Cakes & Cupcakes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-11-2006, 01:11 PM   #1
Senior Cook
 
rdcast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 429
Cool Leavening, An Empirical Study

From my very first cheesecake to the present, I've struggled against the inevitable collapse most cheesecakes succumb to, if not during baking certainly as it cools. Trying to develop a light and airy texture that approaches a dense pound cake has proven problematic. The two most common methods used to lighten a cheesecake, I believe would be, (1) introduce air through beating the ingredients and (2) add or increase leavening components. Baking temperature and length of time under certain temperatures along with a graduated cooling procedure also greatly influences these properties.

These are some of my findings based on earlier experiments.
  • Egg whites emulsify air more efficiently than egg yolks by trapping air bubbles more thoroughly.
  • Both whites and yolks are similar leavening components, independent of one another.
  • Both whites and yolks leavening characteristics are highly temperature sensitive, collapsing early when heated over 350 degrees.
  • Both flour and cornstarch are similar leavening components with a much longer endurance when heated over 350 degrees.
  • Baking soda interjects leavening effervescence to the mixture regardless of the components, providing a tenuous endurance. More study will be necessary to make use of this ingredient in cheesecakes. Without isolating it to a component with the ability of adhering to its effervescence throughout the baking and cooling process, the outcome will most certainly result in a greater than average collapse.
Sour cream may have some advantages in retaining leavening, not sure. I just know that I had better results at a time when sour cream was an ingredient.

I will do my best to formulate the optimum leavening components and procedures. Any help, provided by DC members would be greatly appreciated even if my assumptions and/or observations come into question. Favorable results are all that matters in any empirical study.

__________________

__________________
rdcast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2006, 01:36 PM   #2
Everymom
 
Alix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 23,184
Wow rdcast. I admit that I make cheesecake only rarely, but I haven't had any issues with it falling. Rather, my issue used to be the cracking. I now use a recipe that has absolutely never failed. It is creamy, yet dense enough to satisfy all. This is the recipe I use (post #10).
__________________

__________________
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams
Alix
Alix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2006, 01:37 PM   #3
Head Chef
 
lulu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: England
Posts: 2,039
LOL, and I couldn't find anything to deal with the cravings your threads are leaving me with for cheesecake. Oh well, its just as well!
Good luck!
__________________
lulu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2006, 01:41 PM   #4
Senior Cook
 
rdcast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 429
Cool

won't you help lulu?
__________________
rdcast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2006, 02:10 PM   #5
Senior Cook
 
rdcast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 429
Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
I haven't had any issues with it falling. Rather, my issue used to be the cracking.
My wife makes her cheesecakes with three ingredients plus flavorings:
  1. cream cheese
  2. sugar
  3. egg
She puts in the same number of eggs as number of 8 oz cream cheese bars. That's a lot of eggs when you have 6 bars of cream cheese. Yet her cheesecakes never raise or collapse. In fact, the tops of her cakes retain the ridges left by the spatula while smoothing the batter. I know for certain, egg is a leavening component. Unless the sugar or the other flavorings are interfering(which they're not), the only other influence on leavening would be time and temperature. She bakes at 350 for 30 minutes, then reduces to 300 for 1 hour. It comes out cooked, but looking like when it went in. The texture is smooth and creamy.

I like the New York style cheesecake, where it is less creamy and a texture less moist and toward more bread like.

So it looks as if you can prevent eggs from rising with lower baking temperatures.

The best cheesecake chefs, surely are familiar with the information I'm struggling to learn. I'm not looking for recipes but rather a thorough understanding of everything that influences the outcome of a baked cheesecakes.

P.S. I'm convinced, the greater the cheesecake, the greater the cracks. For me, cracks serve as evidence of success.
__________________
rdcast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2006, 02:41 PM   #6
Head Chef
 
lulu's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: England
Posts: 2,039
I wuld help my dear RDCast, I would make them along side you, but I have no kitchen at the moment!

I am not familiar with the "lighter" cheesecake you aspire too, but I am a big fan of the heavy creamy ones. My mother used to sell them to smart restaurants in London but she won't give me her secret recipe yet. They are big, heavy plain ones though, so not to your taste. She makes maybe one every two years now!

What I do plan to do when I am back in Italy is investigate Italian cheeseckaes for you! I'll take pictures and get recipes for you if you like.

I wish I were a cheese cake maker, I love your threads they make me smile as I think of you churning them out, and sit here drooling wishing I were your neighbour so I could help in taste tests!

I thought the idea someone (sorry I can't remember who) came up with of thinking cake + cheese rather than cheese +flour. Have you thought about that more?
__________________
lulu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2006, 03:01 PM   #7
Sous Chef
 
Chef_Jen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Scottish Borders of England
Posts: 516
Send a message via MSN to Chef_Jen Send a message via Yahoo to Chef_Jen
well. im gonna just stick to commenting on your wifes... the reason hers does nothing is because shes making basically a baked custard. hence why you can see the spatula marks.

she needs the flour in there.. and IMO shes using alright amounts of eggs
__________________
Behind Every Good Woman... Is herself
Chef_Jen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2006, 03:12 PM   #8
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,694
From Cook's Thesaurus A leaven is anything that produces bubbles in dough or batter, causing baked goods to rise. Most breads rise because of yeast, which works by fermenting sugar, which in turn produces carbon dioxide. Baking soda and baking powder are used to leaven quick breads, cookies, and muffins. Baking soda is alkaline and reacts with acid to create carbon dioxide bubbles that become trapped within the batter. It's sometimes used in batters that contain acidic ingredients, like buttermilk or molasses. If there's not enough acid in the batter, the recipe will instead call for baking powder, which combines baking soda with one or more acidic salts. When the baking powder becomes wet or sufficiently hot, the soda reacts with the salts and releases bubbles. Air bubbles can also be trapped in beaten egg whites, a technique used to leaven angel food or sponge cakes.

I do not believe flour and cornstarch qualify as leavening agents.

"From my very first cheesecake to the present, I've struggled against the inevitable collapse most cheesecakes succumb to, if not during baking certainly as it cools. Trying to develop a light and airy texture that approaches a dense pound cake has proven problematic. The two most common methods used to lighten a cheesecake, I believe would be, (1) introduce air through beating the ingredients and (2) add or increase leavening components"

I know of few cheesecake recipes that call for leavening other than beating the ingredients.
My cheesecakes don't exactly "fall" as much as have the top collapse onto the cake.
"light and airy texture that approaches a dense pound cake" seems VERY much to me to be an oxymoron.

I guess I have only one question for you on this quest--have you tried actual recipes to achieve the results you desire?

__________________
Gretchen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2006, 03:13 PM   #9
Master Chef
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdcast
These are some of my findings based on earlier experiments.
  • Egg whites emulsify air more efficiently than egg yolks by trapping air bubbles more thoroughly.
  • Both whites and yolks are similar leavening components, independent of one another.
  • Both whites and yolks leavening characteristics are highly temperature sensitive, collapsing early when heated over 350 degrees.
  • Both flour and cornstarch are similar leavening components with a much longer endurance when heated over 350 degrees.
  • Baking soda interjects leavening effervescence to the mixture regardless of the components, providing a tenuous endurance. More study will be necessary to make use of this ingredient in cheesecakes. Without isolating it to a component with the ability of adhering to its effervescence throughout the baking and cooling process, the outcome will most certainly result in a greater than average collapse.
Sour cream may have some advantages in retaining leavening, not sure. I just know that I had better results at a time when sour cream was an ingredient..

My advice is to perhaps read up on the science of baking, perhaps by someone like Harold McGee, or perhaps just by perusing Baking911.com. You seem to have some of your concepts a bit mixed up, IMO.

"Egg whites emulsify air more efficiently than egg yolks by trapping air bubbles more thoroughly." Emulsification occurs between two liquids when they are combined, like oil and water in a salad dressing. You don't emulsify air. An emulsified combination of liquids may hold air bubbles better, though, which can add leavening.

"Both flour and cornstarch are similar leavening components with a much longer endurance when heated over 350 degrees." Neither flour, nor cornstarch is a leavinging agent, as far as I know. Think flatbread.

"Baking soda interjects leavening effervescence to the mixture regardless of the components, providing a tenuous endurance." Baking soda does not work "regardless of" other ingredients. It only works when there is an acid present in the batter. Without an acid baking soda doesn't do anything.

"Sour cream may have some advantages in retaining leavening, not sure." Sour cream is an acid. If you are using baking soda, then the acid in the sour cream is what creates the bubbles that leaven the mixture.

Again, I cannot imagine either wanting or needing to add baking soda to a cheesecake. A cheesecake shouldn't have a light moussy texture. Mechanical leavening is all it needs, IMO.
__________________
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2006, 03:13 PM   #10
Senior Cook
 
rdcast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 429
Cool

Thanks lulu, I knew I could count on you !!!
__________________

__________________
rdcast is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.