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Old 03-30-2006, 02:21 PM   #1
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Uneven Baking of Cheesecake - Help!

Hi guys, I'm new to this forum and I need some help. I just tried baking a New York Cheescake a few days ago and the taste turned out perfect. I baked it for 1 hour at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) like most cheesecakes and I did the water-bath method too, just that I used a cookie tray which holds up to 1-2cm of water. Furthermore, after the 1 hour baking, I kept my oven door closed and left my Cheescake to rest in the oven for 6 hours before keeping it in the refrigerator overnight. However, the Cheesecake turned out to be very creamy (or soft) in the centre, but the sides of the cake were alittle hard.

Anything that I could do to solve this problem? I thought of baking it alittle longer, but wont the sides of the cake turn even harder? Or is there anything wrong with my procedure or recipe that I can tweak. Here is the ingredients I used for my Cheesecake:

INGREDIENTS:
15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tbs all-purpose flour


Besides the uneven baking, I'd like to ask if I were use Heavy Whipping Cream or Condensed Milk in substitute for the Milk, will it be better or no change in taste and texture.

All help is appreciated in perfecting my very first Cheesecake. Thank you.

-XiaoZhu

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Old 03-30-2006, 02:29 PM   #2
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In order for the water bath to be effective, the water has to be at least half way up the sides of the cheesecake pan. 1-2 cm, less than an inch, would be worthless.

This is why you had the uneven cooking. If you had used a deeper water bath and cooked the cheesecake a little longer, the sides, protected from the heat by the water bath, would not be over cooked.
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Old 03-30-2006, 02:36 PM   #3
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Thanks Andy for the reply.

Do you think that by leaving the cake in the oven after baking for 6 hours had a part to blame for making the centre soft? Since moisture overall might have concentrated in the middle of the cake?
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Old 03-30-2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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No. leave my cheesecake in the oven and on the counter top for hours until it reaches room temperature then I refrigerate it.

The water bath moderates the rate at which the cheesecake cooks. It slows down the cooking of the edges allowing the center to cook. The soft center is most likely due to undercooking.
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Old 03-30-2006, 02:49 PM   #5
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I see. I'm going to try it again tomorrow.

Thanks alot Andy for your help!
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Old 03-30-2006, 03:15 PM   #6
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You're welcome. Let us know how the next one turns out.
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:29 AM   #7
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as andy m. says, the water bath should go far towards helping, but another couple of points are worth bearing in mind. the water protects the sides from overcooking because water never gets hotter than 212 degrees (100celsius). if it was still too soft in the center after an hour without the waterbath, it'll take even longer with it. you may need to tack on another 10-15 minutes or so, especially if by "very creamy" you mean too soft. another tactic would be to use a larger diameter pan to decrease the height of the cake.

the recipe looks very standard. if you are still running into problems after the second or third cake, you could try: increasing the flour a teaspoon or so, use another egg, decrease the sugar, decrease the milk.

substituting cream for the milk will be fine. personally, i don't care for the flavor of condensed milk, so i wouldn't use it. if you like the flavor, you can use it but will probably want to decrease the sugar a bit.

what kind of pan are you using? i take it that you aren't using a spring-form pan.
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Old 04-18-2006, 12:56 PM   #8
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Something else.
I generally have the water warm by the time I put my cake (haven't try whipped baked cheese cake but Japanese cheese cake) in. I think its not good to pour cold water in as you start baking your cake.
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Old 04-18-2006, 01:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekkyy
Something else.
I generally have the water warm by the time I put my cake (haven't try whipped baked cheese cake but Japanese cheese cake) in. I think its not good to pour cold water in as you start baking your cake.
Good point. I neglected to mention that the water I add to the water bath is boiling when I pour it in.
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Old 04-18-2006, 01:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philso
what kind of pan are you using? i take it that you aren't using a spring-form pan.

I learned from my first cheesecake experience that using the Spring-form pan is very important when baking cheesecakes. Make sure to use one.
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