Are you tired of encountering a scenario where your cheesecake is not setting? Do you often wonder what went wrong, despite following the recipe closely?
Worry no more; we have researched this topic to uncover the common mistakes that people make when it comes to cheesecake and come up with the ultimate guide to ensuring your cheesecake sets perfectly.
Reasons To Why Your Cheesecake Is Not Setting
As a professional chef, I have had my fair share of cheesecake fails, but it's only through making mistakes that one learns.
One of the biggest mistakes I made when starting was not preheating the oven to the right temperature, which caused my baked cheesecake to be undercooked and runny even after the stipulated time.
Another mistake was not allowing the cheesecake to cool down gradually, which led to it cracking.
Remember to preheat the oven correctly, avoid overmixing, and embrace the water bath method to guarantee a perfect cheesecake every time.
1. Incorrect Oven Temperature
One of the common reasons why your cheesecake doesn't set is because of the incorrect oven temperature.
Do you preheat your oven correctly before baking your cake? If not, this can lead to a lousy outcome. It is essential to ensure that your oven is set to the right temperature before placing your cheesecake.
If your oven is too hot, the cheesecake will overcook and crack. On the other hand, if it's too low, it will not be set correctly.
Another mistake that commonly occurs when making cheesecake is overmixing.
While it's essential to mix the ingredients thoroughly, overmixing can incorporate more air into the batter, leading to a less-than-perfect outcome.
Once the ingredients are combined, try to stir it as little as possible.
3. Incorrect Water Bath Method
The water bath method is another area where people often make mistakes. Using a water bath can help to ensure that the cheesecake sets slowly and consistently.
However, If not done correctly, it can result in water seeping into the baking pan and causing a runny cheesecake. Follow our guide to learn the correct water bath baking method.
Tips For Perfect Cheesecake
1. Let Your Ingredients Sit
Allow your cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream to sit at room temperature for about an hour before using them.
Doing this ensures that they blend seamlessly when mixing.
If you are stuck for ingredient ideas, I have a mega list of the best cheesecake ingredients!
2. Check Your Pan
Make sure to use the correct baking pan size as specified in the recipe. Using a smaller cake pan leads to a thicker cheesecake, resulting in an unevenly cooked center.
It's also advisable to use a springform pan to make it easier to remove the cheesecake after it's done.
3. Check For Doneness
When checking for doneness, avoid inserting a cooking thermometer or knife into the center of the cake as this may cause it to crack. I
nstead, check the outward appearance of the cheesecake, which should be golden brown on the top.
You can also test the cheesecake by shaking the pan. If the edge is set, but the center jiggles slightly, then it's done.
4. Allow The Cheesecake To Cool
After the cheesecake is done, switch off the oven and let it cool down in the oven for an hour or more.
Doing this helps the cheesecake to cool down slowly and helps it to set properly.
Please note that for a frozen dessert cheesecake, it is essential to check whether the recipe requires additional stabilizers like gelatin or cornstarch.
How do I know when my cheesecake is done?
To know when a cheesecake is done; it should be golden brown on the top. You can also test it by shaking the pan. If the edge is set, but the center jiggles slightly, it's done.
Can I fix an undercooked cheesecake?
Yes, you can fix an undercooked cheesecake by placing it back in the oven for another few minutes, but ensure the oven temperature is correct.
Can I use a regular cake pan instead of a springform pan?
Yes, you can, but ensure you line the cake pan with parchment paper to help remove it after it's done. If you are having difficulties getting your cheesecake out of the springform pan – I got a guide on that!