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Recipe File: Cheesecake, Plain New York Style
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Christina
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorgeous! You tempt me to go bake - not an easy thing. [smile]

BTW, you've probably heard it a hundred times before, but I think your cooking instruction graphs are excellent and a very good idea.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A cheesecake! My kind of entry Wink

I've had terrible cracks from time to time--mostly they occur because I forget to run a knife around the edge immedimately after taking it out of the oven, and then again before tossing it into the fridge.

When I remove it from the oven, I cover it with loosely with a paper towel and then again with plastic wrap--the paper towel becomes very moist and droops onto the cheesecake, but comes off easily. I'm not sure if it helps keep the moisture in while letting the heat out, but I haven't had a crack when doing this as well as remembering to run a knife around the edges.

For cutting, I've been told the best way to cut it is to take dental floss and press it through the cheesecake, and then pull it out.

I'll definitely have to put this one on the todo queue though =)
-Jefferson
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imnoi
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is a post for jeremy and anonymous who asked about graham crackers. the best substitute we have for them in australia are shredded wheatmeal. for this cheesecake, the shape of the biscuit (cookie/cracker) is inconsequential, although you may experience some inconvenience for those recipes requiring the biscuit to be used whole.
a teaspoon of ground ginger in the crumb base is not a bad addition to the recipe, it a adds a certain something.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I tried the recipe, and had rather unfortunate results. Upon removing the Cheesecake from the oven, the top looked great, and using an instant-read thermometer the center was about 153F. At the time the center of the cake was still really gooey, but the recipe said it'd set once it was fully chilled. The next morning I pulled out the cake, and the center is STILL gooey. It may have something to do with my springform pan being a little deeper (at 9", holding all the filling with some room to spare). Any suggestions on how to salvage this expensive trainwreck?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: gooey cheesecake

I hope this response isn't too late (it probably is), but you can try freezing the cheesecake. In general, fully cooked cheese cakes freeze really well. To thaw, just place them in the refrigerator over night and they should be ready to eat the next day. This freezing, may help to set the center of your cheesecake a bit more.

That helps with the what to do, but why did it happen? I'm not sure. It could be that your instant read thermometer needs recalibrating or the combination of humidity, atmospheric conditions, cooling properties of your pan and environment, who knows causes the cake not to properly set. I would suggest to bake the next cheesecake a little bit longer or try leaving it in the oven with the door cracked open for ten to twenty minutes after you've reached 150F. Ideally, we want the temperature over 150 but as close to 160F as possible - but going over 160F almost always results in cracking.

One of the difficulties of cheesecakes is that you need to make them a few times to get the recipe just right for your ingredients, oven, and location. After investing the time and money, you've got a dessert that everyone will be fighting to get their hands on.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just tried this recipe for a birthday present for a cheesecake lover... it worked great, aside from some problems at the start (mixing the cream cheese killed the mixer I was using.. I probably should have warmed the cheese more before starting).

I ended up with some gooeyness at the center of the cheesecake as well, but not too much. I actually cut the cooking time a little short, so it didn't surprise me. I didn't remember to look for a thermometer while looking for a new mixer, so it was mostly guesswork.

Thanks for this article, I'm sure I'll end up experimenting more with it in the future.
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Hui May
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The recipes seem quite interesting
and easy. My questions is
Can I use other biscuits like digestive biscuit to subsitute with graham crackers and American cream cheese with Philadelphia Cream Cheese since it is hard to get the same ingredients in South East Asia . To bake the crust,
I would like to mix the butter and crackers only without adding the sugar. Any comments ?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: Hui May's ingredient substitutions

Those substitutions will work just fine. It seems that digestive biscuits are the same thing as graham crackers. In the U.S. graham crackers are made sweet, so the addition of the sugar may not be necessary for those who don't like strongly flavored sweets.

Philadelphia cream cheese is a brand of American cream cheese, so that will work well. In fact, Philidelphia cream cheese is the most popular cream cheese in the United States - so no worries there!

Good luck.
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Biow
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

very basic Q.. when u beat the cream cheese, do u use a K-beater or the balloon whisk on ur KA (KitchenAide)? and what speed did u use? Thanks!
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: beater type and speed

I used the flat beater (not whisk) to beat the cream cheese. I started on low and moved up in speed as the cream cheese began to become smooth - then I slowly stepped up to a low-medium speed (about a 4 on my mixer). When adding ingredients, I moved it back down to low to reduce the possibility of splatter.
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Chris
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I just tried this recipe and it was going fine until the very end--I was too afraid to open the oven door and mess with the temperature that I couldn't see that the oven (even though the dial was turned to 200) was actually 300 degrees F! The cheesecakes are cooling now, and I hope that they didn't get too terribly damaged (the thermometer reads 200 degrees at the center of each one).

One thing I dont get--and this is probably from an inexpert understanding of physics--is how if the cheesecakes are in the oven for an hour and forty minutes the center never reaches the same temperature as the oven. Shouldn't they be reading 200 degrees as well? (Well, obviously they don't since there was a 100-degree difference in mine.) Why is it that the heat doesn't permeate that far?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: physics

My thermodynamics is a bit rusty, but a few estimates can be made if we make some simple assumptions.

A 10" cheese cake has a volume of approximately 2600 cm^3 (mL). If we approximate that cheesecake has the density of water and the specific heat of water, then it takes about 10.9 kJ to raise its temperature by 1C (4186 J/kgC * 2.6 kg). Starting at 20C and ending up at 100C, the water needs to gain about 870 kJ of energy.

Using Stefan's Law, we can approximate roughly how fast energy entered the water with an oven set to 200C (through radiation):
P = (5.67*10^-8 W/m^2*K^4)(surfacearea)(0.95)(T^4-T0^4)
P = 5.67*10^-8 W/m^2*K^4*(0.14m^2)(0.95)(((373 K)^4-(293 K)^4)
Thus P is about 90 W

This means it takes about 9600 seconds or 2 hour 40 minutes for a body of water the size and shape of cheesecake to reach an average temperature of 200C.

Likewise a calculation based on 90 W entering the water/cheesecake approximation, shows that after 1 hr. 40 min, 540 kJ of energy has been added to the cheesecake shaped water, raising it's temperature by 49.5 C to a final average temperature of 69.5C or 157F.

Of course all of these calculations are real crude especially since a cheesecake is a bit more complicated than a fat cylinder of water, the specific heat and emissivity of water is not constant (varies a little by temperature), and we don't take into account the pan or conductive heat. (I did quickly glance at how much heat would be conducted from the air to the cake, but it looks like it would be less than a watt, so I ignored it.) Otherwise, this is probably a pretty good estimate.
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DeLoReSs
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael..
My oven here in UK has GAS MARK 1, 2, 3,4 etc. Therefore i'm not sure which mark should i put in order to bake this cheesecake. I really wanted to try your recipe. Hope u could help me in this matter.
Many thanx..
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: Gas Mark

I think 500F is around 10 Gas Mark while 200F is a little lower than 1/4 Gas Mark.

I suggest using an oven thermometer to see what setting on your oven equates to 200F since you're going to need to set it lower than the lowest marked value (usually 1 Gas Mark - some ovens go down to 1/4 Gas Mark but we need a bit lower).

For the record, I use the following for rough Gas Mark conversion:
1/4 Gas Mark = 225F
1/2 Gas Mark = 250F
1 Gas Mark = 275F
Each additional Gas Mark is another 25F.
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an anonymous reader
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,

I must say this is one of the best basic cheesecake recipes I've found. I use it quite often by itself, or as a base for flavored cheesecakes. I've had zero problems with the recipe. In terms of the "gooyness" in the middle that some have reported I recommend this. When removing the cake from the oven, after running a paring knife around the edge-cover the cake with a larger pan and let it cool to room temperature. This will take along time but will set the cake nicely with no sudden drop in temperature. I then refrigerate until cold and then freeze. Freezing the cake is the easiest way I've found to get the cake out of my expensive pans. All in all I don't think you can go wrong with this recipe. Thumbs Up to Michael!
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