Cutting a perfect cheesecake

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by sadie's mom, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. sadie's mom

    sadie's mom

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    Here is my second of 3 posts. Topic...Cutting a perfect cheesecake!!

    I make cheesecakes from the size of a cupcake up to 16" in diameter. But the main size is of course, 9" in diameter. Right now I slice each one by hand with are you ready...dry wall knifes;)

    What is the secret to cutting a cheesecake (with at least 16 slices) without having the "tips" break or collapse in?????????:confused: :confused: :confused:

    I rarely have a problem with my chocolate cheesecakes but my original and many others have to be nearly frozen, then I take them out and cut them. Even then the tips break sometimes. :beer: please help.

    I talked to a man last summer who said all of the big cheesecake places freeze then use a big machine to cut their cheesecakes. THAT'S why theirs are so perfect. But I do not want to freeze my cheesecakes just so I can slice them nicely.

    Answer this one for me and I will consider you a god...:lol:

    Thanks,

    Laurie
     
  2. harpua

    harpua

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    Use a long ham carving knife. That way, you can go all the way across the cake without putting a tip towards the middle. Also, keep your knife in SUPER hot water and wipe before each slice. This always works for us, but we do freeze our cheesecakes. I believe I have used this method with well-chilled but thawed cakes as well.

    like the bottom knife in this pic

    [​IMG]

    Making sure it is super sharp is also helpful.

    What knife have you been using?
     
  3. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Swirls and chunks in the cheesecake batter will weaken the tips if you put too much in the center of the cake. I run into this problem frequently with the 16 cut cheesecakes we buy at work. Like Harpua sais, it's nothing that a long knife and hot water can't fix.
     
  4. panini

    panini

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    Nothing easier then partially frozen with a double handle knife or Food Tools slicer. For frig cakes we usea guitar wire or mono fishing line with wooden dowels on one end.
     
  5. jim berman

    jim berman

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    We use dental floss pulled taunt. I saw the bakers at Termini Brothers Bakery in South Philly do it this way... and they have been making cheesecake for a lot longer than just about anybody.
     
  6. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Ditto dental floss or fishing line. It's the only way, in my opinion. Much easier to clean between cuts than a knife, with less waste. Also, the cut is much finer than a knife. Of course, if you do choose to use a knife, make sure it's a thin blade, and have a pitcher of hot water and a towel nearby to remove the excess.
     
  7. sadie's mom

    sadie's mom

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    Thank you for all of the advice.

    When I first started I did use dental floss but I found that when I tried to remove a slice the cut wasn't, I guess, straight enough...I couldn't get a whole piece out without it breaking. Does anyone agree?

    Panini what do you mean by "mono" fishing wire?

    And do you make the wooden dowels on the end or can you buy a utensil like this somewhere?? (My husband is a jack of all trades so if necessary he could make one.)


    :smiles: Laurie
     
  8. panini

    panini

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    Laurie,
    Just a regular old dowel. We use a double wall carboard circle. We have a stack of about 10 that we have taped and use all the time. We pop a cake on top of the pile and cut. You need to put enough pressure to slice down to the board and slide it out using the dowel end. I guess the give in the board lets it cut through to the bottom. There is no problem getting slices out, although be don't parbake or blind the crust.
    HTH
    If I never see another pumpkin chezcake again it will be too soon.:D
    Sorry. Monofiliment fishing line ( 25lbs. test). I have to check that.
    Tried spider wire fishing line(braided) didn't like it.
     
  9. sadie's mom

    sadie's mom

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    I'm on it this week, be prepared...you may be deemed a god soon.....:bounce:

    What is "mono" fishing line though? Just one string or is this something to do with thickness? I feel silly asking.:look:

    I'll let you know how I make out.

    See ya,

    :smiles: Laurie
     
  10. panini

    panini

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    Monofiliment fishing line is the most common lines other then fabric line. Found everywhere. Walmart, maybe even the dollar store. It should only run about buck or 2. The Lbs. test will determain the diameter. I think we use 25lbs. test. Don't go to light or you will be frustrated with the stretch. I'm going to say it's about 4 times larger then dental floss.
    Good Luck.
    I'll take the son comment as a great compliment. But we're probably pretty close in age;)
     
  11. castironchef

    castironchef

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    "Mono" fishing line is short for monofilament. I.e., it is merely a long piece of plastic.

    It's named that to differentiate it from braided fishing lines.
     
  12. panini

    panini

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    Sadie's Mom.
    Sorry, I read that as good son. God Son, Please, please, I need a God Mother!:talk:
     
  13. sadie's mom

    sadie's mom

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    Hee hee, no problem! I tried the fishing line and the center still caved in a bit, not horrible but it wasn't perfect. And the cuts still were not straight, I got a few pieces out but they weren't a nice smooth cut.

    When you stack up those cake circles do you just tape them together on top of one another or do you wrap them with tape? Also, do you remove the cheesecake from it's metal bottom and put it on a cardboard circle before you cut? (I use removable bottom pans.)

    I'm going to start drinking again...:beer:

    Laurie
     
  14. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Why is the center caving in? Are you sure it's baked all the way through??
     
  15. sadie's mom

    sadie's mom

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    I'm absolutely certain it is baked through. It's just the tips that are breaking off in very small amounts, less than an inch. But it's just enough that I feel I must put something in the center to cover the small breaks.

    Did a groom's cheesecake this weekend and I had to cut a 10" into 18 slices and an 8" into 16. I was so worried they'd break off that I ended up freezing them and then cut them with my 14" dry wall knives. (Which of course do go all the way across the cake.) And all was perfect. I just don't like freezing my cheesecakes.

    :beer: Laurie
     
  16. panini

    panini

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    OK,
    I'm not a handy man but a dry wall knife?? The thing with all the large teeth that you cut drywall with? OMG.
    Yes, we just tape the circle platform. Yes, we remove the metal plate. Some of the plates will have bowed over the years and that is why you are not going all the way through. We put a cardboard circle under the cake and then place it on the boards. This will give it enough spongyness to go all the way through.
    You might want to look for a used food tools slicer. Food Tools is the maker and probably have a web site. One went off on ebay for 400.
    I guess I'll just have to fly in and help, since I'm family now:roll:
    pan
     
  17. sadie's mom

    sadie's mom

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    :lol: :lol: You are too funny! No, the dry wall knives are flat and very very thin which is why I use them. They really do work great for cutting cheesecakes into 8 to 12 slices or when the cakes are frozen, but not if they are 16-plus slices at refrigerator temp.

    Are you seriously telling me that when you cut a cheesecake (into 16 or more slices) the way that you described above without freezing that the tips of each slice are perfectly pointed...everytime? Be honest now...you are driving me into alcoholism:beer:

    You're in Texas aren't you? I think that I'd rather fly to you, the temp here is 2 degrees right now...hurts to breathe!

    :smiles: Laurie
     
  18. panini

    panini

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    I don't recall the sagging tips, but we rarely take the slices out and rarely cut a chilled one. We run most of our coolers around 35. so they are pretty stiff. geez I hope no one speed reads this:look:
    We also make a NY style which makes the top pretty tight. We go almost light golden brown.
    I will have them take one out of the display case this morning and ask them to slice it 16.
    I'll let you know. That's a 10 ".
    I don't mind sending you into alcoholism but I certainly don't want to mislead you. Have you tried drinking before you cut? Maybe the tips will become straight:D
     
  19. sadie's mom

    sadie's mom

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    :lol: :lol: :lol: OK you are killing me now!!!!

    Here we go...I cut 6 cheesecakes today into 12 slices each. I taped the circles together, I removed the metal bottom and put the cake on a cardboard circle, then I cut the cheesecake with 25# mono-fishing line and I was REALLY, REALLY CAREFUL to go straight down and then I did a "sawing" motion as I added even more pressure to the fishing line. Did the tips break? Nope:) , could I remove the slices without incident...Nope:mad: ! I was making samplers out of most of them and believe me every piece was "jagged". I ended up running my drywall knives between the cuts in order to make them nice and smooth so they would fit together in a nice happy little circle:beer:

    I think that cutting cheesecakes this way for a wedding is something that I could get away with; but it may just be more of a hassle if I need to make samplers or put pieces into pie slice containers for the deli's that I supply.

    Don't you serve your cheesecakes by the slice at your place? And by the way I can personally guarantee you that if I drank before I worked that I would not be in business for long! FYI, I decided to go to a friends and have SEVERAL cold ones tonight:beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: I'm feeling reeeaaallly nice!:smiles: :crazy:

    Laurie
     
  20. panini

    panini

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    I'm beginning to think maybe you should think about going into drywalling:D
    Kinda of a snow day today. All schools closed. no business. This afternoon, a little cerveza for the production side and a nice cheap cab for the creative side. Cal. Lodi
    a discussion about this person who is having trouble with her cheese cake cutting.
    We did cut a 10" We used the piano/guitar wire. It was 5pm and the mono was 10 feet away. We cut, no problem, no sagging tips:) but we did get some instability when we tried to remove slices:confused: We seemed to have more problems with the cut surfaces sticking together as we tried to remove. So we finished the second bottle and a dozen fresh biscotti and pulled another cake.
    Yes we do sell slices. We slice partially frozen.

    We used a thin straight slicer.... not good
    used the same slicer run through a wet towel... good
    used slicer in hot water knife can.... very good
    General consensus.. slice frozen... I know this is not what you wanted to hear.Am I hearing that you use these for samples or tastings? Why not bake square for that? I know it is nice to present a maticulus piece to perspective clients, but is that really how their guest will see it? We cringe when we hear large cheesecake. We have never seen a cheesecake properly cut and served buy any c or a++ service staff. and we forwarn clients.
    Got to sleep. we will figure this out. I have a very good friend at a well know cheesecake production facility. I'll ask her how she did it before machines.
    cheers
    pan
    oh, we did see a difference when slicing tip first(a little sag) vs cutting heel of the knife first rocking forward. Make sense?