How to Stop Cheesecake from Falling?

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by hhinman, May 16, 2012.

  1. hhinman

    hhinman

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    Many years ago, I used to bake cheesecakes following a simple recipe in the Sheraton World Cookbook. I obtained a copy of the book recently and tried again. I have made 5 cheesecakes that were 4-5 inches tall and beautiful in the oven. All 5 have fallen however to about an inch think. They fall very quickly after the oven is turned off.

    I have no idea what is causing this. I've tried variations and read various internet forums. I let the ingredients get to room temperature, try to cut down on beating to reduce aeration, and tried water baths and water pans on a lower rack and without any water. Cooked at both 325 and 350 degrees. I've let it cook in the oven and out and with a small crack open in the oven door In all case, gorgeous cheesecakes in the oven but all fell.

    The only variances from when I used to successfully make these years ago is that I have a gas oven today and had electric before (I have used a temperature probe to validate the temperature by the way), and I am using a 10 inch round pan as opposed to a 9 inch. All 5 cakes rose about the pan as well.

    The receipt calls for the following ingredients:

    12 oz Cream Cheese

    3/4 cup sugar

    5 eggs

    1 cup half and half

    1 cup heavy whipping cream

    1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

    2 teaspoons grated lemon grind

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    1. Butter the pan and cover with crushed graham crackers

    2. beat cream cheese and sugar

    3. add 5 eggs one at a time and beat well after each one.

    4. add lemon rind, lemon juice and vanilla extract

    5. Add cream and half and half

    6. pour into pan

    7. place pan in oven in larger pan filled with 1/2 inch of water.

    8. Bake 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees.

    Any suggestions/advice would be great appreciated.
     
  2. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    In looking at your recipe I think the amounts have to be off. Typically I use 32 ounces of cream cheese to 4 eggs. Your recipe has way too much liquid and not enough stabilizer to keep the cheese cake up. 
     
  3. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    I agree Nicko, 

    @ HH:

    The recipe you posted from the Sheraton World Cookbook, is that the exact recipe ? Your recipe is MISSING a good portion of the cream cheese, I see you need a little more sugar, some flour.

    As far as the 2 cups of cream go ? Maybe make a Bavarian with it ?

    Have your tried the Dunn's cheesecake recipe ? It's on the net, very close to the one I make.

    I don't think that recipe should have all the liquid. Puzzling ?

    Petals.
     
  4. hhinman

    hhinman

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    Yes, that is the exact recipe (I have the book in front of me. I used it 20 years ago multiple times with no issue. Made fantastic cheese cake. Used by the Sheraton in New York. This receipt rises up to about 4-5 inches tall, golden brown on the top, no cracks. But now drops like a rock every time. I tried putting a Tablespoon of cornstarch in the last time and cook it at 350 instead of 325 until very brown and it it still dropped like a rock.
     
     
  5. hhinman

    hhinman

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    Thanks, I tried increasing to 32 oz of Cream Cheese. Beautiful cake by fell about half way. Taller than previous cakes, but because of extra volume I suspect. Also too strong of a cheesy taste says the 3 people who tried it.
     
  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Too little cheesecake won't cause the custard to rise too much. The reverse, more likely. Since there's no leavening in the cake and it's rising for SOME reason, it seems pretty clear you're over-beating. I'm not sure how you think cornstarch or flour will help control the rise. I'm similarly mystified as to why people think more cream cheese will make a difference in that respect.

    Try beating at your beater's lowest speed and only until the mixture is fully combined. Then pass the raw, mixed batter through a sieve a couple of times before filling the pan and baking. That will go some way towards knocking down whatever bubbles are in it and should hold the rise down.

    Cheesecake is essentially a custard pie with more or less cream cheese. The less cheese the more custard like; the more cheese, the denser and richer. That's about it. The tricks to keeping the cake from getting too active during the bake are keeping the bubbles out of the batter (so they don't expand when they heat), and baking at a reasonably low temperature. There's nothing wrong with 325F, if you don't mind a bit of browning on the top.

    Don't worry about the rise and fall, as long as you don't get too much cracking during the subsequent cool-down; and don't forget to cool in the oven with the door open and the rack out (vestibule cooling), then cool on the counter, before fully ripening the cheesecake in the fridge.

    Out of curiosity, what sort of crust are you doing?

    BDL
     
  7. hhinman

    hhinman

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    Thanks for the advice - I'll give it a try. The recipe simply has one coat the bottom and sides of the pan with softened butter and then roll graham cracker crumbs. Not much of a crust actually.
     
     
  8. hhinman

    hhinman

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    One question - are you stating there should be little or no rise at all? I'm trying to achieve a tall cheesecake (3-4 inches) and the amount of filling that pours in is only about 1 1.2 inches tall in the pan.
     
  9. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Hhinman,

    I make my crust with 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup of powdered sugar, 1/3 melted butter.

    Mix the graham with sugar till its well combined then I add the melted butter, not like a paste but rather like a crumble.

    Gently line the pan with the crumb till it covers the bottom and up the side a little.

    I have never buttered a pan. There is enough fat in the ingredients. Once it ripens in the fridge , I pass a sharp knife along the edge, you probably do this as well.

    Because of this thread ,last night I made a cheesecake and this is how it turned out. If you are looking for height (3 1/4 inches - ) , this is it. Same size pan you use. I will make your recipe  and re-post. 

    Petals.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  10. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    That's up to you. However, it's the nature of most cream-cheese cheesecakes to be very dense and not hold much rise.

    I didn't really understand what you were going for, and apologize for that. A 4" cheesecake is quite an achievement. If all you want is more height, use more batter. By controlling the amount of oven rise, you should be able to get a fair amount of cheesecake batter in the pan without having it overflow during baking.

    If you're looking for a high, light and still NY style baked cheesecake it makes sense to start "cheating" by using more batter, adding things lighter cheeses (hoop cheese for instance), and over-beating. I don't know if you'd go so far to call a cake like that is a horse of a different color than the typical baked cheesecake, but it approaches.

    Another way of proceeding would be to add some -- and I mean more than a tablespoon or two -- of flour in an attempt to get the glutens to give the batter enough structure to hold on to some air. It's not something I do, so can't give you much advice.

    I have a recipe posted on CT for a "crostata ricotta" which may be more along the lines of what you're looking for in terms of height and lightness than the recipe you're using now. Still decadent though, no worries on that score.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  11. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I would say change the " beat well " to " incorporate gently by hand ". In my experience, I can beat the hell out the mixture until I start to add eggs. Once I start to do that; the easier I am, the less the fall.
     
  12. hhinman

    hhinman

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    Thanks. Looks gorgeous. I'm very interested how you do with the Sheraton Recipe.
     
     
  13. prettycake

    prettycake Banned

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    The recipe that really works for me is the Juniors Cheesecake (NYC) one.  It never falls and it is dense.  I do not like airy cheesecake UNLESS I want the Japanese Cheesecake w/c is like spongecake but Cheesecake..  This is the Juniors Cheesecake I made last time.. To me water bath WITH water helps in preventing from falling and never cracks too....and I also use  thin layer and dense of white cake as crust..

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2012
  14. hhinman

    hhinman

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    Did you try the Sheraton recipe yet?
     
     
  15. prettycake

    prettycake Banned

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    No,  Juniors Cheesecake is the only one I have been making...  But I will try this.  thank you
     
  16. hhinman

    hhinman

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    Made a different recipe this evening from the Cheesecake Bible I ordered off Amazon. New York Cheesecake recipe. Got the height I was looking for. This recipe uses 40 ounces of Cream cheese and 5 eggs plus 2 more yolks. Only 1/4 cup of cream. Came out very well and excellent taste.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Looks terrifc Hhinman,

    The height is good and the texture looks like its spot on. Thanks for posting the picture.

    Petals.
     
  18. hhinman

    hhinman

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    Yes, it's good. Problem is it uses 40 oz. of Cream Cheese vs. the 12 oz. in the Sheraton Recipe
     
     
  19. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    I noticed that. I will be trying your recipe hopefully tonight. For the reason you said it is  4-5 high , I will line the cake pan.

    The cheesecake you just made has about  the same amount  (eggs and cheese ) I use.

    I am always looking for the perfect cheesecake recipe, I am glad you started this thread, it gives us the chance to troubleshoot this recipe.

    Petals.
     
  20. hhinman

    hhinman

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    OK - thanks. Good luck with the Sheraton Recipe. I'm really interested to see if you can get it to work - makes a much lighter fluffier cheesecake when it works.