Italian Cheesecake Question re: Fluffiness

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by masseurchef, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. masseurchef

    masseurchef

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    Recent (1-2 years) culinary school grad, line cook.
    Hi, there's a nice Italian cheesecake recipe that I've used, but I just find this cheesecake and cheesecake in general can be a little dense. I love it but it just reminds me of eating a sweet brick of cream cheese sometimes. So I was trying to think of how to make it a little lighter, thought about maybe finding some sort of cheesecake that has more flour or something. Anyways, the lightbulb finally went on and I realized I could beat the egg whites, rather than just adding whole eggs, and fold in the beaten whites just before baking. This is probably a well-known cheesecake variation that I just wasn't familiar with, but the result was so fluffy that I'm left asking, is there something specific I should perhaps be aware of when doing this sort of cheesecake? Some technique or ingredient considerations? Is there a way of making it not quite so fluffy, lol, a middle ground? Thanks!
     
  2. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    What kind of cheese are you using?

    Posting the complete recipe would help with diagnosis.
     
  3. masseurchef

    masseurchef

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    Recent (1-2 years) culinary school grad, line cook.
    Thanks for the reply, it's 1:1 cream cheese and ricotta, eggs, sugar, sour cream, melted butter, lemon juice, vanilla, flour, and cornstarch -not quite sure why the cornstarch. Upon reviewing the recipe I realize I made a mistake, so I'm back to the drawing board, but it might be worth continuing the discussion about fluffiness anyways. I might be posting this in the wrong forum, so I apologize.
     
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    The cheesecakes I make and most enjoy are NY style - all cream cheese and dense. But if served soon after cooling completely it is fluffier than after the desirable overnight refrigeration. Tasty but not for me.

    When I make Italian cheesecake I use all ricotta. The US ricotta tends to be wet so strain before using. The cornstarch is to avoid cracking. But I’ve never seen sour cream (or cream cheese) in an Italian cheesecake recipe. Some sort of hybrid NY Italian recipe????

    Too much fluffiness, though, and it becomes a mousse. :)

    So what mistake did you make?
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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  6. masseurchef

    masseurchef

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    Recent (1-2 years) culinary school grad, line cook.
    Yes, I was thinking it was probably the Japanese style, although I've never had it because the obvious place that advertised Japanese cheesecake was Uncle Tetsu's, which had a constant line up, and I was like, "I'm not gonna wait in a long line just for cheesecake", lol
     
  7. masseurchef

    masseurchef

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    Recent (1-2 years) culinary school grad, line cook.
    Yeah, I don't know, maybe someone just called it "Italian", it's still a fine cake though. Yes I bet the fluffiness will calm down after overnight refrigeration, I'll let you know. Finally, I'm ashamed to publicly admit I made such an obvious mistake, but I forgot the butter! Perhaps the added fat would have also toned down the fluffiness?
     
  8. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Forgetting the butter... I do that so often that I just don’t bother worrying about it. Honestly... it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.

    If you haven’t refrigerated for at least 4 hours you really don’t know the intended consistency.
     
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  9. masseurchef

    masseurchef

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    Recent (1-2 years) culinary school grad, line cook.
    Upon cooling, it's a nice cake but has just an ever so slight "scrambled eggs" texture. Probably because of the ricotta and whipped egg whites together and also perhaps due to using equal yolks to whites, so perhaps will try more of a Japanese style that is only cream cheese and uses more egg white.
     
  10. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Even a NY all cream cheese cheesecake will have that texture After cooling. After 4 hours refrigeration the texture becomes cheesecake. And this is true if ricotta cheesecakes too. Cheesecake can not be rushed and they are not something to bake and serve on short notice.

    I’ve only read and looked at pics of Japanese cheesecake. It’s very light looking, almost a solid (overbaked) soufflé, and I can’t imagine the taste but suspect it is very mild.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  11. masseurchef

    masseurchef

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    Do you think there's any benefit to baking in a hot water bath? like a creme caramel, say.

     
  12. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Y’know... I dunno. I don’t but many do. I don’t get cracks either. Intellectually I understand and wouldn’t do an egg custard without a water bath. But never had a reason to do so with a cheesecake.
     
  13. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it improves the texture. Without a water bath there's often a discernable texture difference between the Center and outside texture of a cheesecake. The outside would be grainier. This is also related to the thickness of a cheesecake as well. The thicker it is the greater the benefit of the water bath.
     
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  14. masseurchef

    masseurchef

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    Recent (1-2 years) culinary school grad, line cook.
    Update: after a day in the fridge I think it has settled down to a nice texture, not too dense, not fluffy either. There's still just a bit of something that could be called graininess, but sounds like that may be unavoidable. thanks for your replies.