Most of the time I’m not the person who splits hairs, but there are exceptions. Earlier, when I was beginning to make light cheesecake, I failed by accident, and there were a variety of tiny problems in my sequent work. And everything was out of hand, determination was made even hitting a brick wall did not hold me back, I made all the mistakes both intentinally and unintentionally. During that time I was simply bewitched, I factored and listed various reasons that caused success or failure, and I made experiments by controlling different variables one by one. Having spent sumless ingredients within a few days, I stuffed in refrigerator with successful cakes or unsuccessful cakes, and I was about to undertake all the eggs of nearby supermarkets.
No crap, here is the exchange experience with hundreds of eggs.
Question 1: Why water still inflows in silver paper no matter how to wrap movable bottom mold?
I think there is no secure solution on this problem, so I suggest not using water bath method if you want to do with the movable bottom mold. It’s recommended to switch to use ovenware filled with water and onto the grill, and place cake mold on the grill. Although this will increase the chances of cake cracking, it won’t be too much obvious if you control well of the temperature, I think cracking is better if you have to choose between the risk of cracking and inflowing.
Question 2: Surface dry, bottom wet, cake tastes inconsistently up and down
The greatest possibility is the inflow of water. If fixed bottom mold is what you use, it would probably be much lacking of time when adopting water bath method, which directly leads to undercooked cake. There is also another possibility, too large of the ovenware, which completely blocks the heat at the bottom of the oven, and thus the cake is heated unevenly up and down. If water bath method is adopted, the ovenware is just slightly larger than cake, do not use ovenware that is as large as the oven bottom. Besides, if your oven is extremely small with low power, inject ovenware with hot water to do the water bath.
Question 3: The emergence of pudding layer in the bottom of the cake
Pudding layer refers to the unleavened dough in the bottom of the cake. The emergence of the pudding layer may be the uneven blend of the paste, heavier cheese paste sinks in the end portion, while the lighter meringue floats on top. It’s easier to stir well if textures of cheese paste and meringue are similar. Therefore it is bound to pre-refrigerate cheese paste and never mix in egg whites when it is warm. In addition, whether the paste is easy to whisk will be affected by the whipping extent of egg whites. It is explained in more details in upcoming sections talking about the top cracking. Moreover, it appears that cake will collapse if it is not well cooked.
Question 4: Cake cracking
The reason of cake top cracking is very complicated, most probably is that the temperature is too high or the egg white is too stiff. Also the size,shape and material of mold has some influences on cracking. It is easier to crack if large mold is used or much paste is filled. As for the baking, whether using water bath method or heating over water is not a first consideration, for the stiffness, water bath or not, and temperature of the oven will affect reciprocally. Be sure to take those variables into account contemporarily, and you can bake the perfect light cheesecake.
Refers to the stiffness of meringue, many people have suggested that whipping to medium peak is better, my experience is that whipping to soft peak is on the line. Whip until you can stick the beater straight down into the bowl and when flipped over, the peak will fall over on itself, that is the egg white of soft peak. And when it comes to medium peak, if you pull the beater out it makes a small peak and a little curved hook. The chances of cracking will be big enough if you beat egg white to medium peak. My approach is, when whipping almost to soft peak, stop to check after 10 seconds’ medium speed whipping, if it is not enough, continue to whip for 10 seconds, the best state is when pulling the beater out, the peak will fall over naturally by shaking.
The well whipped meringue shall be fairly easy to mix with cheese paste, and won’t be facile to defoam. If you feel the mixture of the two is hard to mix well after pouring meringue into the cheese paste, that means the egg white is over whipped, conversely,it is not enough if defoaming too fast.
The key factor of whipping egg white determines the final cracking. But there is another factor likely to be ignored, material of mold. The best mold to bake light cheese will be nonstick mold, because the surface of the paste will withstand the downward pull and to a certain extent it will crack if it sticks to the mold wall and can not freely expand high. Be bound to oil butter on the inner wall of the nonstick mold if you adhere to use it.
Question 5: Large oven and small oven will produce different results
Due to the strict requirements towards the temperature of baking light cheesecake, people need different strategies with large oven and small oven. Large oven is relatively accurate on temperature, but usually with hot air and less steam, cake is farther away from the heat and not easy to color. So people with a large oven shall observe for a moment when baking in half the time, if you find cake expands too high with little breaks in the surface and is about to crack, quickly pour a small cup of cold water into the ovenware to lower the temperature and add steam. Transfer the cake to the middle and upper layer and bake for a few minutes if not satisfied with the color.
The temperature of small oven often goes awry, and will be unstable during the prolonged baking. And at the very start to put the cake into the oven, the actural temperature inside the oven will be significantly reduced because of the water in the ovenware. However, cake will not be easy to crack for the small volume and better steam environment. So people with small oven should make ways to verify the real temperature of your oven, and get an oven thermometer to observe the changes of temperature. Do not open the door of oven as much as possible during the baking in avoid of the stability of temperature.