The Real Trick to Making a Silky-Smooth Cheesecake Filling

Aside from the bain-marie, the proverbial cracking, the long baking time, and the unimaginably long cooling time, the cheesecake has only one problem: pieces of unblended cream cheese. Cakes and quick breads made with flour are often fine if there are small clumps of unblended ingredients – usually shaken out in the oven. However, cheesecake is different. Everything should blend perfectly. And it turns out we professional bakers have been wrong all along telling you how to avoid them.

By and large, the classic technique for making a smooth cheesecake was to start with cream cheese at room temperature (which can reach 55°F or 60°F), use an electric mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl five thousand times. Add the liquid ingredients once and gradually, all in the name of preventing clumps. But a much faster and less annoying way to make a silky cheesecake filling starts with melting and heating the ingredients.

Cheesecakes are made with cream cheese, eggs, liquids or semi-liquids, and sugar. The desired temperature for all of these ingredients (excluding dry ingredients and anything that is a teaspoon or less) is warmer than room temperature: 92°F to 135°F. Your ingredients will blend best if they are all at the same warm temperature, and this can be done a lot faster than waiting hours for your cream cheese to sit on the counter.

Cut as much cream cheese as needed for your recipe into large chunks and place them in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for two to three minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir. After about a minute, you will see the cream cheese begin to soften. By the end of it, the bottom of the bowl should be noticeably warm and the cream cheese should be fluffy and soft, as if you spread cream cheese on a bagel that was too hot and it splashed out. back. Stir the cheese until all lumps are gone and it is nice and smooth. If you find hard lumps there, toss for another 20 seconds or so.

You can heat any liquid or sour cream in the same way by placing it in the microwave and stirring every 20-30 seconds until warm to the touch. The ideal temperature is 92-135°F, so nothing should be too hot. If you are not sure, use a thermometer to check. Anything above 144°F will start to cook your eggs, which is a whole other piece that we don’t want. To reheat eggs, simply dip a whole egg (in its shell) into a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes, changing the water if it gets cold due to the coldness of the egg. The hot water will gently raise the temperature of the egg.

Once your ingredients are warm enough and melted, mix them together according to the recipe directions. Using this method, you don’t even need an electric mixer; all this can be done by hand with a whisk. Not only will the ingredients come together without a struggle, you may not have to empty the bowl at all, allowing you to mix twice as fast as the traditional method. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and spend the time gained in the bain-marie (or be the boss and just toss it in the fryer ).

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