Chanukah brings soufganiyot, Purim brings hamentaschen, Pesach brings… well, whatever we can make out of matzah.
But those holidays are all behind us now, and Shavuot is on the horizon, which can mean only one thing: CHEESECAKE!!
While I have a number of different cheesecakes on my Shavuot menu I know that a lot of families like to get their hands dirty in the kitchen (especially when you can lick off your fingers, and the spatula, and the bowl) once the work is done. So I wanted to offer some tips based on hard-won experience in the bakery:
1) Keep things low key:
The worst thing is a lot of banging, slamming, and pounding. Avoid quick, harsh movements that will transfer to the cheesecakes as they bake: slamming the oven door, dropping the pan on the counter, etc.
2) Splish spash, taking a bath
Cooking cheesecake batter evenly is a trick some ovens are simply not up to. But you can overcome that obstacle by putting your baking dish in a water bath – a pan of water that surrounds (but obviously doesn’t overflow into) your pie dish. The water creates an even baking environment and all but guarantees you with good results.
3) Chill before you chill
Don’t rush the cheesecake from the oven to the refrigerator. Let it completely cool down to room temperature before covering it and popping it in the fridge.
4) CREAM cheese. not LUMP cheese.
Taken straight out of the refrigerator, your cream cheese is not going to meld with the other ingredients, resulting in a lumpy batter. To avoid this, let it sit on the counter for about 1 hour before use.
5) The perfect slice
When you’re ready to serve, dip your cutting knife into hot water for a few moments to heat it up, then dry the knife thoroughly, and then cut into your cheesecake. You’ll end up with slices that are smooth as glass and a treat for the eyes and the mouth!
I’d love to see how your tasty creations come out, so post pictures on my Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages. And if time gets away from you and you need me to help out you can call or text me with your order, or even order everything from my Shavuot menu on my online store.