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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Cake Pan for Cheesecake ?

    What kind of cake pan does Nigella use to bake cheesecakes ? I use springform tins but the cheesecake tends to crack when I remove the pan, leaving the cheesecake with "imperfections", even holes sometimes. I tried once with a silicone mould, but it was way too difficult to unmold the cheesecake. Thank you

    From the nigella team:

    Nigella uses springform style pans for cheesecakes as these tend to be fairly deep so can accommodate the cheesecake and also are the easiest type of pan from which to release the cheesecake.

    Cracking on the top of a cheesecake is a fairly common event and is usually due to the cheesecake being slightly overbaked. As the cheesecake cools the filling contracts slightly, causing the cracking. To overcome this it is best to cook the cheesecake as gently as possible -  many of Nigella's recipes cook cheesecakes in a bain Marie (water bath). A bain Marie will protect the cheesecake from the direct heat of the oven, so it cooks more gently, and also gives a slightly more moist environment in the oven which helps. Check the  cooking cheesecake about 15 minutes before the end of the recommended cooking time - if it is still very wobble in the centre then it needs slightly more baking - if the very centre of the cheesecake is still slightly wobbly then it should be OK to remove the cheesecake from the oven as the cheesecake will continue cooking as it cools.

    You can also try greasing the sides of the pan generously, to reduce the "grip" that the cheesecake has on the sides of the tin so that as it cools the filling will release from the sides of the tin and reduce the cracking. Some people also like to run a thin bladed, sharp knife around the edge of the cheesecake once it has baked, to reduce the cheesecake from cracking. Also try not to beat too much air into the cheesecake patter before cooking as small air bubbles will tend to expand in the heat of the oven and can cause cracks.

    A cheesecake with a cracked top should still be fine to eat (providing it has been stored and handled correctly) and larger cracks can be disguised with a topping of fruit.

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