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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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  • Crisp Cheesecake Crust

    I have made both baked and non-baked versions of cheesecakes. Though I blind baked the biscuit crumb layer, it still becomes soggy after setting the whole cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight. Is there any way to keep the base more crisp? Also baking it blind makes it difficult to slice the cheesecake easily. Any advice?

    From the nigella team:

    The biscuit crumb layer of a cheesecake will never be as crisp as a pastry shell as the base itself is only bound with melted butter and baked to set it slightly. When a cheesecake is refrigerated the moister filling combined with the cool, moist air from the fridge is likely to make the base slightly damp (regardless of whether the cheesecake is a baked or non-baked version).

    However if you would like to try and retain slightly more crispness in the base then brush some lightly beaten egg white over the surface of the biscuit layer before you bake it (a technique sometimes used for pastry tart shells when they are baked blind). The egg wash will set and form a layer between the cheesecake base and filling and this should help to reduce the amount of moisture penetrating the base. If your cheesecake is not a baked type then make sure the base has completely cooled before adding the filling.

    The biscuit crumb base is usually difficult to cut if it has been compressed too much. When you spread the crumb mixture over the bottom of the pan don't press too hard, just enough to give an even layer of crumbs with a smooth surface.

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