Why did my Gleaming Maple Cheesecake split on the top? (Don’t worry, it’ll still get eaten!)
Nigella's Gleaming Maple Cheesecake (from NIGELLA CHRISTMAS) is the November 2020 Cookalong recipe. It is a baked cheesecake that is flavoured with maple syrup and is also served with an anointing of the same syrup. Baked cheesecakes can split on top for several reasons, but make sure that all of the ingredients are properly at room temperature before you make the cheesecake as otherwise the batter may not emulsify properly or has to be processed for a longer time and both of these actions can cause cracks to appear. Also, although the method makes the cheesecake batter in a food processor, if you have made it by beating with an electric mixer then be careful not to beat too much as air can be incorporated that expands when the cheesecake is baking and then contracts on cooling, causing sinking and cracks. Beat or process the batter just enough to mix the ingredients together.
Large cracks can also be a sign that the cheesecake was baked for too long, even though a water bath is a very gentle method of baking. As all ovens vary we suggest checking the cheesecake after one hour of baking but if you have a fan oven you may want to check slightly earlier than that as fan ovens can cook more quickly even with a temperature adjustment (we suggest taking a peek after 50 minutes if you think this may be the issue). The cheesecake should be set on top but still have a slight tremble or wobble in the centre if you shake the pan - it will continue to set as it cools. But if the cheesecake batter ripples slightly under the surface, cook the cheesecake for a further 10 minutes and check again.