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Cheesecake Density Dilemma

Meryl's picture

WHAT can be done to make a cheesecake more dense and firm? I want it creamy, but as someone on eGullet described, not as if I'm eating sweetened cream cheese. It seems many people are trying to solve this dilemma. How to achieve a creaminess that's not overly creamy, mixed with a slightly drier cakey texture. I remember in the good old days when I lived in NYC, I experienced that exact texture at the Carnegie Deli. Their ultra-high NY Cheesecakes were superb.


Paula Wolfert said she thinks if you drain the cheese for a day or two you would get that dense texture. Do you agree?


I've also heard that using all whole eggs instead of yolks, might make a difference because of the drying effect of the whites. The NY Cheesecake recipe I use has 5 whole eggs and just 2 yolks, so I'm wondering how much effect, if any, only 2 yolks would have as opposed to using two whole eggs instead? Or perhaps replacing the 2 yolks with just the whites?  What do you think?


The other specifics in the NY Cheesecake recipe I use, are: 40 oz cream cheese, 1/4 cup sour cream, 3 Tbsp flour, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 1 tsp each lemon and orange zest, 3/4 tsp vanilla. It's baked at 500 F for 10 minutes to brown the top, then at 200 F for close to 2 hours, ie, until the top is set 3 inches from the edges. I don't use a waterbath, but just set a shallow pan of water under the rack where the cheesecake is sitting. (I've also made it without the pan of water - texture was basically the same, except there was a crack). I've noticed a slighter firmer texture after chilling it for 48 hours as opposed to 24, but no difference in the 48  as opposed to 72 hours.


    



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst


Edited 10/8/2004 5:55 pm ET by Meryl

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

APonKP's picture

(post #63275, reply #87 of 156)

No reason, I hope.

We'll share notes about this later.  Those festers are not going to be thinking about anything but a good time!

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne
Meryl's picture

(post #63275, reply #89 of 156)

Wish I was going! Okay, we'll get into the cheesecake testing mania when those lucky CT'ers return. Ah, what we do for science.



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

AnnL's picture

(post #63275, reply #88 of 156)

I think the hardest thing about this recipe tweaking is that there won't be any common taste tester(s).  Although each of you say you know what the other means about the real NY cheesecake, memory and individual taste preferences are likely to vary considerably: two of you like less sugar, another likes it sweeter, some of you like it with lemon, another doesn't, etc.  This will be interesting to see how you guys progress with this 'experiment'.  :-)


 


AnnL
Transitions Farm
Gardening, cooking, and riding Central Mass.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Meryl's picture

(post #63275, reply #90 of 156)

Yes, you're right, but we're going more for texture than taste. Although, of course I'd rather do a test where I know I'll like the taste, ie, not too sweet, but sweet enough, etc. etc. than just go for texture and not want to eat it because I don't like the taste! That's why I'm going to use my standard recipe and add more flour, which I hope doesn't alter the taste too much, but does alter the texture. A gathering of common taste testers would be a lot more scientific for sure, but this is the next best thing. You wanna join in?


Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

AnnL's picture

(post #63275, reply #91 of 156)

Yes, but it's been suggested that the amount of sugar might be a key to the texture, soooo....?  <shrug>


I'm not much of a bake--I've never made a cheesecake, so I'm pretty sure you don't want me!  Plus, I don't know that I've ever had "real" NY cheesecake, so I don't know the texture that you're trying for.  But, if ya'll wanna send me some samples, I'll be more than happy to volunteer my taste buds!  :-)


Hmmmm, I have to stop in at Rein's NY-style deli on my drive down to Tracy-fest.  I wonder if they're cheesecake is "real" NY cheesecake???  Hmmmm.  :-)


 


AnnL
Transitions Farm
Gardening, cooking, and riding Central Mass.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

MadMom's picture

(post #63275, reply #93 of 156)

I've got an idea...everybody bake about a half dozen cheesecakes, bring them all to Tracyfest, and we'll serve as tasters...everyone can have a thin sliver of each one.  Then you'll have an unbiased tasting group!

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin

AnnL's picture

(post #63275, reply #107 of 156)

An excellent idea!  :-)


 


AnnL
Transitions Farm
Gardening, cooking, and riding Central Mass.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

Meryl's picture

(post #63275, reply #95 of 156)

"Yes, but it's been suggested that the amount of sugar might be a key to the texture, soooo....?  <shrug>"


There's a good chance of that, and thereby leaves me with a dilemma. I may also have a similar problem if I increase the flour, ie, it may take away too much of the sugar or other flavors.


"Hmmmm, I have to stop in at Rein's NY-style deli on my drive down to Tracy-fest.  I wonder if they're cheesecake is "real" NY cheesecake???  Hmmmm.  :-)"


Either way, you'll probably have a great cheesecake! BTW, where's Rein's deli?



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63275, reply #99 of 156)

"Yes, but it's been suggested that the amount of sugar might be a key to the texture, soooo....? 

There's a good chance of that, and thereby leaves me with a dilemma. I may also have a similar problem if I increase the flour, ie, it may take away too much of the sugar or other flavors."

Whie less sugar may make it drier, I doubt that's the way it's achieved in NY, simply because the cheesecakes there are fairly sweet.

MadMom's picture

(post #63275, reply #100 of 156)

Coming a bit late to this party, but just remembered I had George Geary's "125 Best Cheesecake Recipes" cookbook, and looked in it for a New York Style cheesecake.  DBMNMR, but it does sound like he does a lot of beating, and I can't remember anyone else using quite so much zest.  Thought I would post it for comparison, though.  Here's his recipe:


New York Style Cheesecake


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F; use a 9" cheesecake pan with 3" sides


Crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


Filling
5 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup whipping cream


1. Crust.  In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter.  Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.


2. Filling. In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Mix in flour, lemon, and orange zest.  Add eggs and egg yolks, beating after each addition.  Mix in vanilla and cream.  Pour batter over frozen crust.  Bake for only 10 minutes at 500F and reduce heat to 200F.  Bake for an additional 60 minutes.  The top should be puffy like a souffle with a light golden color.  Cool on a rack for 2 hours.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.


Edited to say that after I posted it, went back and looked, and it sounds exactly like Wolvie's recipe, except he adds vanilla and the two zests...although his technique is a bit different



Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
Lily Tomlin


Edited 10/18/2004 10:10 pm ET by MadMom

Wolvie's picture

(post #63275, reply #108 of 156)

interesting - that's my recipe with the zest included. :-)


"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."


George W. Bush


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

Meryl's picture

(post #63275, reply #102 of 156)

"Whie less sugar may make it drier, I doubt that's the way it's achieved in NY, simply because the cheesecakes there are fairly sweet."


That's true. Wish I could take a trip to NYC just to have a slice of the Carnegie Deli Cheesecake (at 4 AM of course)!


Edited for typo



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst


Edited 10/18/2004 11:47 pm ET by Meryl

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #63275, reply #103 of 156)

Just thinking off the top of my head right now, but the consensus seems to be that less sugar will result in a drier cheesecake. That makes sense, as sugar binds to water to increase moisture in recipes (which is why Splenda bakes so poorly).

But, cutting the sugar makes it not sweet enough. What about trying granulated fructose? I use this as a diabetic b/c about half as much tastes as sweet as granulated sucrose/table sugar. It is usually sold in the supermarket on the top shelf, next to the lemon curd and the Nectasweet tablets.

I'm avidly following this thread, breathlessly waiting for the results!


DON'T PANIC


You live and learn. At any rate, you live..

- Douglas Adams

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

Meryl's picture

(post #63275, reply #104 of 156)

The fructose sounds like a good possibility. Uh oh - perhaps yet another test in my future? I'll have to do some research on it - have you ever baked with it?


Edit: I just checked on Google about baking with fructose. It seems fructose attracts more moisture than sucrose. DUH. I should have realized that. 


"Fructose sometimes doesn't work well in recipes for baked goods. If you wish to experiment, substitute 2/3 cup granulated fructose for every cup of granulated sugar. Baking with fructose tends to make baked goods moister and darker.)"


-Cook's Thesaurus


"FRUCTOSE: in crystal form is nearly twice as sweet as sucrose and is more expensive. Fructose attracts more water than sugar, therefore, fructose sweetened products tend to be moist. Baked products made with fructose will be darker than if they were made with sucrose."


-Baking 911



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst


Edited 10/19/2004 12:12 am ET by Meryl

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

Meryl's picture

(post #63275, reply #105 of 156)

Interesting - just found this old thread from May of '99. Seems the quest for a firm NY cheesecake never dies.


http://forums.taunton.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=tp-cookstalk&msg=9403.1&search=y



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #63275, reply #111 of 156)

Hmm, I've baked with the fructose before, and used less than I would with sugar, and gotten good results. I've used it in quick breads and cakes, though, but I'm pretty sure the eggs and cheese in a cheesecake would provide just enough moisture, and, we're looking for dry here, lol! editing to add: I like my baked goods less sweet than most, though... I've gotten used to using half the called for amount of sugar in most things over the past few years, so maybe that's why fructose works for me.

That's odd about it attracting more water, though. I've never really found that to be true, in my experience...


DON'T PANIC


You live and learn. At any rate, you live..

- Douglas Adams


Edited 10/19/2004 2:35 pm ET by Amy, Ellie's Mommie

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

AnnL's picture

(post #63275, reply #106 of 156)

Rein's Deli is just outside Hartford, CT.  The closest thing to a "real" NY deli we have in New England.  It's one of my "have-to-stop-there" places whenever I travel down Rte. 84.  :-)


 


AnnL
Transitions Farm
Gardening, cooking, and riding Central Mass.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #63275, reply #92 of 156)

Carnegie Deli Cheesecake


 


   Warning!  It usually takes a couple of tries to get it just right.


 


    Cookie Crust

    1cup all-purpose flour


    ¼ cup sugar


    1 teaspoon grated lemon rind


    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


    1 egg yolk


    1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 –inch bits


 


    Cheese Filling

    1 ¼ pounds softened cream cheese


    ¾ cup sugar


    1 ½ tablespoon flour


    1 ½ teaspoons Lemon juice


    1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


    3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk


    2 tablespoons heavy cream


 


    Crust                                                                                   

1.      To make the crust, place the flour, sugar, grated lemon rind, vanilla extract, egg yolk, and butter in a large mixing bowl. With your fingertips, rub the ingredients together until they are well mixed and can be gathered into a ball. Dust with a little flour, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


2.      Butter and flour the bottom of a 9 inch X 2 inch spring-form pan, roll out a piece of dough to cover bottom. Dough should be as thick as for a normal sugar cookie (1/4 inch) Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven to a light brown color. Cool the pan and bottom. Butter the sides of the pan. Roll out and line the sides of the pan with more of the cookie dough. Trim excess dough from the edges.


  Filling

To make the filling, place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it is creamy and smooth. Beat in the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, and, when it is well incorporated, beat in the flour, lemon, vanilla, eggs and egg yolk and heavy cream. No Lumps Please!


Baking Step One:


Preheat the oven to 485-500 degrees. Oven should be hot to enhance color. Pour the filling into the cookie dough lined pan, bake in the center of the oven until a dark brown color has been achieved. The cake should also start to rise slightly. Cool for 30 minutes and set oven to 350 degrees.


Baking Step Two:


     After 30 minutes return cheesecake to the oven for a final baking. This procedure will set the cake.


     Remember that the cheesecake is like a pudding with only the eggs being used to firm the   cake.


    When the cake is bouncy in the center and slightly risen in the middle as well on the sides, it’s finished.


 


    Note:


Over bake, the cake will crack and be firm. Under bake,  the cake will tend to be soft in the center. It’s very similar to baking a Flan or a Quiche. Time will vary, due to the variance in each oven. (Usually 25-40 min) Cool at least 2 hours before attempting to remove from the pan. Best to refrigerate over night and serve at nearly room temperature. Fresh fruit is always a great complement.  Always cut with a hot wet knife.


 


It usually takes a couple of tries to get it just right.


Have fun and Enjoy!


 


 


Jeffrey J. Jensen  


Executive Pastry Chef for the Carnegie Deli NYC     

Meryl's picture

(post #63275, reply #94 of 156)

Thanks - Schnitzel posted a link to that recipe awhile back on this thread. As it only uses 1 1/4 lbs cream cheese, there's NO WAY this has any resemblance to the ones I had. The Carnegie Deli cheesecakes were VERY high, - they must have used at least 3 1/2 lbs of cream cheese. Strange that the executive chef should post this recipe. Maybe it's a smaller, ie, more shallow version? Also, the ones I had over there used graham cracker crumbs, and it was not really a crust, just a light smattering of graham cracker crumbs on the bottom and sides. 


Edited to add: I notice that the Carnegie chef beats the cream cheese thoroughly before adding the sugar, etc., rather than beating them together. Wolvie does the same thing with her cheesecakes - could that make a difference in the texture? (another note: the Carnegie chef uses a wooden spoon instead of a mixer). 


Edited again and again - The Carnegie chef says: Quote: "When the cake is bouncy in the center and slightly risen in the middle as well on the sides, it’s finished." Does he mean wobbly/jiggly or something else? It seems the only thing he really does differently is mixing with a spoon instead of an electric mixer.  


Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst


Edited 10/18/2004 9:00 pm ET by Meryl

Edited 10/18/2004 9:20 pm ET by Meryl

Edited 10/18/2004 9:22 pm ET by Meryl


Edited 10/19/2004 2:04 am ET by Meryl

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

APonKP's picture

(post #63275, reply #97 of 156)

Hmmmm.  I'm thinking the German/NY cheesecake of my dreams had a crust that might be like that.  But that is where the similarity ends.  Mine was also very high, deep, or however you say it. 


One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.  A.A. Milne
CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63275, reply #98 of 156)

OK, I finished the first round of testing, with partial success.

I mixed up half a batch of Meryl's recipe and half a batch of Wolvie's, and baked them in the same pan with a divider down the middle. I also tried to treat the batters the same, so the only real variable between them was the ingredients.

As for mixing, following someone's suggestions here (the poster's name excapes me at the moment, please forgive me), I beat the heck out of the cream cheese, then added everything but the eggs and cream and beat some more. When I added the eggs I was careful to stir them in until they were just incorporated, no more.

As for baking, I baked for 10 minutes at 525, then lowered to 250 for an additional 40 minutes. Since my goal was to slightly overbake them, I didn't take them out of the oven until the centers had stopped jiggling (though just barely).

As for texture, it's pretty identical between the two. Wolvie's is maybe a hair drier, but just barely. Her's is also noticeably less sweet . Normally this would be a good thing, as I like my desserts less sweet, but in this case I actually prefer Meryl's version with the full amount of sugar. Otherwise there really was no detectable difference between the two.

As for recreating NY cheesecake, the taste is definitely right, and the texture was perfect - but only around the edges. The center was still a bit too creamy. I'm wondering if another 5 or 10 minutes in the oven would have done it.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I baked these crustless, as when I got half way through making the cheesecake batters I realized I had no graham crackers, or anything that I could sub for one.

Meryl's picture

(post #63275, reply #101 of 156)

"OK, I finished the first round of testing, with partial success."


YAY!


"I mixed up half a batch of Meryl's recipe and half a batch of Wolvie's, and baked them in the same pan with a divider down the middle."


What a great idea!


"As for mixing, following someone's suggestions here (the poster's name excapes me at the moment, please forgive me), I beat the heck out of the cream cheese, then added everything but the eggs and cream and beat some more. When I added the eggs I was careful to stir them in until they were just incorporated, no more."


So, it sounds like it makes very little difference in texture, whether the cream cheese is beaten alone first or whether it's beaten with the sugar and flour. That eliminates one test for me! 


"As for texture, it's pretty identical between the two. Wolvie's is maybe a hair drier, but just barely. Her's is also noticeably less sweet . Normally this would be a good thing, as I like my desserts less sweet, but in this case I actually prefer Meryl's version with the full amount of sugar.


I agree, I normally like my desserts less sweet also, except in this case I like a little more sugar. The cheesecake is still tangy and not too sweet IMO. Also, the sugar balances out the zests and sour cream.


Otherwise there really was no detectable difference between the two."


"As for recreating NY cheesecake, the taste is definitely right, and the texture was perfect - but only around the edges. The center was still a bit too creamy. I'm wondering if another 5 or 10 minutes in the oven would have done it."


Ah, the wonderful world of the unknown! So that leaves me to decide which test I should do - the longer baking time or the extra flour? And I wonder if the extra flour will compromise the taste, which I love the way it is.


Great job, CM! Thanks for the report!


 



Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces. --Judith Viorst

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

Wolvie's picture

(post #63275, reply #109 of 156)

interesting - and a good job.


Perhaps the baking would do it - although then wouldn't the edges get too dry? Probably  not with a crust...


hmm. again - interesting!



"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."


George W. Bush


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63275, reply #110 of 156)

Yup, it's also the same recipe (if you add back the extra half cup sugar) in every cookbook I own that claims to have a NY cheesecake too. It's also touted as Lindy's original recipe.

And I don't think the edges would get too dry if the extra baking is done at the lower heat.

Wolvie's picture

(post #63275, reply #112 of 156)

hmm - okay - I'll give that a try too.


The splenda really did make a much dryer cheesecake - I'm sure it's the lack of hydration mentioned earlier.


LOL - shall we make a bunch to bring to the fest as MM suggests? ;-)



"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."


George W. Bush


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #63275, reply #113 of 156)

I'm sure it did. But I'm also sure that's not how the real thing is made.

Wolvie's picture

(post #63275, reply #114 of 156)

well I didn't mean it was made that way - it hasn't been around long enough. I just found it interesting.


"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."


George W. Bush


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

RJMR's picture

(post #63275, reply #115 of 156)

Inspired to join the experiment since I also prefer the New York style to the creamy ‘slippery’ type.  If the Carnegie Deli recipe is doubled, it is essentially the Wolvie and Meryl/Gourmet recipes except the sugar is right in between the two at 1 1/2 c.  Agree with CM that NY style cheesecakes are basically the same and derive from the old Lindy’s recipe.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


Qualifier.  I scaled the doubled CD recipe to 1/3 since cheesecake is not my favorite and DH won’t touch it.  And I had the cutest mini springform pan (5” dia) to try. :)


 


So here’s what I did:  used the amount of sugar based on the CD recipe and subbed Philadelphia Neufchatel (1/3 less fat) and did not add additional yolk.  Baked it until the center was not jiggly at all - longer than intended - 425 briefly then 200. 


 


Result.  Delicious! Dry and dense yet smooth and just sweet enough.  The reduced sugar and longer time already were discussed.  Lowering the fat with Neufchatel and no additional yolk helped make it drier.  Still not the real NY cheesecake however, although it’s been years since I’ve had one.  Next I might try subbing some farmers or pot cheese and maybe milk for the heavy cream.


 


Love the little size but it’s so good I now wish it were full size.  Fortunately DH still won’t eat it. 

Wolvie's picture

(post #63275, reply #117 of 156)

good to know - I'll have to try and get some pot cheese to experiment with.


Long ago, when I first posted the recipe I used, I noted that it came from Craig Claiborne's NY Times cookbook, and that I had reduced the sugar and removed the zests. He stated it was the original "Lindy's" recipe, and most folks here were recently mentioning Carnagie Deli. I wonder which one had the cake first? I always heard it was Lindy's, but you know how "hearing" things goes. :-)



"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."


George W. Bush


"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'Something is out of tune."  Carl Jung

 

MER02's picture

(post #63275, reply #131 of 156)

Wolvie,

You said that you made "muffin" cheesecakes earlier. I assume that you just put a little crust mixture in the bottom of the muffin lining, the batter and then bake? I've never made a cheesecake before, they aren't my favorite, but my DH loves them. I wanted to make a batch of mini cheesecakes tomorrow for DH and some friends, but am not sure how long to bake them or how to assemble. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much.