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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.

Meryl's picture

(post #63275, reply #34 of 156)

Thanks. Not sure if I can find it here, but it sounds similar to Farmer's Cheese, which charlotte baker recommended using as a sub for 1/5 of the cream cheese.


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 10/10/2004 5:03 pm ET by Meryl

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

cookie1's picture

(post #63275, reply #54 of 156)

If you live near a Whole Foods store, you will be able to purchase it.

Cheryl

It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice!

cookie1's picture

(post #63275, reply #53 of 156)

About six weeks ago in our food section, I was introduced to Quark.  I set out on a mission to find it.  The only trouble is that everyone else was out buying it.  I called around to several stores and was told that they weren't able to keep it because of the article in the paper.  I did finally get to purchase and it was really expensive for the small amount.  I think I may try doing the cottage cheese procedure in the future.  Thanks for the info.

Cheryl

It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice!

bill_1010's picture

(post #63275, reply #58 of 156)

The recipes I have on cheesecake all use some cornstarch in lieu of flour


(recipes i use are from this book)

helena's picture

(post #63275, reply #59 of 156)

I have that book as well and love it!

Nobody's picture

(post #63275, reply #77 of 156)

* Make sure all ingredients are at room temp.


* Use a FP (Not a kitchenaid or stand mixer).


* Mix the cream cheese and cream or sour cream or other flavoring agents liberally, until you add the eggs.  Eggs catch air and will fluff things up.  Mix minimally after the eggs have been added.


* Keep flour or cornstarch to an absolute minimum.