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Classic Cheesecake Recipe question

HealthNut's picture

I just finished making the classic cheesecake recipe from the Apr/May 2010 issue.  Following the recipe exactly, I used the marcapone cheese add-in and the instant coffee flavoring to make my "custom cheesecake".  Everything looked fine and the mixture was smooth and creamy until I added the first room-temperature egg.  The whole mixture separated, and I did not overbeat.  It was still like that after all the eggs had been added.  I baked it anyway, and it came out a "broken" mess.  I have seen regular cake batters look like this after the addition of alcohol or an acid, but they always bake up fine.  What could have caused this?

Adele's picture

Did you remember to leave out (post #69476, reply #1 of 8)

Did you remember to leave out one of the cream cheeses when you added the marscapone?

I made this Sunday and it was the easiest cheesecake I've ever done.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

HealthNut's picture

Yes, I left out the fourth (post #69476, reply #2 of 8)

Yes, I left out the fourth 8oz of cream cheese for 8 oz. of marscapone.  The whole thing looked great, too.  I tried to get the mixture to blend together after the eggs, but didn't really want to beat the heck out of it and make it crack.

sbreckenridge's picture

Hi Healthnut, We’re (post #69476, reply #3 of 8)

Hi Healthnut,

We’re sorry your cheesecake didn’t turn out well.  Between testing the recipe and the photo shoot, we made approximately 60 cheesecakes in our test kitchens and didn’t have any separation issues, so we’re a little baffled about what happened to yours.  We consulted Abby Dodge, the author of the article, and while she’s also not sure exactly what could have happened, we have a couple of thoughts:

  • Could your dairy ingredients have been sour (or close to it)? Leaving them out too long to soften (as in overnight) could sour them.
  • Could your eggs have been colder than room temperature?
  • Is it possible you used more than 8 oz. mascarpone?  Too much mascarpone would have put extra water into the batter and caused curdling.
  • Did you rehydrate the instant coffee before adding?  It should be added dry, or again, there would be too much water in the batter.


-Sarah Breckenridge,

Web Producer

HealthNut's picture

Hi Sarah, Thanks for the (post #69476, reply #4 of 8)

Hi Sarah,

Thanks for the ideas...

I used dry instant coffee, the eggs were at room temp, and I actully weighed the marscapone on a kitchen scale.  I took a tip from Cook's Illustrated for softening the cream cheese to room temp by wrapping in plastic wrap and submerging in hot water.  This may have added a minute amount of water to the recipe.  The only other thing I can think of is that the marscapone cheese may not have been the freshest, and was not totally at room temperature.  I do find it odd that the "curdling" did not become apparent until the addition of the eggs.  I just made the recipe again without altering the recipe with any changes.  It looks smooth and creamy-it is baking right now.  Just for the heck of it, I took a little bit of the batter from it and added dry instant coffee granules to it, and it still looks smooth and creamy, so that's not it.  I bet it was the marscapone!  What do you think?

sbreckenridge's picture

Hmm, my best guess would be (post #69476, reply #5 of 8)

Hmm, my best guess would be eithe rthe mascarpone or possibly some water getting added through the cream cheese-warming technique. Keep me posted on how this one turns out!

HealthNut's picture

This one turned out fine, (post #69476, reply #6 of 8)

This one turned out fine, with the exception that it was underdone in the center.  I even had to bake it 70 min instead of 60 min.  the edges were beginning to brown and crack, so I took it out.  Other than that, it was smooth and tasted fine.

Adele's picture

Have you checked your oven (post #69476, reply #7 of 8)

Have you checked your oven temperature lately?  It might not be the temperature it is set for.  I know my old oven was 50, yes, 50 degrees off.   What a difference it made once I knew how much to adjust it.

I'm glad it 'almost' turned out for yu.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

kitchengoddess's picture

underdone as well (post #69476, reply #8 of 8)

I made this one for Easter.  Mine was a slight bit underdone in the centre but it tasted delicious and got rave reviews.