Cheesecake, whether New York-style or Italian, is a light and delicious dessert. Because it contains a good amount of milk or cream, in addition to cream cheese, it can be difficult to know when it's ready. However, you can check the temperature, gently shake the pan, and touch the surface of the dessert to determine if it's ready.
Method 1 of 4: Checking the Temperature
Step 1. Get an instant-read kitchen thermometer
You shouldn't have to wait long for the thermometer to determine the temperature, so choose the instant read version. Don't forget to clean the utensil after each use.
- It is necessary to calibrate the thermometer occasionally to get an accurate reading. To do this, fill a small pot with water and boil until it reaches boiling point. Measure the water temperature – it should be at 100°C.
- Turn the small screw on the tip of an analog thermometer to calibrate the temperature if it is incorrect. Consult the manufacturer's manual to calibrate a fingerprint.
Step 2. Check the temperature in the middle of the cheesecake
The edges can be a little warmer than the center, so to know if your dessert is ready, you need to check the temperature of the center. Do not push to the bottom of the form; simply slide the thermometer halfway through the cheesecake.
Keep in mind that sticking in the thermometer can cause the dessert to crack, so try checking the temperature only once. If you need to test more than once, place the utensil in exactly the same place as you used it the first time so that it doesn't cause further cracking
Step 3. Make sure the temperature is 65°C
When the central part of the dessert reaches this temperature, it means it's ready! Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. If it's still not ready, put it back in the oven for another five minutes and check again if it's done.
Method 2 of 4: Stirring the Cheesecake
Step 1. Shake the pan gently
While the cheesecake is still in the oven, use a kitchen glove to gently shake the pan. Don't be too aggressive as it can end up cracking. Simply give it a shake and be careful not to drip water into the pan if you are baking dessert in a double boiler.
Step 2. See how the dessert shakes
When you shake the pan and an area of about 5 cm in the center shakes slightly, the cheesecake is ready. If a very large area shakes or the liquid breaks the surface or overflows, the dessert still needs to be baked longer. Leave another five minutes in the oven before checking again.
Step 3. Know that the sour cream filling balances more than the cream cheese filling
If you've used a good amount of sour cream for dessert, it will balance a little more than a cheesecake made with cream cheese or ricotta as the main ingredients. There will be a large, soft area in the center, so make sure the edges are lightly browned and fluffy to see if the dessert is ready. Also remember that the center will continue to bake and become firmer when the cheesecake has cooled.
If you keep baking until the center is firm and doesn't wobble, you will likely overbake
Method 3 of 4: Touching the Surface
Step 1. Wash and dry your hands before touching the cheesecake
Use soap and water, wash thoroughly to remove product residue, and dry completely.
Step 2. Use one finger to touch the center of the dessert
Touch the center of the surface very lightly with one or two fingers. Don't press too hard! Make sure the cheesecake is ready from the center, not the edges.
Step 3. Make sure the surface is firm
If the surface of the cheesecake still gives a little but feels firm, the dessert is ready. If your finger sinks too deep or gets dirty with dough, it will need to bake for another five minutes before checking again.
Method 4 of 4: Looking for Cheesecake
Step 1. Make sure the edges are fluffy and golden
You'll know when the cheesecake is done when a ring about 1cm on the edges starts to turn golden brown and a little fluffy on the pan. The filling will still be pale, not golden. Do not continue baking the dessert as it may end up burning.
Step 2. Make sure the edges are secure
If they are still runny and not firm and well set, the cheesecake is not ready yet. Only 5 cm from the center should still sway a little when it's ready to be taken out of the oven.
Step 3. Remove from oven when the surface is no longer shiny
This is an indication that the cheesecake is ready. Make sure the entire dessert has lost its shine before removing it from the oven, including the center part, which should be a little soft.