Cheesecake is one of the most popular desserts out there and is enjoyed in all parts of the world. However, not all cheesecake is created equal and sometimes perfecting the batter can be a challenge. One of the most common problems tends to be a lumpy batter.
Lumpy batter isn’t ideal and if you don’t smooth it out, it will result in a gritty texture. In order to avoid a lumpy batter in the first place and for tips on how to smooth it out, keep reading.
What Causes a Lumpy Batter?
Cheesecake calls for a lot of cream cheese, which tends to be the main reason behind the lumps in your batter. In order to keep this from happening, simply make sure that your cream cheese blends in smoothly with the rest of your batter.
The best way to do this is to wait until your cream cheese is at room temperature so that it will soften.
Your cream cheese will soften if left out at room temperature. However, if you don’t feel like waiting, you can always cut your cream cheese up into small chunks and then microwave the pieces in 15-second intervals.
While on the topic of room-temperature ingredients, be sure that the rest of your ingredients are also at the same temperature. If you add in cold ingredients to the cream cheese, it will only solidify it once again, thus giving you a lumpy batter.
For best results, the temperature of all of your ingredients should be between 70 and 75 degrees F.
Baking Temperature Matters Too
In order to get the perfect cheesecake, you need to make sure that you’re baking it correctly. Keep in mind that cheesecake is a type of custard, which means that it can easily overcook.
The temperature that you should bake your cheesecake depends on what type of consistency you want your cheesecake to be.
If you want your cheesecake to be light but still have a slightly burnt top, bake it at 450 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Then, open your oven door up for a few more minutes while turning the oven off.
After about 10 minutes, restart your oven and heat it to 250 degrees F. Close the oven again with the cheesecake still inside of it.
Again, make sure that you’re not overbaking your cheesecake. In order to check and see if your cheesecake is done, be sure to use a food thermometer. Ideally, you want your temperature to be around 145 degrees F.
Choosing the Right Ingredients
The ingredients that you use in your cheesecake matter big-time. The better your ingredients, the better your cheesecake will turn out.
As far as cream cheese goes, be sure to get the full-fat cream cheese and not the light or fat-free version. This is because this type of cream cheese is much creamier and will give your cheesecake a nice texture.
Using flour or cornstarch is also a good tip to keep in mind when making a cheesecake. This is because the starch helps prevent the egg proteins from getting coagulated and even prevents cracks from forming.
You may also want to consider adding in either sour cream or Greek yogurt to add more creaminess to it.
The technique you use to make your cheesecake is also important. Make sure that you are mixing your batter at low speed, starting with your cream cheese first. As you are mixing, you’ll find that your batter sticks to the sides.
Make sure that you scrape the sides off entirely so that your batter ends up being mixed evenly. You also have to do this on a consistent basis otherwise your batter will be lumpy.
Many people also like to put cheesecake into a water bath because it keeps your cheesecake from drying out. This is due to the fact that the bath causes steam, which provides extra moisture.
A water bath is another great way to make sure that your cheesecake cooks evenly while also preventing cracks.
If you do end up choosing to do a water bath, make sure that you line your cheesecake pan with foil or a crock pot liner bag so that no water gets into your cheesecake.
You want to avoid overbaking as much as possible, as overbaking will also cause cracks in your cheesecake.
Now that you’re well equipped with all the basic skills required to make the perfect cheesecake, you’re ready to get started.
For this recipe, you will need 32 ounces of cream cheese, 8 ounces of goat cheese, lemon juice, vanilla extract, a pinch of kosher salt, 2 cups of sugar, 6 eggs, and 6 ounces of heavy cream.
In order to make your cheesecake crust, all you will need is 7 ounces of graham cracker crumbs, 2 ounces of unsalted butter, and a pinch of salt. Simply take your graham crackers and put them into a food processor.
Later, add in melted butter and combine it gently with the rest of the graham crackers.
Press the bread crumbs into the bottom of a springform pan, which is an ideal pan to use for making cheesecake.
Don’t have a springform pan? No problem, here are some options.
To make the cake part, start off by preheating your oven to 450 degrees F and then mixing your ingredients into a bowl. On low speed, combine cream cheese, goat cheese, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice.
Use the techniques we mentioned earlier, such as scraping the side of the bowl to ensure the perfect cheesecake.
Before adding your cream, make sure that you boil it first. This helps release any air bubbles that are in the batter, thus giving you a smooth cheesecake. When you are done with the mix, pour it into the pan and then place it in the oven.
Storing Your Cheesecake
As delicious as it may be, it’s not recommended that you eat an entire cheesecake in one sitting. As a result, any leftovers should be stored properly. You can store it in the fridge for up to a week.
However, if you want your cheesecake to last longer, you can always freeze it. Frozen, your cheesecake will last anywhere between one and two months.
At the end of the day, cheesecake is simply delicious no matter how you put it. In order to avoid a lumpy batter, be sure to use softened cream cheese so that it blends into your batter perfectly and smoothly.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.