Cheesecakes desserts are one of those desserts that are worth the hardships of baking them.
However, its deliciousness, unfortunately, doesn’t come without its struggles.
More times than not you may have experienced an undercooked cheesecake.
However, not to worry; as there are a few simple ways to fix this!
In this article, we will be exploring the 4 best ways to fix an undercooked cheesecake. Let’s get straight into it.
How To Tell If Your Cheesecake Is Undercooked?
As opposed to other sweet desserts, cheesecakes tend to be much more filling. In fact, the average person can only hack one or two slices of sweetness.
Therefore, in spite of its popularity, most people prefer to purchase a cheesecake rather than make their own.
One of the major reasons for this is that; baking a cheesecake is much harder than it looks.
Unless cooked to perfection, there are a lot of things that can go wrong when baking a cheesecake.
For instance, it could be undercooked. This results in an unpleasant runniness.
To avoid any disasters when baking a cheesecake, it’s important to know the difference between a baked and undercooked cheesecake.
Below, you will find some notable factors that help distinguish an undercooked cheesecake.
1. Wobble Test
The quickest and easiest way to determine whether or not a cheesecake is undercooked is through the wobble test.
Using oven gloves, place your hands on both sides of the cheesecake dish – keeping it in the oven! – and slightly shake it from side to side.
Make sure not to shake the cheesecake too violently as this could result in cracks.
Likewise, if you’re using a water bath method to cook the cheesecake, ensure water doesn’t enter the pan.
Another way to achieve the same results would be by slightly tapping the pan with a spoon.
Whichever method you choose, if the cheesecake is undercooked, you’ll notice an area in the middle of the cheesecake that jiggles a little bit.
However, this shouldn’t be confused with a perfectly cooked cheesecake (since a little jiggle means that it isn’t overcooked and firm).
Therefore, make sure the jiggle isn’t larger than 2 inches (or 5cm).
The only exception here is if you’re using sour cream instead of cream cheese or ricotta since this would create more wobble.
Moreover, if the wobble is over 2 inches, or if you notice liquid spilling, the middle of the cheesecake is likely to be runny and you should bake it for another five minutes.
After the time is up, you can check again.
2. Check The Temperature
For this technique, you’ll need an instant-read thermometer.
This is important in receiving fast results because if you wait too long for the reading, then you risk overbaking your cheesecake.
Chiefly, you’ll need to calibrate the thermometer by reading the temperature of boiling water.
The thermometer should display a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius).
Typically, the edges of the cheesecake bake faster than the middle; thus, you’ll want to take the reading from halfway through the center.
Avoid using this method multiple times as it can result in your cheesecake cracking.
If you need to take another reading, try placing the thermometer in the same place to prevent any more damage.
3. Toothpick Test
This method is similar to the thermometer method; however, instead of relying on temperature, you’ll be using your evaluation and observation skills to determine whether the cheesecake is baked,
All you need to do is stick a clean toothpick, as far down as you can, into the cheesecake. Wait for a few moments, then take it out.
Then, check the toothpick. If it’s dripping liquid or looks wet, then this is a clear indication that the cheesecake is undercooked.
Alternatively, if there is no residue and it looks dry, then the cheesecake is overcooked.
If it is undercooked, then simply bake it for another five minutes before testing it again.
For multiple tests (just like the thermometer), make sure to use the same hole to prevent any further cracking of your cheesecake.
4. Browning Edges
Oftentimes, you can determine whether or not a cheesecake is fully baked by simply looking at it.
Once you notice the edges turning a golden-brown color and slightly puffier, this is a clear indication that your cheesecake is done.
The only area that should remain pale is the center, and a deeper, brown shade would mean that it is overcooked.
The golden-brown area shouldn’t exceed approximately ½ inches (or 1.3 cm) from the cheesecake’s edges.
If the edges appear to be liquid, then the cheesecake is undercooked. Alternatively, if the edges are brown and the center is hard, then it could be overcooked.
It’s important to remember that the baking process doesn’t finish once you take the cheesecake out of the oven.
The cooling process helps to firm the cheesecake. Therefore, ensure that the center remains slightly wobbly.
Another tell-tale sign that your cheesecake is baked is the level of shine. An undercooked cheesecake will feature a shiny layer. Once this wears off, your cheesecake is done.
5. Pressure Test
This method requires you to be exceptionally careful, otherwise, you risk cracking or even ruining the top layer of your cheesecake.
All you’ll need is your hands. Therefore, make sure that they’ve been thoroughly washed, removing any traces of soap, and then dried completely.
Once you’re prepared, take one finger to the surface of the cheesecake in the center or the surrounding area (avoiding the edges as these are naturally firmer when cooked).
With the same finger, apply a small amount of pressure, and if the cheesecake dips slightly, but is otherwise firm, then it’s done.
If you notice that the middle is soft or you have some batter residue left on your finger, then your cheesecake needs more time in the oven.
How To Fix An Undercooked Cheesecake?
An undercooked cheesecake doesn’t always have to result in a waste of time. In fact, it’s a surprisingly common mistake!
Consequently, over the years, people have devised many different methods for fixing an undercooked cheesecake.
We’ll explore some of them here!
1. Let It Rest
Unlike typical cakes that can be served straight from the oven, once a cheesecake is removed from the oven; it remains cooking during the cooling process.
This is a fundamental step in the baking instruction which allows the cheesecake to set properly whereby the center becomes firmer without the help of an oven.
Generally, a freshly-baked cheesecake needs to rest in the refrigerator for approximately 2-5 hours before it is ready to serve.
For best results, consider allowing the cheesecake to rest overnight (8 hours).
Sometimes, while your cheesecake may seemingly be undercooked, in most cases, it is just missing the vital cooling process.
Therefore, before you throw away your cheesecake, allow it to rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then see how it’s doing after.
2. Water Bath
A water bath is a type of baking method which uses hot water to cook baked desserts more evenly while preventing any surface cracking.
Typically, the water bath is composed of a large pan filled with boiling water. Here, the dessert is placed in a baking pan wrapped in aluminum foil.
The foil helps to prevent your cake tin from leaking, even with leak-proof pans, it is recommended to use foil.
When using this method, make sure not to fill the pan with too much water as the level will increase once you place your cheesecake inside.
Typically, an inch of boiling water will work.
While this is a popular baking technique for baking cheesecakes, it also makes a great solution for fixing undercooked cheesecakes!
All you have to do is remove your cheesecake from the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature on the countertop.
While you’re waiting, prepare the water bath.
Here, you’ll want to set your oven to a low temperature.
Since your cheesecake is already cooked, and your edges are a golden brown, you want to minimize the risk of overcooking and cracking them.
For the best results, you’ll want to check the temperature of the cheesecakes center using an instant-read cooking thermometer.
Once it reads 150 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll know the cheesecake is ready.
While this method can be successful, it is usually recommended not to re-bake cheese as the risk of ruining it is heightened.
3. Slow Cooking
You don’t need a water bath with this method.
All you have to do is place your cheesecake back in the oven – even if it has already been refrigerated! – and allow it to slow cook.
To achieve this, make sure to set your oven to a low temperature, then will allow it to slow cook at the perfect temperature.
This shouldn’t take more than 15-30 minutes; however, make sure to check your cheesecake every 5 minutes to ensure it isn’t overcooking.
Generally, people wait until the top layer of their cheesecake turns a brown-ish color before removing it from the oven; however, this is a mistake.
A perfect cheesecake will always remain pale in the center. If your cheesecake resembles a golden-brown, or worse; brown color, then it is overcooked.
This results in an unpleasant flavor and texture.
If you opt to use this method, keep in mind that it is exceptionally easy to overcook your cheesecake by fixing the mistakes you’ve already made.
Using a thermometer, the inside of the cheesecake shouldn’t exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Frozen Dessert
Unfortunately, sometimes, you simply won’t be able to revert your cheesecake mistakes. Similarly, you might not want to risk running your cheesecake further.
Whatever your reasons, this doesn’t mean you have to throw away your dessert.
One way of making the most of your cheesecake would be by turning it into a delicious frozen dessert!
All you have to do is free your cheesecake and then serve it as you would in slices – it’s that simple!
For some extra flair, consider dipping your frozen cheesecake in chocolate for a chocolatey shell, add fruit, or any additional toppings you desire.
For instance, if you’re looking to experiment, have you ever tried adzuki bean paste?
You’ll be pleasantly surprised that it goes extremely well with frozen cheesecake!
Here, you can really make the most out of a situation by allowing yourself to be as creative as possible – turning a once seemingly ruined dessert into a whole new masterpiece.
How To Tell When Your Cheesecake Is Cooked?
The best way to check whether or not your cheesecake is cooked is by using a thermometer to ensure that the inner temperature of the dessert has reached adequate temperature.
This is important because while the edges may appear to be cooked, the middle inside can be a completely different story.
Hence, it may take longer to cook without you even realizing it.
Therefore, using a thermometer can help you prevent any unwanted surprises.
Before removing your cheesecake from the oven, ensure that it has reached the ideal temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
To help cook your dessert to perfection, it is also recommended to use the water bath method as opposed to oven baking your cheesecake.
This allows the cheesecake to cook slowly and evenly – preventing any unappealing surface cracks.
Since cheesecakes are one the toughest desserts to make at home, there are bound to be some slip ups now and again.
Therefore, if you do have an undercooked cheesecake, don’t panic!
Before throwing it away try baking the next day in a water base, or even try a delicious frozen cheesecake dessert.
Cooking a cheesecake is usually easier said than done, and more times than not; you may end up with an undercooked cheesecake.
But don’t worry! There are a few different methods that can help you recover your undercooked cheesecake.
Hopefully, this guide has informed you on the best ways to fix an undercooked cheesecake.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Know If Cheesecake Is Underbaked?
Cheesecake can be a tricky dessert to bake, but it is not impossible. To check if the cake is ready, insert a skewer or knife into the center of the cake. If the cake does not spring back when the knife is removed, it is underbaked.
How Do You Fix A Ruined Cheesecake?
The most frustrating thing about cooking a cheesecake is that it’s always ruined before you can eat it. If your cheesecake has cracked, sunk, or turned into a sticky mess, it’s not too late to salvage it. Follow these steps to fix a ruined cheesecake.
Can Food Poisoning Set In Immediately?
It depends on the cause of the food poisoning. Most food poisoning cases, such as from raw or undercooked meats, require 24 hours to develop. However, in some cases, food poisoning can occur immediately.
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