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I just made a White Chocolate Raspberry cheesecake, and it ended up being a failure appearance-wise.

For some reason, it cracked a lot, and the batter ended up super lumpy, so the cheesecake is all heterogenous looking:

Cracked cheesecake

The main problem though can be seen in the large crack at the bottom of the image. For some reason, when I took it out, there was liquid pooling in the cracks. I tried wicking it with some paper towel, and it came out yellow. I felt it, and it was greasy. The only thing I can think that it might be is butter.

I've never had this happen before. It must have been because to make a chocolate layer in the middle, I added some butter to the chocolate to thin it a bit (~1 tsp/oz of chocolate), and I must have overdone it. I was BS'ing this recipe as I went, so I don't really have a recipe book to blame here.

Now, I can't taste it because it was made for someone else. I have no idea what the "damage" is in the inside. My problem now is deciding if it's salvageable, and how to go about fixing it if it is.

I've been wicking the butter out with a paper towel, but that doesn't get much, and I don't want to risk widening the crack further.

Does anyone have experience with cheesecakes that have had too much fat added to them? Is there a way to get rid of the butter on the top? Is there a way to tell if it'll be edible?


Update:

So, after chilling it overnight, the butter on top seemed to have receded back into the cake. At that point, I was worried less about the appearance (because that was already out the window), and more about it being a butter-sponge when bitten into. I guess after the fact though, there's likely nothing that can be done about that.

And I've already given it to the ""customer"" (a coworker). I offered to refund it if it's inedible. She's convinced that it will be fine, but we'll see.

From this point, I'd like to know how, in the future, a situation like this can be dealt with should it happen again.


Here's the recipe that I had put together by the end:

Crust:
3 cups Ginger Cookie Crumbs
⅓ cup butter

Filling:
500g Cream Cheese
½ cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
¼ Cup Raspberry Jam (+ a little to compensate for moisture loss from heating)
2 eggs

Chocolate Layer:
6-8 oz White Chocolate
6-8 tsp butter (~1 tsp/oz of chocolate)

Preheat to 325F

Crust:
Combine ingredients
Pack into 9-10” springform
Bake at 375F for 5-7 minutes
Set aside

Filling:
Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla
Heat jam just until warm and runny, and mix in to batter
Mix in eggs carefully, mixing just enough to combine

Layer:
Melt butter, and add chocolate on very low heat

Pour a thin layer of about half the melted chocolate over the crust
Spread half the batter over chocolate covered crust
Pour the rest of the chocolate over the first layer of batter
Pour in the rest of the batter

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until centre is almost set.
Allow to cool, then chill overnight.

Edit: I asked the buyer how it was. She said it tasted fine, but that the chocolate layer had an odd consistency and crunchiness. Apparently the oozing butter was non-consequential.

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    I'm afraid I can't help you much with the yellow liquid, and I don't think you can successfully bake a chocolate layer in the middle. It's going to break apart and float around. Also, make sure you cream the sugar and cream cheese together really well to avoid lumps. Do you have time to start over? Maybe use chocolate cookie crumbs in the crust instead of a chocolate layer. – mrog Jun 21 '18 at 23:39
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    @mrog Ya, I realized that the chocolate would likely just melt about half way through cooking. I'm not sure why that didn't occur to me before. And I had near-room temperature cream cheese that I creamed with the sugar. It looked well mixed before I added the liquid ingredients, but it was immediately clear that it wasn't after I added the jam. The white-on-white is hard to differentiate. And no, this was it. I have to be up in 11 hours to go to work, which is where it's for. – Carcigenicate Jun 21 '18 at 23:45
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    The cracking comes from cooking it too much (too high of a temp or too quickly). Can't help with the liquid, though. – Joe Jun 22 '18 at 0:50
  • "Now, I can't taste it because it was made for someone else" ... errr, sneak a small piece out of one of the cracks. Or if you're going to top it, say with some raspberries, you can hide where you took a small piece under one of them. And if it's getting any frosting/whipped cream/etc., that'll hide anything. – derobert Jun 22 '18 at 17:24
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    @mrog Actually, on second thought, not an answer, since the turnout doesn't really answer the question. I'll just add an update. – Carcigenicate Jun 22 '18 at 23:26
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I would suggest using a bit of simple syrup or maple syrup instead to melt the chocolate, if you want the taste of butter, add a little bit of flour to the butter first when melting it to make a little bit of a light roux.

The problem is the chocolate and butter for sure will separate at the temp that a cheesecake bakes at, there's nothing for the butter to cling to.

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Firstly, cheesecakes should always be baked in a water bath to prevent cracking. So if you place your springform pan into a larger pan, of any size, and fill that large pan with ~1" of boiling water, then put it into the oven to bake, you shouldn't see those large cracks. The steam from the water will keep the top of the cheesecake hydrated so that it won't crack.

Secondly, this is exactly the instance where a ganache would have worked better than chocolate plus butter. The heavy cream in a ganache would prevent the chocolate from hardening in the fridge, as butter also hardens in the fridge it isn't the best way to counteract that textural "crunchiness" your colleague mentioned. A good ganache for this would be 8oz chocolate, 6oz cream - bring cream to boil, pour over chopped chocolate (aim for chocolate chip sized chunks), let the cream sit over the chocolate for 30-60 seconds and then use a whisk to combine from the center outwards. This will leave you with a silky smooth ganache that won't harden in the fridge.

Best of luck on future cheesecake endeavors!

  • Thanks for the ganache suggestion. It was in a water bath though. – Carcigenicate Aug 1 '18 at 22:39
  • Ah. Perhaps as mentioned before the temp was a touch high. Boiling water makes a big difference to ensure lots of steam right from the get go! – soup4life Aug 1 '18 at 22:40
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I usually bake my cheesecake,1st at 175 celsius for 10-12 minutes,than at 100 celsius for 30 minutes.I use a tray with water ..inside the oven,the steam from it hepls the cake to bake uniformly.After the time ended,I leave them in the oven to chill down.I would try something else instead of that chocolate with butter,maybe a white chocolate ganache or dark. In your case I would have covered the cracks with a layer of raspberry or wild berry jelly..Problem solved ;)

cheesecake

  • Ya, I really need to learn to garnish cakes well. I've always left them plain on top as an aesthetic preference, but that certainly makes my life more difficult. – Carcigenicate Aug 1 '18 at 11:07

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