Apparently, it isn’t easy cooking cheesy either. For the record, the cheesecake had a good flavor which was really the only thing it had going for it. Well, that and the fact that New York style cheesecake is my husband’s favorite, so I got lots of brownie points there.
The things that went wrong:
From looking at it, you can see the top cracked. It was only the top, and the cracks weren’t as bad once it cooled off. The edges burned. The crust burned; therefore, it didn’t even transfer with the cake, which was fine in my husband’s mind, but if I go to the trouble of making a gram cracker crust, then I expect to be able to enjoy it with my cake.
What could have corrected the problems:
After some research (and wonderful info learned through ATK Cooking School), I overcooked (and maybe over beat) the cake. It’s most likely just the overcooking part because I used a dark cookie sheet under it to catch any of the filling if it spilled (as per the recipe), so aluminum pans (or lighter pans) would not have cooked the cake as fast. I think this is the reason it was split and why the crust burned-well, that and the fact that the recipe calls for the rack to be in the lower middle position. So, if the dark pan is drawing more heat and the cake is lower than middle, then it seems logical that I would have needed to check it sooner. Well, you live and learn. I’m not totally sure about the burning on the edges. It didn’t taste or smell burned, surprisingly. When I cook it again correcting these errors, then I will see if it still burns the edges. I’m hoping not.
The consistency of the cake, to me, seemed a little chalky; however, my mother says it was the best cheesecake she’s ever had (and she’s a straight shooter). Perhaps the next time I will get a more solid, creamy consistency. The recipe called for a flat paddle, and the mixer I was using didn’t have one, so I had to use regular beaters. I read comments online that over-beating can cause both this and the cracks in the top. Since then, I have purchased a new mixer with the flat paddle attachment. I don’t know if over-beating REALLY occurred, but if it did, I should be able to correct that on my mix go around. Wish me luck!