Cheesecake: It’s the exclamation point at the end of a fabulous meal! But how do you know when yours is perfectly baked? Pull the cheesecake too soon and you’ll have soft, soggy (and unsafe-to-eat) results that won’t hold a pretty slice. Bake too long, and you risk a curdled texture or burnt top.
A sure-fire way to tell if your cheesecake has finished baking is to use a thermometer (this is our Test Kitchen’s favorite brand) to test for doneness. Simply insert the pin halfway into the cheesecake. When the temp reads 150°, it’s ready to come out of the oven.
However, the issue with this method is that it’s going to leave a mark on your dessert’s pretty surface—and you could even risk cracking the surface by poking the cheesecake. Who wants that? And a thermometer is not always practical, especially if you’re baking the cheesecake in a shallow dish.
Here is a foolproof technique to judge exactly when the cheesecake is finished baking:
The Wobble Test
Taste of Home
To check the doneness, open the oven door and give the pan a gentle but firm rap with a spoon. A cheesecake that isn’t fully set yet will ripple, similar to a pool that’s had a stone tossed into it.
A perfectly baked cheesecake may appear to need more cooking to the untrained eye because the center will typically not look set. (Follow the directions for each recipe.) But you’ll know it’s ready when the custard wobbles as one unit, meaning that it sways together in one wave, then settles back into position.
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