Gutted! Donna Hay Classic Baked Cheesecake

suie1, Aug 3, 4:15am
followed the master chef episode, wrote down the recipe with all the tips etc.
Made it last night,all went well until it started to cool, crack city! I only just realised I left out the cornflour, I am so mad with myself I wanted it to be perfect for DH birthday dinner tonight

chatsmom, Aug 3, 4:39am
That's no good but a solution is to put a topping on the cheesecake which will hide the cracking. Either some fruit, chocolate whirls etc
But honestly, your DH probably won't notice the look of it or tell him that its normal!

elliehen, Aug 3, 4:48am
Whipped cream?Am pleased it worked though, because I plan to try it the next time I need to make a classy dessert.

mackenzie2, Aug 3, 4:51am
If it was me I would heat some passionfruit pulp and gelatin and spread it on cheesecake to make a jelly layer on top, Have done this before and it looks and tastes fantastic

griffo4, Aug 3, 7:51am
Sorry to hear it cracked but some of them do crack anyway and putting a topping on like others have suggested will cover many sins,lol

Would someone be kind enough to post the recipe please as it sounds really nice

elliehen, Aug 3, 9:40am
Classic Baked Cheesecake - Donna Hay
1/3 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
¾ cup plain flour
¼ cup caster sugar
90g chilled butter, chopped

330g cream cheese, softened
500g fresh ricotta
4 eggs
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons cornflour
1½ tablespoons water

Strawberries and raspberries, to decorate

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1. Preheat oven to 150°C.

2. To make the base, place the ground almonds, flour, sugar and butter into a bowl. Rub mixture with your fingertips until it forms coarse crumbs.

3. Line the base of a 20cm spring form tin with non-stick baking paper. Place the base mixture in the tin and press gently with fingers until even and then smooth out with the back of a spoon. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden, set aside.

4. To make the filling, place the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, sugar, lemon rind, juice and vanilla in a food processor. Combine the cornflour and water until smooth and add to the cheese mixture. Process the mixture until smooth.

5. Grease the sides of the cake tin with a little butter and then pour the filling over the base. Tap lightly to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and stand the cake in the oven for 1 hour, leaving the door closed. Refrigerate until cold and serve with fresh berries.

And the video, but you'll only have four or five days before it disappears - comes at the end after the sausage-making.

griffo4, Aug 4, 7:56am
Thank you for this elliehen l just found it before it went from front page l will make it when the family come home

meegs35, Aug 4, 9:10pm
Did it taste good! Regardless of the cracks I'm sure it was delicious.

paix1, Aug 6, 12:13am
I don't have a food processor - if I used ordinary hand-beater, would that still work! TIA

buzzy110, Aug 6, 1:12am
It would but you would probably have to be slightly more creative. If I was using a hand beater I'd beat the cream cheese till it was smooth, add the ricotta and keep beating, once again, till well combined then add the 'wet' ingredients, which had been mixed together, about a ¼ at a time, beating well between each addition.

suie1, Sep 4, 1:42am
Well I just made this again, did everything exactly to the recipe & it cracked yet again!Has anyone else here made it! Did it crack! Donna Hay says it will not crack if you follow her fail safe recipe, I am a bit annoyed as it is not cheap to make & I am a good cook not used to having things go wrong much let alone twice! Could it be my oven!

elliehen, Sep 4, 4:03am
If the answer is not somewhere here, I'll be very surprised ;)


1) A springform pan (with removable side and bottom) is the most commonly used pan for making cheesecakes.

2) Avoid over-beating the batter. Over-beating incorporates additional air and tends to cause cracking on the surface of the cheesecake.

3) For even marbling and the best distribution of added ingredients, such as chocolate chips or nuts, do not over-soften or over-beat the cream cheese.

4) Avoid over-baking: Cheesecake baking times are not always exact, due to variations in ovens. The cheesecake will continue to bake after it is removed from the oven. The center of the cheesecake should be just slightly moist when it is ready to be removed.

5) Upon removal from the oven, loosen the cake from the edge of the pan by running the tip of a knife or narrow spatula between the top edge of the cake and the side of the pan. This allows the cake to pull away freely from the pan as it cools.

6) Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack away from drafts.

7) After a cheesecake has cooled completely, gently loosen the entire side of the cheesecake from the pan with the tip of a knife while slowly releasing the springform pan clamp. Carefully remove the side of the pan.

8) Baked cheesecakes freeze well. Cool them completely and wrap them securely in heavy-duty foil or plastic wrap, but do not freeze cheesecakes with garnishes or toppings.

More Cheesecake Success Hints:

The most common complaint is cracking that develops through the middle of the cheesecake during or after baking.

To Prevent Surface Cracking:

Bake the cheesecake in a water bath to keep the oven moisture high and the heat gentle. (A water bath is using a larger pan containing water in which to place the smaller cheesecake baking pan.)

Don't overbake the cheesecake. When perfectly done, there will still be a two to three-inch wobbly spot in the middle of the cheesecake; the texture will smooth out as it cools.

Cheesecake will shrink as it cools. Generously greasing the sides of the baking pan before pouring in batter will allow the cake to pull away from the pan as it cools and shrinks instead of pulling apart from the middle.

Cheesecakes have a tendency to crack, but they don't have to. This favorite American dessert can have a cracked surface for a number of reasons. One cause is air trapped inside the batter - a result of over-mixing. Once in the oven, the air bubble expands and wants to escape from the cake. As it finds its way out of the top of the cake, it creates a crack or crevice in the cake's surface. Another cause of a cracked surface is a drastic temperature change.

How to avoid cracks then! Be sure to mix your cheesecake batter well, eliminating all possible lumps in the cream cheese BEFORE you add the eggs. It is the eggs that will hold air in the batter, so add them last, and mix as little as possible once they are in the mix.

Also, be sure to cook your cheesecake gently. Use a water bath - wrap the bottom of your springform pan in aluminum foil and place it in a larger pan with water in it, just halfway up the outside of the springform pan. This will allow the cheesecake to cook more slowly and evenly.

Finally, cook your cheesecake slowly - at 325º F. After about 45 minutes, turn your oven off and leave the cheesecake inside the turned off oven for another hour. Cool at room temperature with a plate or cookie sheet inverted over the cheesecake to slow the cooling. Only then can you refrigerate the cake, which you will need to do for another 6 hours at least.

If after all this, you still have a crack, make a topping or a sauce for your cheesecake, and tell all your guests that you intentionally made a special crack in the top of the cake to hold more sauce!"

taurushat, Sep 4, 4:31am
If you read the blogs on Masterchef re this recipe.a lot of people have complained about cracking problem

evergreene, Sep 7, 7:40am
I made it - no cracking at all. I did put a dish of water in the oven with it after reading the Philadelphia cream cheese box. BUT I forgot to take it out the oven after an hour and it stayed there another 2 - still warm when I got home. So probably overcooked it - it was verygood but not as great as I imagined it was going to be.

tattoojules, Sep 8, 12:59am
I made this recipe last week and I was so disappointed, the base was tasteless and mine cracked as well.I'm going back to an old recipe using crushed ginger nut biscuits instead.

suie1, Sep 10, 11:07am
Wow thanks guys for all your posts, it seems that it is maybe only Donna Hay that can stop this cheese cake from cracking!The thing that gets me is it actually cracked worse than any other baked cheesecake I have ever made, go figure!It is quite nice though, but not the best ever cheesecake I think the Ricotta makes it quite grainy & as another poster said the base is greasy & tasteless

suie1, Sep 13, 9:59am
Could you please post the recipe for your one!Thanks

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