Cheesecake is a delicious dessert, and a favorite cake for many people, and it is easy to see why.
Thanks to the creamy texture, the sweet, subtle flavoring, and the sheer choice of toppings and ingredients, cheesecake offers so much return for the small effort it requires to make.
However, even perfect cheesecake is renowned for its fragility, which can make cutting slices a delicate task indeed.
So, what exactly is the best way to slice cheesecake, and are there any tips that can help your search for perfection?
What Consistency Should Cheesecake Be?
Cheesecakes can have different consistencies, depending on the flavor, style, and the baker’s intention for the finished design.
However, properly chilled cheesecake usually offers the best results.
It also depends on the ingredients used. For example, cheesecakes that use cream cheese will be firmer than recipes that use sour cream as the main ingredient.
What Makes Cheesecake Fragile?
When it comes to making cheesecakes, there are numerous reasons why they can become fragile – all of these playing a role in the consistency of the finished cake.
To ensure your cheesecake is as firm as possible, you need to make sure that it has been properly stored in the fridge. This is to make the cream cheese filling as sturdy as possible.
If it has been refrigerated sufficiently, then it will be easy to slice and serve.
However, if it has not been properly refrigerated, and the cream cheese is still runny inside, then the whole thing will collapse under the pressure of the knife point.
Of course, cheesecake fragility could also be caused by incorrect ingredient ratios – something that can easily occur with any cake, especially if you are baking with a limited amount of time.
This could be the flour, the eggs, or the powdered milk, and there are numerous ways to make mistakes and cause problems when it comes time to bake, slice, and present on a serving plate.
Cheesecake can also be sensitive to temperature changes – perhaps more so than similar desserts like cake and pastries.
This means that, even if you store the baked cheesecake at the proper temperature, you still need to be vigilant when removing it from the refrigerator with a view to serving.
If you want to serve and eat the cake immediately, then take it out and begin cutting, however, if you are not intending to eat it until the end of a party or meal, then you would do well to keep it chilled until serving.
How To Cut Cheesecake
Despite being a wonderful dessert loved by many, cheesecakes are still fragile, and the shape can be ruined if you use the wrong techniques and tools.
Luckily, there are many tips and tricks to getting the perfect slice when cutting cheesecake!
Hot Knife Technique
One method is the commonly used hot water dip technique, which can be a useful tip when looking to cut cold cheesecake.
By using the hot knife method, this allows a thin blade to expertly cut through the cheesecake with ease, applying slight pressure to create a clean slice through the cake.
To do this, dip the knife under hot water for approximately 20 seconds – enough time for the metal to become hot and effective for use when cutting the cheesecake.
For this, you could either use a smaller beaker or fill a tall container – ensuring care is used around hot water.
Sharp Flat Edged Knives
When cutting cheesecake, it is also recommended that you stick to flat edged knives to do the cutting, instead of serrated kitchen knives – which are less suited for cake.
This is because serrated knives require a sawing motion to work, which could cause damage to the cheesecake during use, and make the whole cutting process more difficult than it needs to be.
With a sharp flat edged knife, you can glide through the cheesecake with ease, ensuring a clean cut and reducing the risk of damage to the cake.
Dental Floss Technique
You can also use dental floss to cut your cheesecake. Of course, this needs to be unflavored dental floss, so as to not to taint the flavor of the cheesecake.
To do this, stretch out a length of floss, place it across the center of the cheesecake, and draw the floss down until you reach the base.
For the harder graham cracker crust, you can always apply more pressure, or use an additional knife to break through the hard crust.
Wax Paper Technique
You could also use the wax paper technique, which requires you to wrap wax paper strips around the blade of a sharp knife, using the paper as a means of creating clean cuts through the cheesecake without the cheesecake sticking to the knife, or causing damage to your otherwise perfect cheesecake slice.
This will also help keep the pie server (or knife) clean, promoting a more sanitary work environment.
How To Cut Even Slices
Most people want even, uniform cheesecake slices, and this can be achieved by scoring lines using the sharp knife edge, ensuring you are totally happy before making the first slice and finally cutting cheesecake.
Begin with scoring the cheesecake in half (or quarters), before making further adjustments based on how many slices you need.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about cheesecake, and the perfect way to cut it without damaging the finished cake.
Cheesecakes are a delicious and great addition to any buffet table and can be the perfect centerpiece for any get-together with family and friends.
However, without the right care and attention, they can soon be ruined beyond measure.
So, if you are wondering about the best cutting techniques to get the perfect slice, or even uniform quarters of cheesecake, then why not give some of these a try?