You have just 3 days left to enter your cheesecake recipes in our Cheesecake of the Year contest for your chance to win $5,000 and have your recipe featured in Canadian Living Magazine! For every valid recipe you submit by the contest deadline, Sunday, Sept. 2, at 11:59 pm ET, you will automatically receive one entry into the random draw for a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer. Review the Official Rules for complete details.
To see Miss Philly's picks this week, check out her Spotlight: Going Fruity!
We checked in with Kraft Kitchens Expert Cayla Runka, who has made upwards of 400 cheesecakes, for her tips to help you in these final days of the competition. Here they are:
1. Use PHILLY, which I’m sure I don’t need to point out to anyone reading this! After all, why trust your cheesecake to anyone but Philly?
2. Preheat your oven for at least 30 min. prior to when you want to put the cheesecake in. A set temperature makes a difference. Be sure your oven rack is in the centre of the oven.
3. Soften cream cheese completely before beating. I prefer leaving mine at room temperature for at least 1 hour (sometimes 2) or you can use the microwave directions on the inside of the Philly pack in case you forget (which I do sometimes, too!).
4. Use a plain silver springform pan if you are following a recipe, including one of ours. The darker pans and the glass bottom pans need temperature and time adjustments in order to be successful.
5. Use a regular Bake setting on your oven, not convection.
6. Aim for the lower end of the cook time on recipes and check for doneness by jiggling -- should still jiggle in the centre as it will firm up on cooling.
7. When you remove it from the oven, run a small knife between the rim and the cheesecake, this helps to allow the cheesecake to cool properly without cracking. Do not remove the rim until completely cooled.
8. Despite most recipes saying cool for 1 hour and then refrigerate for 4 hours, my preferred method is to cool for 3-4 hours at room temperature and then place, uncovered, in the fridge overnight. Once completely cooled, then cover and store until use. To me, this technique helps to ensure the perfect texture.
You have Cayla’s tips, now we’d like to see how you use them. You have until Sunday, Sept. 2, at 11:59 pm ET, to enter your recipes in our Cheesecake of the Year contest. Get into the kitchen, grab your Philly and show us your cheesecake masterpieces for your chance to claim the Cheesecake of the Year title!
Real Women of Philadelphia Team