How to Rescue an Overbaked Cheesecake


Cheesecake (or rather, Chocolate Cake Cheesecake), after rescue

Before heading off to the coast this weekend to celebrate Marcy’s birthday, I decided to bake a cheesecake to bring along. Never having made cheesecake before, I used Our Best Cheesecake recipe from the back of the Honey Maid Graham Cracker box, to keep things simple.

Knowing cheesecakes tend to be tempermental, I read several online pages of tips – letting all the ingredients come to room temperature, measuring precisely, mixing until the batter was lump-free. Then I poured the satiny cream into our fancy French springform (which I got as a wedding gift, years ago, but had never used), and slid it into the oven to bake. By the end of it’s two hour cycle… WHAT?! Instead of the smooth, creamy whiteness I expected, the top of the cheesecake had turned BROWN! How had that happened?! I had no idea. Bummed, I put the mess into the fridge to think about later.

That night, I woke up realizing my mistake. I should have reduced the temperature to 325 degrees for a dark, non-stick pan, instead of 350 for a regular silver pan (ahem, just like the directions said). One small, but serious miscalculation, almost leading to tragedy…

How to Rescue an Overbaked Cheesecake… by Adding Another Layer


When I got up the next morning I was determined to save the cheesecake. (David’s suggestion was to buy some cherry topping to hide the top, but that seemed too easy). Instead, my solution was to bake an additional cake, and add it as a new layer.

I think any additional cake layer would work, but I chose Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake for the contrast. My only variation was using Droste cocoa powder instead of Hershey’s, for a darker color and richer flavor. Then I made chocolate ganache.

After carefully removing the overbaked cheesecake top to reveal only the white, I layered ganache on top for looks, flavor, and to work as “glue” to adhere the next layer. With a serrated knife, I carefully leveled the chocolate cake and placed it on the cheesecake, finishing with more ganache on top for decoration.

What a relief! The new two-layer cake was even more beautiful than I had expected. I seriously couldn’t believe it turned out so well after such a sad beginning. And most importantly, the birthday girl was very pleased, making the little extra effort completely worth it!

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