Keep­ing cheese­cake from stick­ing to the pan

The Hamilton Spectator - - Food -

Q: My son made a Ger­man cheese­cake recipe that uses ricotta cheese and has a gra­ham cracker crumb crust on the bot­tom. He sprayed the muf­fin tin with cook­ing oil spray be­fore bak­ing, but the cheese­cakes stuck to the muf­fin tin on the sides and also the bot­tom crust. How do we pre­vent stick­ing the next time?

A: First, do you mean he made in­di­vid­ual lit­tle cakes in the wells of a muf­fin tin? Was there gra­ham cracker crust on the sides too? Or was it a sin­gle pan?

In gen­eral, some­times the cake is so chilled that it sticks. You can let the cake sit in its pan in an inch of hot tap wa­ter (if it’s a spring­form pan, be sure to first wrap the bot­tom and sides of the pan tightly with plas­tic or foil so there’s no leak­age), or wrap a very warm, damp towel around the sides and bot­tom of the pan or muf­fin tin for a few min­utes.

For a cheese­cake, I’d also run a ta­ble knife just in­side all the way around at least once, to make sure there is some sep­a­ra­tion be­tween cake and pan.

No mat­ter what kind of cake I bake these days, I find my­self lin­ing the bot­tom of the pan with a parch­ment pa­per cir­cle — it makes things eas­ier. But re­mem­ber to peel it off !

— Bon­nie S. Ben­wick

Q: I tried to clar­ify chicken stock with egg whites fol­low­ing Ju­lia Child’s in­struc­tions. The re­sult was still not clear and tasted sort of toasty, def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent from the usual. Sug­ges­tions for next time?

A: Next time you start from scratch, don’t bring the liq­uids to a full boil. If you use a whole chicken, go ahead and re­move all the skin and fat that’s easy to pull off. I would also rinse the bird in­side and out, care­fully and un­der a small stream of run­ning wa­ter in the sink, be­fore putting it in the pot.

— B.S.B.

Q: With the warm weather fi­nally ar­riv­ing, I made an Thai­in­spired cold noo­dle salad. The flavour was great but my noo­dles ended up soggy re­ally quickly. My dressing is co­conut milk based (with soy sauce, red Thai curry, etc.) and I used bro­ken-up long rice noo­dles. Should I add more fat to the dressing? Use dif­fer­ent noo­dles?

A: Rice noo­dles ab­sorb a lot of liq­uid. Con­sider udon or soba.

— Joe Yo­nan

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