Who can resist the appeal of a rich, creamy, satin-smooth cheesecake? Because this is one luxury that is well within reach, easy to make, and freezes well, it is worth preparing for any occasion.

These tasty cakes consist of a filling made of soft, fresh cheese -- ricotta or cream cheese -- sweetened with sugar and flavored on a base made from biscuit, pastry, sponge, or crumbs from crackers or cookies. The cake is topped with fruit, nuts, fruit flavored drizzle and/or chocolate.

For a cheesecake to taste smooth and creamy, the batter must be smooth and creamy at all times. The best way to achieve this is to have all ingredients at room temperature before you start baking. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until it's smooth and soft before adding other ingredients. If you use a handheld mixer, use it on a low speed to prevent incorporating too much air into the batter, which can cause a cheesecake to crack.

Another popular method is to add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and process for a minute or so, then just pour and bake. The downside, is that this method can incorporate a bit too much air, so if you use it, remove the blender from the motor base and tap it on the countertop a few times to encourage the air bubbles to rise to the surface and escape.

Which ever method you choose for mixing the batter, stop several times and scrape the sides and the bottom of the container to ensure your batter is lump-free and that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom or sides of the container.

Related Links:

Making the Perfect Cheesecake

Baking the Perfect Cheesecake

Cracks in Cheesecake

Cutting a Cheesecake

Cheesecake Tips

Refrigerating and Freezing Cheesecakes

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