My Spring Pan Leaked
February 17, 2012 2:40 AM   Subscribe

I was baking a cheesecake and the spring pan leaked. I get that water will ruin the crust, but since mine has no crust, is my cheesecake still ruined?
posted by Yasuo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total)
I am confused as to where the water comes into the baking process here. Is this trapped water from previously washing the pan?
posted by HFSH at 3:54 AM on February 17, 2012

Response by poster: I used the water bath method to bake the cheesecake.
posted by Yasuo at 3:57 AM on February 17, 2012

Why dont you just wait and try it? It might be ok.
posted by tonylord at 4:09 AM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

Cheese is pretty high in fat, so I imagine that a cheesecake has good odds of repelling water if it's mostly cheese rather than being more like a cake with cheese in.

If it's a more cakey kind of cheesecake I'd expect it to be visibly waterlogged, in which case I'd try turning the oven off but leaving the cheesecake in there to dry out a bit.
posted by emilyw at 4:41 AM on February 17, 2012

If it's ruined, it's ruined. If it's not, it's not. You have the actual cheesecake in front of you, why don't you look at it? This isn't a theoretical exercise when you have a real cheesecake.
posted by Kololo at 6:36 AM on February 17, 2012 [5 favorites]

Pretty much what kololo said -- the water, if it did damage, will change the texture of your cake, so it might not set properly or parts of it might be spongy. It won't do much to the flavor or somehow make your cake dangerous or bad. Pull the form off and take a look.

If it helps, I keep a large sized roll of tinfoil on hand, and when I bake things in a water bath, I use the tinfoil to surround the outside of the pan, to ensure leaks don't happen. Even my most expensive springform pans leak water with the protection of tinfoil.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:58 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Eating it will not cause you any physical harm.

Water would throw off the texture of the area it touched. So even if the outside is bad, the middle might be okay. If that's the case, only eat the middle.
posted by I am the Walrus at 7:22 AM on February 17, 2012

Next time set the pan on a sheet of aluminum foil and fold the sides up tight against the sides of the pan to provide a waterproof barrier to prevent leakage. (Careful not to tear it.)
posted by jferg at 7:58 AM on February 17, 2012

If you need to try it before taking it somewhere, why not cut the edges off it and present it as a square? Like this. Then you can try it without it looking like someone already had a piece.
posted by sarae at 8:13 AM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I once baked a cheesecake before using a spring form pan and a water bath that got ruined a bit. Water leaked in, but it mostly ruined the graham cracker crust (a little on the soggy side). The cakey part didn't seem to suffer too much damage, but it was enough of a texture yuck that I'd eat around the soggy parts. I don't know how it'd affect a crustless version.

Agreeing to use aluminum foil around the spring form pan. Make sure the foil comes above the water line though. That's how that ruined one got ruined. The foil wall wasn't high enough ;_;
posted by kkokkodalk at 10:00 AM on February 17, 2012

I forgot the elaborate. When I meant the "cakey" party I actually meant...the cheesecake cheese center. What I meant was the whole cake didn't suffer much damage, but there was a definitely layer of sog where the crust and most outer portion of the cheesy part kind of intermingled. You can try putting it in the fridge and see if the cheesy part will solidify some before you release it from the pan, but otherwise, since there's no crust to preserve, if it is a little on the mushy side on the outside, I'd just gently try and remove it.
posted by kkokkodalk at 10:04 AM on February 17, 2012

I know it's nice to present the entire cheesecake at the table, but you could cut it into wedges and plate it before bringing it to the table. That might make it easier to cut off the soggy part -- from each wedge, instead of the whole pie.
posted by wryly at 11:07 AM on February 17, 2012

I'm thinking of how cheesecake baking physics works.

First, the fact that the springform leaked will not ruin the cheesecake in my experience. If there is any problem, it will be because water penetrated the springform and got into the batter.

The cheesecake itself should develop a 'skin' or hardened outer layer at some point. This would prevent water from penetrating or mixing into the cheesecake batter if the skin is strong enough. Assuming your springform is metal, then one of the reasons it leaked is because the metal got hot enough to expand. At that heat, would the protective skin have formed?

When the springform leaks cheesecake, it is usually a viscous substance that is a mix of sugar and fat. If this substance leaked out of the pan, then the substance was under some pressure in order to leak out of the pan rather than water leaking into the pan.

If your batter is like mine, then it's full of cheese and sugar and eggs, and is very dense. If you were to drip water onto that batter, then it would not absorb into the batter unless you forcibly mixed it in. Also, cheesecake is typically more dense than water, so its not like the cheesecake would float. More likely, its density it would prevent water from getting into it.

So, I think that your cheesecake will not be ruined. It may have a soft spot if water got in, but it wouldn't ruin the entire thing.

Also, I have had good success baking cheesecakes without water baths, and I have seen suggestions to put the water in a separate pan on the rack below the cheesecake so you don't have it sitting in there.
posted by jabberjaw at 2:07 PM on February 17, 2012

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