Okay - here's a picture of the cheesecake sans ze cherries. Yes indeed there is a crack - i'm all cracked up in fact. (course they were all covered with cherries - which may've been the reason the cherries on the top came to be? c'est possible ) I think this is the most cracked out cheesecake i've ever had - usually there's one. And, yes Will i'm sure it is due to the lack of either a bath or a pan of water in the oven. I really should try at least a pan of water in the oven to see the effects on this particular recipe - positive or negative. With the amount of egg white in the recipe I am also curious what that water effect might have. (Baking is so interesting due to the chemistry involved dontcha think?)
As far as the density of the cake - ah - that is what makes it so unique. It is the lightest, fluffiest cheesecake you've ever tasted. More along the lines of a souffle or a mousse. It is realy delicious and anti-diet. Normally you would feel very full after a small piece of cheesecake. This recipe creates a considerably sized cake for starters - a 10 inch pan is large (not the largest one I own mind you). Then imagine the cheesecake being 10 inches instead of the more commercial sized cake - around 8 inches. Then the height of the cake - I'd guess it to be approximately 2 inches. Now slice said big cake up - and put a piece on your plate - your plate is rather full. You'd look at that slice filling up the plate and think - I'm going to be sick if I finish that piece. I'm here to tell you not only will you not be sick, you may ask for seconds. An Aunt Florrie piece perhaps (Aunt Florrie will be a post for another day - suffice it to say for now Aunt Florrie was stingy with the cake ok?) but seconds are not unheard of with this recipe and you'll have enough to go around for a small gathering. It is a great recipe for a nice sized dinner party.
The only drawback to the recipe (other than the cracking) is that it does not slice very cleanly. Refrigerating over nite is practically a must. And when you're slicing, you could have a glass of water nearby to dip your knife into to get a clean cut each slice.
The benefits outweigh the small drawbacks however :-)
Everyone enjoyed their cake last night. My mom had 2 pieces! The woman can eat. My nephew was still full from dinner but i packed him up a piece to eat late last night (as well as some extra for my mom). We have a little less than half the cake left. I will be indulging again tonite fershure. The husband will be returning from his trip tonight. He has been in Delaware at the family beach house doing the yearly cleanup and repair work with his siblings. After all his hard work I am sure he could use a slice. You should have seen his face when he saw that cheesecake in the "2 hour let it stand" stage - it was the - "you made cheesecake and i'm going away and will there be any left for me?" face. Of course I'd make sure there was a piece for him. Silly man - he knows better - after 22 years of marriage I'd leave him cake-free? not happenin' - not no way. not no how.