A New Take on an Old Favorite
Photo: Kitty Broihier, MS, RD, LD
Product reviewed: Lékué Duo Springform Mold with Ceramic Plate
Creamy, rich and surprisingly easy to prepare, cheesecake is my go-to dessert for parties and dinners when I want a crowd-pleasing, make-ahead sweet. So it’s no surprise that I already owned three springform pans before I received the Lékué Duo Springform Mold with Ceramic Plate to review. However, I’d been contemplating purchasing a more petite version for “family-size” creations, so it was a welcome addition to my collection.
Form and Function
The Lékué Duo springform pan represents a major departure from the typical aluminum type in that none of the pan is metal. The base plate is ceramic, and the ring that usually snaps together with a clasp is replaced by two half-ring pieces made of flexible, food-grade silicone. These interlock to form a full ring, and the bottom edge of each piece is grooved to allow for gripping the ceramic base plate’s edge. Getting it all to fit together nicely is a breeze — you can hear and feel the sides interlocking — and the complete unit feels secure, although the silicone sides are still quite flexible.
The Cheesecake Test
If you’ve ever had a springform pan leak, you know what a mess it makes! I was a bit nervous about putting this pan in the oven for fear of the seals leaking, so I placed a sheet pan underneath while baking. But the Lékué passed the test — no dripping butter leaks when I prebaked the crust, and no filling leaks even though my recipe filled the pan almost to the top.
Of course, we all know that the moment of truth with cheesecake is when the pan’s sides are removed. I admit I was tempted to run a knife around the pan’s inside edge just to make sure the cake loosened from the sides, but I decided to risk it — it was silicone, after all. I started at one of the interlocking side seams, carefully peeling the silicone sides away from the cake and platter one at a time. It was a beautiful sight — there was very little sticking, and the cake’s shape was nice and even. A win!
Other Things to Know
If I had one complaint, it would be that getting the pan out of the oven was more difficult than I thought. The two handle-like protrusions on the upper edge of the silicone don’t seem super sturdy and, once the pan is full, it seems like grasping the pan’s flexible edges would mar the cooked filling. To overcome this, I slid the pan off the rack using one hand and grasped it from the bottom with my other. This was easy because the pan is small, but it might not be as simple with one of the larger versions.
Both the silicone and ceramic sections are dishwasher-safe. For more compact storage, the silicone sides can be rolled up, but I store mine right in the box it came in.
The Lékué can be used in the freezer, refrigerator and microwave, so cheesecake is certainly not its only use! I could see this pan being used for quiche, tarts, ice cream cake, a mousse-type cake, a charlotte or even a coffeecake.
I really like this pan. I made a few cheesecakes in it, testing the recipe below, and I hope that the components continue to fit together nicely after many more uses.
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Lover’s Cheesecake
- 6 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
- 2 tablespoons almond meal
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 8-ounce packages Neufchatel cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon powdered peanut butter
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- 4 full size peanut butter cup candies, coarsely chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, stir together crushed cookies, almond meal and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool while preparing filling. Turn down oven temperature to 325°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat softened cheese until smooth. Add Greek yogurt and eggs and mix again until well combined. Add powdered peanut butter, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and salt and mix until smooth. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Transfer mixture to the pan and smooth the top.
- Bake cheesecake for 50 minutes, or until edges are dry and center just barely jiggles when pan is gently shaken. Remove from oven and let cool completely, then refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Do not remove the outer ring from the pan.
- Remove cheesecake from refrigerator for 10 minutes before serving (you can remove outer pan ring at this time or leave it on until garnish is added).
- Heat 2 tablespoons chocolate chips in microwave for 1 minute on high until melted; microwaves vary, so stir every 15 seconds to check progress. Transfer melted chips to a resealable sandwich bag, squeeze chocolate into one corner and seal the bag. Snip off a little of the bag’s corner and squeeze chocolate out, drizzling it over the top of cheesecake decoratively. If desired, sprinkle cheesecake with chopped candies and cut into 8 slices.