To soften the cream cheese in the microwave, place in microwavable bowl. Microwave on defrost for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until soft.
Cheesecakes are baked at low temperatures to prevent excess shrinkage.
To check the doneness for most cheesecakes, touch the top of the cheesecake lightly or gently shake the pan. It may not appear to be done, but if a small area in the center jiggles slightly or seems soft, it will become firm as the cheesecake cools. Do not insert a knife to test for doneness because the hole could cause the cheesecake to crack.
Refrigerate the baked cheesecake uncovered 2 to 3 hours or until chilled, then cover. Covering warm cheesecake may cause moisture to drip onto the top of the cake.
To cut cheesecake, dip the knife into water and clean it off after every cut.