Thursday, July 29, 2010

boy, is my face red

tomorrow is national cheesecake day. so i ruined 2 cheesecakes on the eve of national cheesecake day. i am such a loser.
you might be thinking..."TWO cheesecakes single mormon chick?" yes. two. the first was worst than the second. let me explain.
as you know, i am having friends over for dinner and wanted to make cheesecake for dessert. at the risk of being redundant, i am an excellent cook, with better than average skills in the kitchen(get your mind out of the gutter). while some might find making a cheesecake from scratch intimidating, i am not one of those people. i have made tons of cheesecakes using a variety of recipes. they are all pretty much the same. cream cheese, eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla, etc. i have been known to whip one up without a recipe. i am that familiar with the making of cheesecakes.
then i found the smitten kitchen recipe. i respected the recipe. i read it several times, noting the differences. no cream. a little flour. a 550 degree oven. WHAT THE ...? five hundred and fifty degrees? did my oven even go up that high? it did.
i mixed up the batter and unashamedly dipped my finger in for a taste. incredible! the recipe is for one giant cheesecake, but i have two small spring form pans, so i split the batter between the two pans and i slid the first one carefully into the oven and gently closed the door. it was supposed to bake for 12 min at the super high temp, but i notice within a few minutes that the crust was burning. although the recipe did not mention a burning crust specifically, it talked about how you shouldnt fear the high temperature because it served a purpose and if you were watchful, it would all be ok. WHATEVER.
somehow i pushed the wrong button when resetting the temperature and instead of cooling down to a gentle 200 degrees to complete the cheesecake perfection, i basically allowed it to burn in the fiery pit of hell of a 550 degree oven.
it came out of the oven looking completely ruined. black. nasty. i couldnt bear to throw it in the trash just then, so i put the second cake in the oven and walked away.
this time i really watched and turned the heat down after 8 minutes. it came out a little darker than i would normally like, but the top was smooth and perfect with not a crack to be seen anywhere.
once cooled, i went poking at the first one and realized there was only a very thin layer on the top of the cake that was actually burnt. i was able to peel it off and although it looks like a train wreck, there is a perfectly good cheesecake underneath.
i will put some kind of sauce or fruit on top to cover the damage and serve the cheesecake on nation cheesecake day.
enjoy a piece(get you mind out of the gutter)for yourself.


  1. Haha I wonder if 550 was the correct heat, I'm pretty sure that's the highest setting below "Broil" on my oven.

    Second, splitting it up was your downfall. Less volume means less energy required to heat it. There's your physics lesson for the day. haha

    I, also, like making a good cheesecake from scratch. I'm not a big cake person so on my birthday I either buy a giant cheesecake from Costco, or make one myself.

  2. I second the comment from waiting....there was a reason for the high heat when it has a large volume. Try it full size and see if it turns out better. I'd be interested in a post on it. :)

  3. i will probably try it again, but will wait a while. when i do, i will post about it.
    550 was definitely the right temp, but i am wondering about the volume lesson. if the recipe was made for a HUGE springform pan and i divided it into two small pans, shouldnt it be the same?

  4. Well density and surface area will play a factor as well.

    It's a little hard to explain without spitting out formulas, which I will not do. haha Think of it like this: A full pot of water takes a lot longer to boil than a half pot.