"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you,
then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River,
or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.
But as for me and my household,
we will serve the LORD."
This was my first Daring Baker project in which I felt disadvantaged. First off, I don't really like cheesecake. Secondly, I've never made a cheesecake. Lastly if it weren't for the challenge I would never make a dessert with 5 packages of cream cheese in it. But I've read many a blog in which the person was not at there best. People who don't like lemon for instance. Or people who are completely intimidated by yeast. Or those who have to make the item several times to get it right, like a cake. And anyway, a challenge is at its best if one is really stretched.
Well rounding up the ingredients wasn't too hard. I got the cream cheese for $2/pound. But rounding up the hardware was definitely more challenging. I absolutely couldn't come up with a 10 inch non-springform cake pan. And I have a very large collection of cake pans in the basement, but the best I could come up with was a 10 inch springform pan. I brought it up and put water in it. It leaked. Sur la Table didn't even have one. So I decided to go with area. The area of a 10 inch circle is 78.57, and the square root of that is 8.86. I decided that that was close enough to 9, and I had a great 9 inch pan with 2 inch sides. Then of course I realized I needed to get that pan into another one, and then that into my small Lacanche oven. Luckily, in my search for the 10 inch pan I had spotted a wonderful baking pan that I bought in Hong Kong at the Sincere Department Store to fit into my very small oven while holding a turkey. (The turkey always hung over the edge, but cooked wonderfully in my Kenwood oven). Everything fit! :)
So there I was starting to cook this cake at 10 o'clock on Saturday night, and I realized I only had extra large eggs. A large egg weighs 2 ounces, and an extra large egg weighs 2.25 ounces. So I decided that I would use 5 of my eggs and 1 egg yolk. After that was settled I decided to put parchment paper into my baking pan since the cake was going to be all scooped up in the end. It fit perfectly. And at that the whole cake was a breeze to make. And it filled the pan perfectly. But it did take 55 minutes to cook. At least that's when I decided to stop cooking it. I don't know how to tell when a cheese cake is done.
It was then 20 to 12. I didn't have time to sit around and let it cool down. I wanted to go to bed. But luckily the parchment stood up higher than the pan, so I rested a tea towel over the parchment, like a tent, and went to bed. It gets plenty cold in my house at night. Then this morning I got up early and put it in the refrigerator. Then before leaving for church I took the cheesecake out of the pan and decided I'd cut it into 48 pieces. I could not figure out how to easily cut it into 40 pieces. That's 6 x 8 versus 5 x 8. Not a bit difference. I made about 7 balls, and decided that it needed to be more chilled. Put the balls in the freezer and the rest in the cold part of the refrigerator.
For some reason Riley decided to make blueberry muffins. The last time he did that was the last time I did my Daring Baker project. I hope we don't have a pattern here. The muffins were done with just enough time to be acceptably late, but not enough time to eat them. We invited our family over for breakfast after church. I decided to make bacon. My daughter Annie had told me that she had a friend or somebody who told her that the way she cooks bacon was to boil it first, and then put it into the oven. So I decided to try that. So I don't know what kind of bacon her friend uses, but that turned out the most disgusting bacon imaginable. It was almost completely tasteless. So we all ate blueberry muffins and juice and coffee.
I had taken the cheesecake out of the refrigerator and put it into the freezer because Sarah and Zac were not staying too long and I wanted them to taste my cheesecake lollies. Then I asked if anyone wanted to go for a walk. Riley and I and Sarah and Zac headed out. I had underestimated how slow a pregnant woman can walk. First we walked a half mile to see the pig in his garden, then we walked a half mile in another direction to go have lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Then we s l o w l y walked home, which was a mile. While sitting in the living room, chatting with daughter number 3 (Corey), I suddenly remembered the cheesecake in the freezer. and that I wanted to finish up so Sarah and Zac could have some.
The cheesecake still didn't feel frozen enough. I put it into the refrigerator and got the eight I had made from the freezer and started melting the chocolate. I did get them made, but it really stresses me. I really admire those cooks who managed to make all kinds of really cute cheesecake lollies. I don't know where they get the patients and calm to do it. I got my 7 made and put them in the freezer while we made tea and coffee to go with them. They stuck to the plate, but Zac managed to dislodge them for me.
We all decided that they were messy to eat and VERY rich. Zac was the only one who ate two of them. One was really all I could manage. Did I mention that I don't like cheesecake? We all pondered what I should do with the remaining 41 balls worth. Sarah suggested that I use it as a filling for a cake. Not a bad idea. I thought maybe a carrot cake. People are always crazy about carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. My mother loves it, so the only time I ever make it is for an occasion for my mother. Or here's another idea - I could make cupcakes and put a dob of the cheesecake in the middle of the batter. It could be chocolate, or carrot, or banana. I like that one.
Later on our friends Ken and Marilyn came over to watch baseball, play scrabble, eat supper, and of course to taste this month's Daring Baker project. I gave them the two remaining cheesecake lollie pops. We all thought that the rest of the cheesecake would be nice if it was just plain, with a big dollop of whipped cream flavored with orange brandy and a bit of the chocolate flavored with brandy. I put some brandy into the remaining chocolate and it seized up. Then, at Ken's suggestion, I add some butter. This was tasty, but the chocolate was still more like a truffle. So I got out small plates, put a square of cheesecake on each one, put on a big dollop of whipped cream, and spooned on a nice dab of chocolate. It was really quite tasty.
"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."
C. S. Lewis