Monday, June 25, 2007

That's the grade I would have given my cheesecake if today was actually a competition day. I've made cheesecakes all month long & they've all turned out pretty good, except for today.

This afternoon was the cheesecake tasting party. I've been worried about it, mostly because we don't have air conditioning & it's been unbearably hot(100 degrees). I decided to tough it out & still have the party as planned, informing all of my friends of the circumstance & inviting them to bring their kids in swim suits to run around in the back yard sprinklers. I still bought some flowers to pot for the back deck & a couple more box fans.

We'll, yesterday I was the ultimate grump (as was Logan) because it was so hot. I had cleaning to do, but I couldn't even get motivated to put the laundry away, let alone scrub the kitchen floor, bathrooms, etc. It was even too hot to bake anything.

As I was making dinner, my friend E (Little L's 9 months pregnant mom) called & offered to host the party at her air conditioned house. I was so relieved. I kept thinking about how she & another 9 months pregnant mom were going to be so uncomfortable & my cheesecakes were going to melt too. E was the party saver.

Last night after the phone call, I started making the cakes so they could set in the refrigerator overnight. At 12:30 am, when I pulled them out from the oven, my jaw dropped. I immediately thought "What in the hell did I do to these?!" They were a total mess, bubbles, browning, pulling apart. It was awful. It was also too late to start over & make more. I decided that I would get up early & make another, taking the risk that it wouldn't have 8 hours to set.

So, this morning I get up & make another cake. I made a few changes (decreased the butter, used the blender to mix the cheese). It seemed to have turned out a whole lot better. I kept it in the refrigerator until the very last minute before I cut it up into little servings. That's where I ran into problems.

I forgot to grease the pan & I couldn't get the cake out. The crust had caramelized & cemented itself to the bottom of the pan. I just shrugged my shoulders, thinking that we would just eat cheesecake blobs with strawberry lime sauce rather than eat them in pretty little cake form. There was nothing I could do at this point.

The party was fun & even though the cake didn't turn out as I expected it to, it still tasted pretty good. The sauce was a hit, with people pouring it into their lemonaid. I told them to think about the flavor rather than texture & presentation. They still liked it anyhow.

I thought about what went wrong. There were a few mistakes (not greasing the pan, not having enough time to set), but overall the culprit was the heat. I had the oven temp as low as it would go, but the 100 degree weather really didn't help that much. I'm glad the party was still fun & I wasn't being judged in a real competition.

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