Sunday, 24 July 2011

Not a good day in the kitchen

Sometimes baking really sucks. I mean, head-in-your-hands-want-to-kick-the-oven-wondering-why-you-bothered sucks. In my case it's compounded by the fact that my catastrophe is meant to be my sister's birthday cake and is something that I have been planning for about a month, so it's really frustrating when I make silly, basic mistakes in the first stage (I'm still resisting the urge to bang my head against the wall).

Tonight I cooked the first part of the cake (that's right - there are multiple parts to this cake, can you see why I was so excited?) And it should've been the easy part - Cheesecake! A recipe I have not only cooked a number of times, but am comfortable cooking (and their aren't many of those). The problem was that I was trying to get it in the oven during the ads of Masterchef (I know, how tragic). In my haste I didn't get all the cream cheese completely smooth, something I didn't notice until I had added the eggs. So I was faced with a tough choice - leave the lumps in the mixture, or try to beat them out?

Let's move onto mistake number two, shall we? Yep, I decided to beat them out. Not only did it not work, but I managed to incorporate a whole heap of air into the mixture. I tapped the bowl like crazy but the mixture stayed thicker than normal and I just couldn't get the bubbles out. Unfortunately the damage was done so I just had to soldier on.

Unfortunately it didn't end there (can you see why I was so intent on the head banging?) - I then overcooked the cheesecakes. I had to split the mixture into two pans for the recipe, so I reduced the one hour cooking time to 40 minutes, but I didn't reduce it enough. When I checked on the cheesecakes there was no wobble in the middle and the top had already started to crack. An hour later, and despite the slightly open oven door, the small cracks had widened to ravines. I have never cooked a worse cheesecake, ever. I almost cried.

So now I have a dilemma: do I continue onwards with the recipe and hope for the best, or do I start again? Hmmmm... at the moment I'm not quite sure. Maybe when I'm not so cranky tomorrow I might be able to make a decision. Hopefully I'll manage to put a cake together for my sister's party.

What is your worst baking disaster? Did you manage to fix it?

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