An Infamous Cheesecake Indeed...
***I wrote this last night and figured I'd post today once I took some photos of the the 2 new varieties I made yesterday, but with the way my day is already started, who the heck knows when I'll get home to take photos - so I'm posting right now and ya'll just have to come back again to see the CAKE FROM HELL and the 2 new varieties. MUAHAHAHAHAA!***
Yesterday, I made a cheesecake. It was going to be a GLORIOUS cheesecake. One to be envied from every inhabitant of Cheesecake Land. I thought about this cake for a MONTH before even shopping for ingredients. I made LISTS people. I might have even sketched the cake it all of its MAGNIFICENCE. What a true beauty she would be.
I was so proud of what I hadn't even started yet. I was PSYCHED. I was watching what the other members were showing off on our private forums and I was left breathless each time.. the creativity of their cakes was AWESOME. But still.. I kinda chuckled to myself thinking "Wait until they see MINE. They're gonna CRAP." Oh yeah, full to the gills with cockiness I was. MUAHAHAHAA!
And in true Lisa form..
Allow me to present to you - the first Official Kitchen Disaster of 2009. *sigh*
Oops.. first.. gotta take care of bidnezz. ;)
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.
Okay disaster or not - this is now my go-to cheesecake recipe. I've never had such a creamy cheesecake.. to die for, kids.. simply to die for. I said this before and I'll say it again.. HUGE pat on the back for Abbey for tweaking this recipe until she found cheesecake perfection.. and an equally HUGE hug for Jenny for bringing us this recipe. Bless both of yas cotton socks. ;)
So there.. there you go - now it's documented, stamped, triplicated and carved in granite - LISA screwed this recipe up. LISA managed to take the perfect cheesecake recipe and totally noobed it right into the circular file cabinet. LISA is a cheesecake MURDERER.
My favorite commercially made ice cream is Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone. You've got your sinfully rich caramel ice cream.. you've got a salty caramel ribbon running through it.. you've got chocolate covered sugar cone pieces throughout.. it's so good I could just BATHE in it. As a matter of fact, when the day comes that I stop breathing.. I'd like to be buried, completely submerged, in Caramel Cone ice cream.
HEY YOU PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS.. DON'T YOU DARE! GO BUY THIS ICE CREAM. IF I GO TO BUY IT AND IT'S SOLD OUT I WILL HUNT! YOU! DOWN! AND! BEAT! YOU! ABOUT! THE! HEAD! AND! SHOULDERS! WITH! MY! HUSBAND'S! DIRTY! TUBE! SOCKS!
So yeah.. what was I saying? RIGHT! I wanted to recreate my favorite ice cream flavor into a cheesecake. Caramel cheesecake, with a salted caramel ribbon running through it.. but instead of the chocolate covered sugar cones throughout, I thought they'd make a smashing presentation by crushing them up to wee lil pieces and then sticking them to the outside of the entire cake. Maybe even bring it up as a ring around the very top of the cake to use as a "dam" for a salted caramel "pool" on top.
ARE YOU FUCKING DYING WITH THE ENVY YET??? Are ya'll writing this down?? Can you even imagine a more STUPENDOUS cheesecake EVER?? OHMYGOD.
Figuring out how to make a caramel cheesecake was easy.. sub brown sugar for the white sugar the recipe called for. Easy. But if you're LISA you can't settle for easy so you start the Googling. And you read 1 (ONE) recipe that used DARK brown sugar and the author of the recipe said it was even more caramel-y than using light brown sugar so you are like.. OHYES! I WILL use DARK brown sugar for a more caramel-y cheesecake flavor! SQUEEEEEE! And you even tell a friend what you are going to and the friend will write back in a very supportive and just as excited way and say that the cheesecake will taste like "salted molasses" and she even DROOLED. And all I comprehended was the DROOL and how excited she was for my soon-to-be TRIUMPHANT cheesecake!!!!
Salted molasses? One word. Eww. Unfortch for me, that I didn't figure out that lil gem until after my cake was baked.
But even before that!! I had to make a caramel ribbon, right?? I had tried once before a long time ago, by using a very thick caramel sauce - but it baked into the cake and gave it a nice caramel flavor, but didn't give me the liquidy/fluidy ribbon I was hoping for. So my lovely friend suggested maybe making a batch of soft caramel.. rolling it into a rope and then arranging it over half the batter, topping with the rest of the batter and then another rope on top of that.. surely the caramel will cook and get melty and form a ribbon. And I'm sure she is right, but this batter is extremely thin, so there's no way it would have held the weight of the caramel rope, they just would have sank to the bottom. :(
I got to Googling again.. and my search parameters brought up a commercial cheesecake store in Wyoming (I think?) who had described one of their cheesecakes with a caramel ribbon running through it.. but when I realized it was a site to BUY their cakes and not a site for recipes, I back buttoned to see what else the Googling brought to me.. it was slim fuckin' pickins, lemme tell ya. So in my DESPERATION, I went back to the cheesecake sellin' site and found their contact page and PLEADED with them to tell me the secret to getting a ribbon of caramel throughout a cheesecake. I PLEADED. I'm sure when they read it they thought I had gone batshit crazy to be asking them instead of PLACING AN ORDER like every SANE person would be doing with that contact form. (they never did write me back.. imagine.)
I said screw it. We don't need no stinkin caramel ribbon. Instead I will make a rich, luxurious, salted caramel sauce. And I shall spoon that sweet/salty nectar over the crust of my cheesecake and then I will put that pool of pure heaven on the top of my cake and I will still get the flavors of my beloved ice cream.
(Do you think I chucked this idea after I made the caramel sauce using golden syrup (following the recipe from November's Golden Caramels) that might have been bad because the caramel sauce had a chemically ass-like taste to it? Read on, naive people.. read on...)
Well OF COURSE the caramel sauce baked into the crust!! OF COURSE IT DID. Because that's what fakkin happens. It's SENSIBLE. LOGICAL. RESPONSIBLE. PRACTICAL. And the baking Gods wouldn't be JOYFULLY. PLAYFULLY. WATCHING ME.
Nor would they be laughing and pointing at me. Fuckers.
And finally.. my genius idea of the chocolate covered sugar cone bits hugging my DELICIOUS cheesecake did not work out either. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I thought I was making a wise decision by going to a very popular chain ice cream store and purchasing their chocolate covered wafer cones. They were cheap, and it would be more convenient than buying a box of regular sugar cones and dipping them in chocolate myself, right?
Wafer cones, apparently, are way different from sugar cones. And anyone with ONE eye would know this. They obviously don't even look the same. But this did not stop Lisa. Oh hells no. I bought several of those wafer cones and didn't even taste one until after the cake was ready for them.. They were hideous. Gaggable. They were wrong. First the cone was so fake vanilla tasting that I did gag. I really am not a vanilla fan.. lil vanilla here and there I'm okay with.. permeated through whatever a wafer cone is made of is just wrong. And the chocolate the cone is dipped in? Not chocolate, my friends. Oh noooo.. it's that chocolate flavored substance that leaves a waxy mouth feel if you eat it. My guess is they also use this substance as some kind of water-proofing mastic for basements and rooftops. Shame on you Popular Ice Cream Chain! Shame on you for cutting corners on your wafer cones! I have never ate your ice cream and I will NEVER eat your ice cream now. SHAME ON YOU! And also, I'd like my $4.35 back please.
So said wafer cones hit the garbage can tout de suite.
But I still needed something for the "dam" damnit. After checking out cupboards and pantries.. nothing jumped out at me, so I grabbed more graham crackers.. crushed 'em up and made a ring around the top of the cake, then half-assed spreading them on the outside edges just because I had so much left. I then poured the noxious caramel sauce on top. And then I watched the noxious caramel sauce break through the graham cracker dam and slide down the side of the cake, over the edge of the plate an onto my counter top. I just about imploded at that point.
I picked up the plate, used my finger to wipe off as much of the sauce as I could, then just FLINGING it in the direction of my sink because I DIDN'T CARE ANYMORE and threw the fuckin' thing in the fridge. Even after all of this, I had hoped that the flavors would meld and mellow out after a long chill.
Yeah no.. that didn't happen either. The one and only TRUE THING that I did WRONG with this cake is to NOT look at it and scream "YOU ARE NOT A MILLION DOLLARS" because for everything I thought was right about the cake, was so pitifully wrong that SURELY had I screamed those words it would have magically turned into a huge fucking pile of $100 bills.
GOOD DAY PEOPLE. GOOD DAY.
I made a boatload of mini's.. the first one is for Hubbs.. plain with a simple blueberry & orange compote on top (fakker wouldn't thicken for me like it usually does)
And for moi! Orange cheesecake with a seriously thick layer of semi-sweet chocolate poured over it. *slurp*