Malto Mario


The Lady & Sons

1,000 Italian Recipes

Sunday, April 26, 2009

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.



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.



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*


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Comments on "An Infamous Cheesecake Indeed..."


Blogger Valerie Harrison (bellini) said ... (4/27/2009 7:50 AM) : 

This cheesecake does sound worthy of the Daring Baker's challenge. Sounds like a must try:D


Anonymous Audax Artifex said ... (4/27/2009 8:34 AM) : 

Lisa I do feel your pain, frustration and disappointment I absolutely hate it when I have a plan in my mind and have 'problems' you know exactly what I mean you see what you want in your mind very clearly exactly the way you want it and then 'reality' steps in and kicks you in the guts with its concreteness. You actually made me drool when you described your flavour combination and I have never had it!!! Great posting about frustration BUT this is what DBers is all about going outside our comfort zones. Yours from Audax in Australia


Anonymous Nichole said ... (4/27/2009 9:05 AM) : 

Oh, that just sounds like a world of frustration! I hope you figure out how to make that dream cheesecake, though, because I'd really like to try it, too. :)


Blogger Dharm said ... (4/27/2009 9:06 AM) : 

Sorry your cake didnt turn out but it sounds like you had a great time planning for it Lis!! Cant wait to see the pics...


Blogger Dragana said ... (4/27/2009 9:25 AM) : 

LOL!!!!!!!!!!! Baking with Lis is so entertaining!
Can't wait to see the final product. Your ideas are fantastic - I may try it myself someday.


Blogger Dragana said ... (4/27/2009 9:26 AM) : 

p.s. did you get my e-mail?


Blogger Barbara Bakes said ... (4/27/2009 9:30 AM) : 

Sorry your masterpiece didn't turn out as you had hoped! I'll look forward to the 2 new varieties.


Blogger Andrea Meyers said ... (4/27/2009 9:30 AM) : 

Oh nooooooo! But it sounded so good!!! Can't wait to see the pics of all your cheesecakes. :-)


Blogger The Benny's said ... (4/27/2009 9:31 AM) : 

LMAO! OMG Lisa! You MUST post pictures!


Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (4/27/2009 10:40 AM) : 

Some times anticipation is the best part . . . I can tell you I was hanging on my seat for the entire story . . . actually I'm still there waiting for the photos.
Good day yes it would be grand for you to have a very good day now.


Blogger Helene said ... (4/27/2009 11:43 AM) : 

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa... Sigh...Absolute best cheesecake read of all! Not what you want to hear I know...
I can't wait to see pics of the ba done and the good ones. Two flavors surely make up for this one. Me think we should try to recreate this disaster when I get the chance to visit you next.


Anonymous Wolf said ... (4/27/2009 11:57 AM) : 

Oh gods, and here I thought my issues with the 9" Dark Chocolate one I made were bad...

I feel your pain. All that delicious caramel.}:(


Anonymous Angela @ A Spoonful of Sugar said ... (4/27/2009 1:58 PM) : 

I feel your pain, Lisa. One trial after another... just not fair.

(For a swirly caramel ribbon, I'd make some dulce de leche using the 'boil a can of condensed milk' method, to get a really thick caramel. You could then splodge that into the batter and swirl together. I would say that a thicker batter would hold a caramel swirl a bit better, though.)

And now I shall tiptoe away...


Blogger Caribbean Dreamer said ... (4/27/2009 2:19 PM) : 

I'm so sorry Lis. But I swear to God I love reading your blog. Keep working on perfecting that masterpiece!!


Blogger Mary said ... (4/27/2009 3:38 PM) : 

Well the IDEA of your cheesecake sounded heavenly! I love that ice cream flavor too, but don't worry I won't buy it all. I'm supposed to be getting in shape and I could eat my weight in it. :)


Blogger BC said ... (4/27/2009 3:42 PM) : 


My cheesecake peed itself. Naughty naughty cheesecakes.


Blogger Unknown said ... (4/27/2009 4:32 PM) : 

Oh Lisa, I totally feel your pain.

I am excited to see what the good ones looked like!


Blogger Lisa said ... (4/27/2009 4:54 PM) : 

Lisa, Lis, Lis!! I heart you!! I go through the same thing..I plan out a dessert, get really excited, then something always fails. LOL@ the salted molasses..who knew? You know, sweet and salty anything, riggghhht? hehe Well, I bet the cheesecake still looks good, and I can't wait to see it! BTW, I will never again miss any of your posts..they're the best thing since sliced cheesecake, minus the wafer cones! *HUGS*


Anonymous Kathlyn said ... (4/27/2009 5:14 PM) : 

Liz, you are hilarious and thank you thank you for this! I would have pitched the thing across the room (I really did throw a failed gnocchi once). Can't wait to see the photos of all three.


Blogger breadchick said ... (4/27/2009 5:37 PM) : 

Well pictures or not, even your ahem, "kitchen disasters" always taste spectacular.


Anonymous Elissa said ... (4/27/2009 7:47 PM) : 

It's too bad you didn't make the same dessert you were imagining (trust me, I know that feeling all too well) but your results are still stunning. Those are beautiful cheesecakes!


Blogger Lauren said ... (4/27/2009 8:08 PM) : 

Regardless of how they turned out, your cakes look awesome!!


Blogger Unknown said ... (4/27/2009 8:57 PM) : 

I totally feel your pain here. I threw an entire cheesecake in the trash because it didn't live up to my planned expectations (and I'm sure it wasn't terrible, but I couldn't face my charred marshmallows and not chocolatey-enough filling). Let us embrace cheesecake murder together, and skip through the forest of following after inspiring ideas. Eventually, one has to stick!

I love your post, and have passed it on to "Infamous Abbey" because I know she will laugh hysterically like I have. xoxo


Blogger vibi said ... (4/27/2009 9:01 PM) : 

Oh! My... what a laugh, Lisa! That was way better than a handful of vitamins for SURE! I even told your pathetic story to my bubby (not that he cared, really!) that I enjoyed it so much!

In the end... you were at least able to take a pretty darn good looking picture of one piece! ...and the others seem just as great!


Blogger Young Adventures... said ... (4/27/2009 9:05 PM) : 

Your idea sounds sooo good! All three cheesecakes look delicious! I'm sure the situation was not funny while you were making your cake, but your post is hilarious!


Blogger Helene said ... (4/27/2009 9:09 PM) : 

The minis turned out gorgeous Lisa!


Blogger Engineer Baker said ... (4/27/2009 9:41 PM) : 

I just laughed through that whole post :) Love the orange and blueberry idea!


Blogger Laura Rebecca said ... (4/27/2009 10:26 PM) : 

A caramel cone cheesecake IS a marvelous idea but I'm sorry putting it into action was so frustrating.

But, a great story for the memoir, right? Aaaaand fantastic looking mini cheesecakes!

You are such a daring baker and it is always a pleasure to read your blog and bake with you!


Anonymous Chantal said ... (4/27/2009 10:32 PM) : 

LMAO (and if you've seen my rear then you know that that's a lot of a laughing)

I feel your pain, although your pain was quite entertaining, thank you!

But those cakes in the pics look so sexy, they look like they were created by one calm and collected :)


Blogger ice tea: sugar high said ... (4/28/2009 12:01 AM) : 

Darn.. I always hate it when things didn't happen according to plan. But the results are still drool-worthy!


Blogger Elle said ... (4/28/2009 12:21 AM) : 

Pauvre petit! It does sound like a magnificent cheesecake. If you ever figure out how to do that ribbon of caramel with this cheesecake recipe you will make a MINT! The cute little cakes at the end are wonderful...all that chocolate, although NOT the fave ice cream flavors, surely helps you overcome, right? The caramel one sure looks great!


Blogger Alpineberry Mary said ... (4/28/2009 1:11 AM) : 

ROTFLMAO! Sorry the caramel cone cheescake didn't quite work out for ya. Let's just blame it on the cheesecake people ignoring your kind plea for help with the ribbon. :)


Blogger Snooky doodle said ... (4/28/2009 2:01 AM) : 

Yummy ! surely looks worth it :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4/28/2009 7:12 AM) : 

This is one of the funniest posts I've read in a long time, but what really took the cake for me was your TRAUMATIZED tag at the bottom.

Glad you enjoyed it... I loved it too!


Anonymous emiglia said ... (4/28/2009 7:13 AM) : 

That last anonymous comment was me. Sorry about my lack of technical prowess.


Anonymous Holly said ... (4/28/2009 7:58 AM) : 

Oh, Lis, I love your kitchen disasters. I can so relate! Your minis look fantastic, I hope they made up for such a frustrating challenge!


Anonymous Hannah said ... (4/28/2009 8:17 PM) : 

Oh, I'm so sorry you went through such pain for this challenge! I would have never known by just looking at the pictures though, because your cakes look perfectly delicious.


Anonymous Lisa Michele Part Deux said ... (4/28/2009 10:29 PM) : 

I knew it, the caramel cheesecake looks FAB and the mini cheesecakes look just as FAB (Why am I using FAB? I never use FAB *shrugs*) Anyhoo - I want to dive head first into the orange and chocolate one, as well as the caramel cheesecake from hell! You can fuck up as much as you want, but you'll never TRULY fuck up, because your natural talent will ALWAYS beat the shit out of the fuck ups! *hugs and smoochies* :)


Anonymous veron said ... (4/29/2009 8:15 AM) : did go through a lot of pain for this, Bridget....I mean Lis...he..hee...but it looks delicious and I can't wait to try this creamy cheesecake!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4/29/2009 9:11 AM) : 

Being I was a complete slug and managed not to make this month's challenge as of yet, I will refrain from any comments on your trials and tribulations.
I will however, give you a little heads-up. There is a quaint little chocolate shop in PGH that not only has great chocolates, fudge and novelties but also sells ice cream. They have really great chocolate coated sugar cones, which they coat guess Lovey!!!!


Anonymous Abbey T. said ... (4/29/2009 4:02 PM) : 

My god, did your post crack me up! I'm actually the "infamous" Abbey behind the recipe, and here I thought it was unbreakable. I mean, you really gotta work HARD to mess it up beyond repair, so in a strange way, I gotta say congrats. ;-)

But really, your non-failure cakes look DIVINE and if I could leap through my screen right now there's be nothing left but crumbs... maybe. Probably not even that.

But honestly, thanks so much for using my recipe in this challenge - as I make my way through these hundreds of blogs, I am positively humbled by the skill and creativity being infused into my little recipe. And I'm proud to say, Jenny has finally now inspired me to get off my butt and start a blog of my own, AND join daring bakers! whee!


Blogger Jenny said ... (4/30/2009 7:01 AM) : 

Tsk tsk, such language of fearless leader! (And thanks for my daily giggle, those cheesecakes look wonderful, so I'm sure you did not wreck anything.)


Blogger Deeba PAB said ... (4/30/2009 8:42 PM) : 

Your frustration is palpable...but hey, you did it! I think the cheesecake looks great. Hat's off to your quest for the flavour...I like the way you expressed yourself. I felt everything you did...sorry it went like this Lis!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5/01/2009 12:07 PM) : 

Ok, I need to add traumatized as a tag on my blog.
Caramel sauce, cheese cake, and dirty tube socks! Only you can make these things work in a post. Cereal.
I'm so sorry, because your diabolical plan was wonderful...but next time let me know things go crazy, because I'd love to come and lick all the crumbs and such off your counter!


Blogger alana said ... (5/01/2009 9:51 PM) : 

So sorry that you actually had to gag for this one, but sometimes it's worth it for a good story. So thanks for sacrificing so we can reap the benefits, and your cheesecakes still look gorgeous!


Blogger Liliana said ... (5/03/2009 9:17 PM) : 

Lisa, I love the way you write! Caramel Ice Cream? Good thing I don't live in your neck of the woods otherwise you would be hunting me down for buying all the icrecream.

Have to admire your persistence and creativity!


Anonymous life coach said ... (5/05/2009 4:51 AM) : 

Delicious food!
I want to eat very much!!


Anonymous abby said ... (5/08/2009 4:25 AM) : 

hilarious post lis - thanks for helping me start my day with a chuckle.

i hate cheesecake so can't really appreciate your pain but i do appreciate the quality of your writing!


Blogger SteamyKitchen said ... (5/12/2009 8:48 AM) : 

fake vanilla cone dipped in fake waxy chocolate? oh my kids would LOVE that. seriously. even better if it had craploads of sugar!

maybe this summer I'll get one of those waffle cone maker machines and just make my own.


Blogger Memória said ... (5/14/2009 12:40 PM) : 

Your cheesecakes still sound and look good. Oh, and you need to try Dorie Greenspan's Tall & Creamy cheesecake before settling on this recipe. It IS the ultimate creamy cheesecake IMO. I think it tasted much better than the challenge cheesecake, even though this was one pretty good.

I still think your caramel cone idea sounds very delicious. Caramel, chocolate, and cheesecake? YUM!


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