Making Christmas Cheesecake

Steps in my perilous cheesecake journey. It was a bumpy ride and the crack made me cry but it recovered well.

I decided to bake a cheesecake for Christmas dinner over at Elaine and Kenny’s after being inspired by my monthly Cook’s Illustrated magazine.  I mean, it was even called Foolproof New York Cheesecake.  How could I possibly go wrong?!?

Well, I discovered that cheesecake is a tricky bitch.  I followed all of their steps to a tee, but the one point that I was completely helpless on, which is a huge step btw, was the tempreature of my oven.  The recipe calls for a 200 degree (F) oven for 3-3 1/2 hours.  Turns out that my oven never goes below 250 degrees.  I never knew this because I had never used an oven thermometer previously.  It was basically watching a slow moving train wreck happen in my oven.

When I finally removed the cheesecake from the over heated oven – 30 minutes earlier than anticipated – it looked lovely.  For about 5 minutes.  Then a crack the size of San Andreas Fault began to appear in the center.  Wah!

Thank goodness for the internets.  I did some research and found a few ways to fix a crack.  Only problem was that I would have to wait overnight for the cake to cool before I could try any of these methods which meant that for the entire evening I was convinced that my cheesecake was ruined and Christmas was going to be cancelled.

Fast forward to Christmas morning.  I unmold the cake and apart from the giant crack it looks pretty amazing.  I set to work on method #1 of fixing the crack which didn’t work for shit.  Moved on to method #2 – a sour cream topping baked onto it – and this worked perfectly.  It actually added a wonderful flavor to the cheesecake.

Christmas was saved and the cheesecake was served with raspberries on top.  It was delicious.  Actually quite perfect.

But will I ever make cheesecake again?  It might be awhile before that happens after my PTSD from this one.