Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blueberry cobbler and lemon cheesecake ... sometimes it's a bust!

I know I'm always posting about the yummy food I make and how delicious they turn out to be, but let's be frank here, not all food experiments turn out great. For me, more often than not, it is the baking or dessert dishes that turn out to be rather sad for me. I just don't do them well. I am working on it and trying more experiments and adding more to my repertoire but alas, some things are a bust!

Most recently, I had two things which I made that I was not entirely happy with. I don't think they will be keepers for me.

One of them was a cobbler. A friend of mine posted a lovely picture of a blackberry cobbler which she made with her grandson and it was a delightful family scene with the cobbler in front (looking delicious) and her grandson cute as can be in the background. He wanted "grandma time" and my lovely friend who is a wonderful baker decided they would bake together.

Her cobbler looks amazing. My cobbler looks like little blueberry turds.

I'm not too fussed about the way they looked, as I made them individually in ramekins whereas she made one huge one in a big glass bowl. The problem I had with my cobbler is that it was way too sweet. The recipe called for 1 full cup of sugar and I felt like I was literally just eating pure sugar with that much sugar in the dish. If I were to ever make this again, I will use half the sugar and see how I go with that. Of course, The Boy is also not a fan of cooked blueberries, so I don't know if I will be trying this again soon.

The other more recent disappointment was my lemon cheesecake. We were having company for dinner and I had the idea of a cheesecake for dessert. I searched the interwebs and found a lemon cheesecake recipe that I could make in the Thermomix which the poster claimed was wonderful and easy. However, at the end of the recipe, she put a disclaimer in which said:

Since I posted this recipe, some people have commented that their filling didn't set, although many others have said it worked fine.  I have no answers as to why this might have happened.  Perhaps the correct ingredients or quantities were not used?  Sometimes people substitute 'light' ingredients and expect the same result.  All I can say is I have been making this recipe of my Grandmother's since I was a teenager (over 30 years) and I have never had a problem with it. I hope it works for you.

This, of course, is not promising.

Anyway, turns out, I'm one of those people where the cheesecake didn't set properly for me. In fact, when I cut it, it just turned out to be this gooey mess with the filling spilling out of the sides. She said that I didn't use the correct ingredients or quantities, which is not true. I followed her instructions exactly and I did not substitute "light" ingredients. :-/

On top of that, what she failed to say was that this is only a half sized cheesecake, which I didn't really mind, but her recipe proportions were all wrong. The proportions she had down for the crust was not enough for the crust to reach 5cm up the side of the springform pan (my pan wasn't even that high or large) and I needed to use 1.5x portion of the crust ingredients just to get enough crust for my small 20cm springform pan.

The filling was also under proportioned, since I think I would have had to double the ingredients to get the filling to fill up my small pan. As it was, I only got half a pan of cheesecake filling and there was 2.5cm of crust sticking out the top of the cheesecake.

All that said, the filling and crust were both very tasty and it was a yummy cheesecake. It just didn't set properly and did not present well. Don't let my picture fool you, it looks really pretty in the crust but you can't tell that the filling didn't set from picture, can you? :-p

When I grumbled about the cheesecake recipe on Facebook, a foodie friend of mine made the comment that unfortunately a lot of recipes are posted untested. He and his wife are working with a chef to publish a cookbook right now and he says they test each recipe at least 3 times to make sure that they work before it goes to print. He also mentioned that Julia Childs never tested any of the recipes in her famous cookbook.

This just goes to show that there are so many variabilities when it comes to baking and desserts and these were certainly some of my #bakingfail moments. :-(

It also takes practice, I think, but there are only two of us in the house and practicing on baking and making desserts without many people to eat them would just mean my blood sugar levels will go through the roof. Not a good thing.

Anyway, that's it from me today. Just a little trip the lane where sometimes my food experiments go awry. Back to yummy (and tested) recipes time.

ps. I didn't post the recipes for the cobbler and lemon cheesecake because well, I don't feel good about posting recipes that didn't work for me and I can't say that it turned out great, but if you really want it, message me on Twitter or Facebook and I'll send it to you.

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