Once in a while we get a free choice during our bake-along with the Heavenly Cake Bakers. This is an opportunity to catch up or make something that has already been made before because you either a) pass it by b) you were to scare of it to begin with to make it.
This past weekend, I had 4 GLORIOUS days off. And my agenda looked something like this by the end of thursday night:
Wake up late
Stay in my PJ’s – ALL DAY LONG
Watch TV – lots of TV
Read – Lots of reading!
Lay out in the sun (weather permitting)
Cook pick up phone order something to be delivered
Go to sleep and “repeat” for the next 3 days.
Ahhh – Heaven!
Baking, cooking even the action of being in the vicinity of the kitchen was not in the scope of the planned events. This, of course, meant I was totally going to pass up on the free choice this week.
Except…I was NOT counting on Tom’s puppy eyes begging me for something sweet, and my total inability of saying no to that man.
So, I gave him the list of the cakes that I had not done and hoped and pray that he would choose one of the “easy” cakes. So much for that… he did not even look at the list, he just came out and said “Did you not pass up on those cheesecake thingies a couple of weeks back? I want those”
So, the Baby Lemon Cheesecake that most of the group made 3 weeks ago was up to bat.
I started on Friday. Was too lazy, and put all the ingredients away, with the promise of tomorrow. A Law & Order marathon was calling my name.
I started (again) on Saturday. By the end of the night, I put everything away. The couch was just too comfy and the book was very, very good.
By Sunday, Tom had given me the “ugly look”. I was happy to report that I totally got away with it and suckered him into watching 2 movies with me on the comfy couch back-to-back.
Monday, I woke up and there was a note “DO THIS TODAY” with an arrow pointing down. And there it was, the whole ingredients needed for the recipe.
NO WAY OUT folks.
So I set out to do the biscuit first, since that was one of the components of these babies. I had to flip back to a totally different recipe to get this, but it was easy enough, a very simple sponge cake. I decided that I was going to totally go lazy on this and did not even use the Kitchen Aid, but my handheld mixer through the whole process.
For the actual cheesecake batter, I again used my handheld mixer to mix the eggs, sugar and lemon juice, and because I’m a total zest crazy girl, some lemon zest too. The recipe does not call for zest but the lemons were way too gorgeous and I just could not pass up not zesting them, before extracting the necessary juice needed. It was the best decision EVER!
Using my measuring cup I poured the batter into the 12 slots in the muffin pan. Then I prepped them for a water bath and into the oven they went.
Timer on and sat back on the comfy couch to watch the new Cooking Channel. Have you seen it? Don’t miss it; I totally got hooked on a couple of shows already. The only bad part? My cable network does not have the channel in the High Def line up – and once you go HD it’s hard to go back.
At the 25 minute mark, my 12 babies were ready. Took the pan out of the oven, being very, very careful, since that pan was FULL OF SCALDING WATER – the kind that would hurt you - bad.
Cooking = endangering your life – NOT FOR WIMPS!
I was about to let them cool off on the rack, until I read the instructions and saw the part about using ice cubes to cool off the hot water in order to remove the pans. I let them sit out for 20 minutes and then into the refrigerator they went.
Lemon Curd up to bat!
I was going to totally cheat and use some of the orange curd that I had, but Tom wanted the lemon, so after loosing the paper-scissor-rock game, I set my ingredients out and started the long (LONG!) process of stirring until the curd thicken.
A LONG TIME!
VERY, VERY LONG – Way TOO long.
Once it was ready, I took the babies out of the refrigerator and started to pour the curd, and realized that I had cooked it a bit to long and it was a bit too thick. So much for the nice pooling effect that the book picture showed – no dice. I had to actually use an offset spatula to spread it around the top of the cheesecake. And once the curd hit the cold cheesecake it got cold and it was just a nightmare to spread it evenly. My ADD kicked into full gear at this point and I got very frustrated with the babies.
It was 9pm at this point, I was so over it. I wanted to take the pictures and be done with it.
It did not help matters that Tom was like a little kid, dancing from foot to foot and asking “are they ready yet?”.
Unmolding them? Once word: PATIENCE! (that's actually not the word that was said late last night, but that is what is needed when you come to this point).
It’s not as easy as Rose said in the book. Be prepared to fight with them a bit. Maybe my silicone mold was so new that they were not as flexible and this made it harder to just push from the bottom and having them pop out on top. But, I did manage to unmold six of them. Three went into Tom’s waiting arms and belly and three into the photo shoot.
Tom: Oh sweet LORD! (Ok he said something else, but, I need to keep it clean here) They taste just like a Lemonhead – they are DELICIOUS! Well worth it babe, thank you so much for making them, I want them for my birthday!”
Me: I like them too. They were very lemon-y and tart-y and not so sweet, just the right balance between the both, which seems to be a recurring theme in Rose’s recipes. Would I have another one? Maybe – I’m not a huge fan of cheesecake in the first place, but these remind me a bit of a key-lime pie and I love key lime pie. Plus, I doubt that by the time I get home tonight we will still have anything left.
So that is that. Now I have to convice Tom that a Chocolate cake is the way to go for his birthday cake.