Cheesecake Catastrophe

Sat 15 Nov, 2008 at 9:20 pm 7 comments

Or Why You Should Never Attempt The Unfamiliar With Limited Time Before A Potluck. Or How Not To Make A Cheesecake

This evening there was a potluck at our church. Falling in the A-K, range, Chateau Cairns was required to bring a “large dessert”. Cake? Cookies? Brownies? Fruit?

Nope! That would be easy!

Tim had the idea to bring a cheesecake saying that he’s made them lots and they’re really easy! Looking recipes up online we came across a white chocolate cheesecake (and we had whipped cream and strawberries for the top!) Sound decadent doesn’t it? I was excited because it’d involve trying something new.


I should’ve known it was a mistake when I got a call from Tim at 2:30 this afternoon asking what graham crackers are. Aw bless – transatlantic translation problems!

2:40 ingredients arrive (thank you Tim!!!). Cheesecake must be heading out the door with Tim at 4:40 (at the latest). No food processor so I made graham cracker crumbs with the blender. Crust assembled and into the oven @ 2:50 – so far so good! I just may make it!

Eggs separated. Yolks beaten. Sugar added. Cream cheese added (after softening – which I had to google – 15 seconds on high – if more than one brick add 15 seconds per brick). Sour cream added (not the recipe Tim was familiar with, but it was the recipe we had). White chocolate chips added (melted first thanks to the “Handy Helper” button on our microwave – easier than melting via a double boiler!!). Put mixture into another bowl as I had to beat the egg whites. Messy. Washed bowl and whisk attachment (yay for Kitchen Aids!). Beat egg whites. Perfect peaks! Folded everything together. Taste tested – tasted good (PLEASE NOTE: NOT ONLY HAVE I NEVER MADE CHEESECAKE, I HAVE NEVER EATEN IT EITHER!). Poured everything into the crust (which turned out well for a first time if I do say so myself. Completely filled the 9 inch spring form pan (which I was using for the first time). Oven set to 350, cake goes in @ 3:15. Timer set for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, oven turned off (has to sit/”set” for an hour). We are extremely tight for time – but it’ll just work – if everything goes according to plan.

No oven light (that exploded a long time ago making enchiladas), so we were hoping for the best. Desired outcome? Lightly browned and set.

While waiting, I whipped the cream (adding some vanilla and sugar) and sliced the strawberries. To quote Tim, “This is either going to be the best dessert there or a complete disaster!” (How true those foreboding words turned out to be.

3:40 – judgement minute.

Can you feel the suspense?

Or did the title of this blog post give it away.

We pull the cheesecake out. Barely a tan on the cheesecake. Jiggling like Santa’s belly. Or a water bed. But NOT jiggling like cheesecake should – though I suppose cheesecake shouldn’t jiggle. Debate followed about what should be done.

  1. Take the cake and hope  for the best – praying that the cake will set as it cools – and that when Tim releases the spring form pan, that the entire creation won’t go splat all over the table.
  2. Leave the cake and save it for another time

There was no saving the situation in time for the potluck. Tim left planning on picking up brownies at the store on his way.

I then set about to get the cake set.

  1. Turn the oven back on. Wait until it heats up. Let cake cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the oven.
  2. Checked on the cake after 30 minutes. Just as jiggly. A little bit more tanned.
  3. Repeat the add heat experiment (not as high – but to return the interior of the oven to the state it should be in before I opened the oven door. Then turn off oven. Starting to see progress! Hurray!
  4. Repeat turn oven on again – as I had opened the door. We’re almost there! It is now 5:30. Two hours after the cheesecake originally entered the oven.
  5. 5:40. I smell something funny. Turn around to see smoke pouring out of the oven. YIKES! (The graham cracker crust = graham crackers + butter – my guess is that some butter had leaked out of the pan onto the bottom of the oven – bad combination).

I race over to the oven to grab the cheesecake out of the oven – it’s too close to being done to let it burn/smell like burning.

I put on the oven mitts. I reach inside the oven. I pull the cake out of the oven (looking 95% perfect). And put the cheesecake on the element to shut the oven door as I turn on the fan.




I salved some of the crust that hadn’t ended up on the floor. Very tasty. As was the filling that remained in the pan.

I think I’ll have to try cheesecake again.

(To add insult to injury, I put Luke in his Jolly Jumper while I was cleaning up. He laughed the WHOLE time – cheeky monkey!)


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Blog reading level – Elementary school! Playtime with Nanny & Grandad

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. alliecat393  |  Sat 15 Nov, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    lmao! Mark and Lena are looking at me like I am crazy.

  • 2. Mum  |  Sat 15 Nov, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Ohhh……I am so sorry!!!!! I wonder what happened – but good for you for having a sense of humour about it – I am sure it was a delicious mess!

  • 3. Mum  |  Sat 15 Nov, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Oh yes, and next time, you can buy graham crackers already in crumb form.

  • 4. Ree  |  Sun 16 Nov, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    LMAO!! I agree with Mum! Quote: “Ohhh……I am so sorry!!!!! I wonder what happened – but good for you for having a sense of humour about it – I am sure it was a delicious mess!”
    *hugs* !!!!!

  • 5. patty  |  Sun 16 Nov, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    ok next time try the jello no bake cheese cakes LOL

  • 6. Tanya  |  Mon 17 Nov, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    RFLMAO!!! That was hilarious and you tried so hard!!!

  • 7. Homer Simpson  |  Mon 17 Nov, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    mmmmmmm….Floor cake


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