Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This, That & The Other

Well, first there's THIS:

I got this sweet award from Grams. Grams is such a kind lady and is always thinking of others. I am thankful that I met her while I have been blogging and am so grateful for her friendship.

Thank you so much Grams!!

And then there's THAT:

"What is THAT?" I can hear you asking. THAT, my dear blogging friends, is a cheesecake. Now, you might be surprised by my answer- because I will agree with you when you say "THAT does not look like a cheesecake." So, here is the story. A little while ago I was reading my friend Carrie's blog and she posted this lovely Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe. And, while cheesecake is not my favorite thing, I thought- "Wow, that sounds good..... and easy."
And so I decided to give it a try. In case you are too lazy busy to click on over to Carrie's blog, here is the recipe.

The Cheesecake Factory’s Pumpkin Cheesecake
The crust:
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tbsp sugar

The filling:
1 cup sugar
3 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice

whipped cream

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Make the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1 Tbsp sugar in a medium bowl.
3. Stir well enough to coat the crumbs with butter, but do not over do it! Keep it crumbly.
4. Press the crumbs into the bottom and about 2/3 of the way up the sides of an 8 inch springform pan.
5. Bake the crust for 5 minutes and set aside until you are ready to fill it.
6. In large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla. Mix with electric mixer until smooth.
7. Add pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and continue mixing until creamy.
8. Pour the filling into the crust.
9. Bake for 60 - 70 minutes, or until a fork inserted into the middle comes out clean. The top will be a little dark.
10. Remove the cheesecake and allow to cool until it is room temperature. Then put it in the fridge to continue to cool. Serve with whipped cream.

Now doesn't that sound easy? Well, mostly easy- I have no idea what a springform pan is, so obviously I do not have one. So, I bought a graham cracker crust (which, by the way, Carrie said she did too). The recipe said to use an 8 inch springform pan (whatever that is) so I bought a 9 inch crust.

I made the filling and as I was pouring it into the crust I realized I was not going to have enough room for all of my filling. I showed Rich who said, "I don't think you should add anymore filling to it." So, I added bit more- because what does he know about baking. (apparently more than I do) As I was adding a bit more filling I reasoned, "There is no baking soda or baking powder or whatever makes stuff rise, so it's not going to get any bigger."

I am sure that my mom is smiling proudly at this very moment about my baking abilities.

Anyhoo- since I didn't use all the filling (I still had enough extra filling to fill 6 muffin tins), I decided to set to oven for 50 minutes. When I went to check on my cheesecake after the 50 minutes were up, this is what I saw:

When I saw this, I laughed right out loud and said "I must take a picture, my blogging friends will enjoy this story." As you can see the cheesecake is kind of exploding out of the pan. Well, when I tested it to see if it was done, it was not. So, I trimmed ate the sides off and put it back in the oven for 10 more minutes.

I took it out 10 minutes later and it was done. When I took it out it looked like the picture I posted at the top. About a half hour later it looked like this picture here on the right. It was all sunken in and just did not look quite right. I don't think you can really tell just how very wrong it looked by these pictures.

So, does anyone know what I did wrong? I followed the recipe exactly as it is (except for the springform pan part) so I have no idea what I did wrong. It tastes pretty good, so I don't think I messed up any of the ingredients. If any of you who have more baking experience have some idea of why this happened, please let me know!

And now the OTHER:

When Hailey turns 18 in the year 2024 public in-state college tuition is projected to be $161,589. Public out of state tuition will be $259,854 and private school will be $328,977. So, I am thinking of adding some Google Ads to my blog to try to make some extra money. Now I am sure I won't make enough to pay for college, but every little bit helps. So, have any of you added Google Ads to your blogs? And do you find it is worth it?


Kami said...

Whata grea site! Thanks for stopping by mine!

Kellan said...

Melanie - congratulations on the award and that cheesecake was so funny and definitely blogging material - I loved it!! The college tuition is enough to scare anyone to death!!! I have Google adds and don't see a dime from them - but they are worth the try. Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but a springform pan is required to get the perfect cheesecake look. But hey, if it's ugly maybe that will means that no one but you will eat it. No sharing, yeah!!

ValleyGirl said...

Good for you, for attempting something new!!

I think your problem was probably the pan, too. The shape of the pan you used allowed the cake to 'spill.' A cheesecake needs to bake long and slow because of its density. The top edges will always be the first part cooked and you need the tall straight sides to keep the gooey, uncooked parts from wanting to cook out from underneath the drier parts. A fully cooked cheesecake should still be slightly jiggly in the center when it comes out of the oven. A good way to prevent cracks is to place the springform pan in a cookie sheet of water. The extra moisture in the oven will keep the top from cracking.

Good luck on your next attempt!!

Common Mom said...

I'm DYING at your cheese cake . . . that's what my first one looked like. My MIL gave me a great recipe - and yes, you DO need a springform pan . . . it's a must. It's a little round thing on the bottom, and then the outside wraps around and seals tight to make what looks like a regular round baking pan. When you take your cheesecake out and after it cools, you just pop open the tightener thingy and VOILA - cheesecake. The first time I made my cheesecake up here at altitude, it turned out much like yours - many adjustments were made. AND, the crack in the middle - don't shut the oven door loudly and don't let the kids jump - or the hubby walk on his heels through the kitchen. All will cause the crack in the middle ;-) Good for you for trying - if the flavor was right, you've got it going - just get the pan and you'll be all set :-) I'll be waiting for the Martha photo of your next cheesecake :-)

Carrie said...

I'm so sorry that your cheesecake did not turn out well! That's so disappointing.
I disagree with the other commenters. While a springform pan will make a nice cheesecake, it's not necessary. I've done the store-bought graham cracker crust every single time I have ever done a cheesecake and it turned out fine. And I've made a lot of cheesecakes!

You just put too much filling in. That's all. Don't let it discourage you from trying again sometime. It should be filled just about 2/3 full, or a tiiiiiny bit more.

Good luck next time! It's a REALLY good recipe!

JenLo said...

You HAVE to have a springform pan if you are using the whole recipe, and if you're not, it will be a guessing game of when it's done.

JenLo said...

....AND you gotta come down to the Penguin sale. For yourself. No sending your mom. I saw her ;)

Talk..to..Grams said...

I think you have to have a spring form pan too! It sound really good either way!!
love you, Grams

Pam said...

I love it! I try so often to do things like make a new recipe, etc and it ends up going wrong somehow. Thanks for sharing! As long as it still tastes yummy, I wouldn't worry about how it looks. It all goes to the same place once you eat it!

I do google ads, but so far have only made a penny. I only just started it a few weeks ago though. Money is a bit tight for us so I though maybe it would give us at least a little something....don't know how long it will take to actually make it worth while though.

Oh, and congrats on the award! You are a great friend and you deserve all the blogging love out there!

Sharon said...

Girl that was slap my knee great. How funny! But I am sorry your cheesecake did not come out right. A spring form pan is a good thing to have. But if you do not have one you could use store bought crumbs and use a 13x9 pan.
But you really should get a spring form pan--it is just a kitchen essential.
Now a little hint.
Many times a cheesecake will crack.If you keep a little extra cream cheese you can whip it will a little vanilla and powder sugar and use as an icing. Then you can take a little cinnamon and sprinkle it around the edges. That is if it is pumpkin--if not what ever would go with it.
When I was in the restaurant business we made herbal cheesecakes. The crust was bread crumbs and the seasoning were fresh herbs and garlic. You serve this with crackers just like a dip. It makes a really cool presentation

Andrea said...

hehe...I probably would have done the exact same thing as you...tried to bake it without the springform pan (which, btw, I have no idea what that is either!) :) Hey, at least it tasted good!! :)

ZAM said...

Hahah. I'm not much of an expert in the kitchen and I would have fared far worse than you. Heheh. Needless to say, I have no idea what went wrong there.

BTW re Google Ads, i've signed up on that too. But I haven't received any payment so I don't exactly have any idea if the pay is good or what. But yes, I agree every little bit helps.

Andrea said...

So glad you shared pictures of that!! Too funny.

I have never baked a cheesecake before, so I have no advice. But it sounds like lots of other people know what they're talking about!

WorksForMom said...

In a word: YUM! Now if ONLY I was talented in the kitchen like you!

Regina said...

LOL LOL LOL LOL! I have a comment but I'm not done laughing...LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL! HHHHAAAAAAA!!!

OK, now. You know I love cheescake but that is a hot mess! I have done them without a springform but if you don't use one you have to adjust the receipe! But hey that was a great try! I'm sure the next one will be better.

Hey congrats on that award, isn't Grams awesome!

Donetta said...

Good to see the award making the rounds. Grams is a sweet heart and we both benefit knowing her.