Sunday, April 26, 2009

DB April Challenge, and a happy mistake


Okay, so I'm not that good at making cheesecake come out neatly and unbroken from its pan. In my defense, I used a shallow square non-springform pan to bake it, thus making the exercise of removing the sticky, gooey deliciousness extra hard. Really, I'm not just making excuses for myself. The leftovers which I baked in ramekins turned out nicely with a smooth and satisfying plop at the slightest coaxing.

Add that to the humiliation that somehow the bavarois recipe I had intended to accompany the cheesecake did not work. I intended to make a fig, muscatel and pear bavarian cream to accompany the blue cheese cheesecake I had made. Unfortunately, I had an unforeseen glitch in my choice of fruit. It turns out that fresh figs contain an enzyme called Bromelain--- found in foods such as pineapple, kiwi, papaya and ginger roots---which breaks down gelatin, thereby inhibiting thickening. And of course, I had only researched this as I was typing this post, thus explaining the glob of goo on my plate. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?


Anyway, although my bavarian cream is beyond redemption, I had a moment of enlightenment with my cheesecake. Seems like divine intervention had saved me from the looming doom that is shame and humiliation of failing a DB Challenge. As I was gathering the scraps of my fallen cheesecake, a thought whispers itself in my head. I can't remember its exact words, but it went something like this: hey, why don't you roll them into a ball, then cover them in walnut crust? And so I did. And it turned out to be a good move.


I'm not adept at creating and plating multi-component desserts, unlike my friend Y, whose creations are works of arts. Her desserts may look like they were spontaneously crafted at the spur of the moment, but believe me, those organic structures on a plate are carefully calculated with a good dose of restraint, resulting in a balanced and harmonious plate. Like Jackson Pollock, but much better; in my humble opinion anyway. Plus I feel it's partly owing to her mentioning a cheese plate cheesecake that I was able to salvage my cheesecake. Maybe it was her voice in my head...hmmm....

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

29 comments:

Karen said...

Love your presentation! And what a great save out of a possible cheesecake disaster!

Loie said...

Good job rescuing your cheesecake :)

billy said...

sorry to hear it didnt work the way you wanted it to be. I think it still look good though.

Julia @ Mélanger said...

Wow, I say 10/10 for your Plan B creativity. Very nice. I would have never known if you didn't mention it. :)

Angela said...

What a save!

I think it looks great---even the pile of goo looks delicious! I would never have expected fig to be as problematic as pineapple though, so I can totally understand your dismay. Gorgeous flavour combinations!

Amanda said...

Wow... my disasters don't look anywhere near as gorgeous as this! I would consider this the success that you just didn't plan for. :)

Y said...

Brilliant save! They look like arancini, or some other savoury cheesy treat, and I wondered for a second there if I was reading the wrong post, because I was expecting a bavarian somewhere in there :)

But darn it, yes, figs and gelatine! Argh. I have a similar story to tell actually. Oh, and you're probably going to snort in derision out of politeness, but really, plating is so not my strong point. I like to think I'm improving though.

Young Adventures... said...

Looks amazing and delicious! I love your photography.

FFichiban said...

I think it looks great deconstructed as well XD the balls were a great move! Mmmmm

Ash said...

what a nice little mistake. These look great! I love what you did with them!

MeetaK said...

love such kind of mistakes. great job!

Mallory Elise said...

cheesecake balls! yay for you! baking balls!

hey whatever i don't know anything about enzymes either, i would put figs in mousse any day and prolly get a goo too. who ever created these silly enzyme things anyways...

but bavarian cream with fig sounds so damn good...

yeah so definately gonna call you the stud of le Systeme D (what the French call it) you and i would get along so well in a kitchen!! i think plan B's (C's, D's) are always better anyways :)

ice tea: sugar high said...

failure schmailure.. I wouldn't even know if you hadn't mention it. Yes, figs and blue cheese go so beautifully together =).

I had a little accident with unmolding the cheesecake too. Brilliant idea with the balls! *that sounded so wrong =P*

Engineer Baker said...

I absolutely love that final photo! Nice save.

Arlette said...

I can eat this disaster cake any
time....
good for you!!!!!!!

17andbaking said...

This was definitely a blessing in disguise... Your cheesecake balls are so unique and creative! They look and sound delicious.

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

Well done...loved reading your tale. Heartening to know that their are voices in our head that make good sense at times!! YAY for you!!

nicole said...

Nice save! I'd never have known you didn't mean to do it that way if you hadn't told us :). This could be dangerous in my house, though- I'd mindlessly pop my way through the entire cheesecake's worth of cheesecake balls in an evening!

Holly said...

Good thinking! Cheesecake bites sound great!

breadandjam said...

These actually look very 5-star! And sound delicious too. The blue cheese idea was brilliant!

Jenny said...

I think you made a creative masterpiece out of what was probably not that much of a disaster. I've been a member of the Daring Bakers for two years now, and I'd say 1/3 of my challenges end in disaster. Hehe.
Thanks for being a part of the April Daring Baker's Challenge!

Jenny of JennyBakes

Mallory Elise said...

my god the marshmallows are SO GOOD! hurry up with the store so i can buy a whole truck load!

theforeignkitchen said...

I love that these are just cheese cake bites. That way I could load up on the fig goop and pop it all into my mouth in one bite. brilliant.
Thank you happenstance! For filling our kitchens with all these tasty mistakes.

Laura said...

Excellent! And don't feel bad--back in January or so I have a post about a failed lemon cheesecake that I tuned into parfaits for similar reasons.

Mallory Elise said...

of course i decorate my blog when i should be working. i am a terrible person. but at least i admit.

get my box yet!!?!?!?!

Tartelette said...

Best cheesecake saving job I have seen in a while!
Well done on the plating too!

Mallory Elise said...

hahahaha. well that sucks, the box was brilliant! they prolly opened it because i always lie on the customs slips. oops. hehe. ah you dont have to send me anything more! those marshmallows were brilliant!!!! but while i am there we will need to do our next Salty Sweet you know!!!!

i am quite bummed about not getting photos of the cake too, it was in the freezer until right before we left, and i couldnt really take it out before, there were a thousand people here, and my family, and well, i couldnt say, everyone move i gotta do a photo shoot! let's just say it was a little chaotic.

but.......i cant believe its all over! its very wierd.

Vera said...

Christy, I think its a fabulous save! The presentation is gorgeous and flavor combo is delicious!

Smarry said...

I think it looks great---even the pile of goo looks delicious! I would never have expected fig to be as problematic as pineapple though

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