Sometimes I make decisions quickly, mostly I make them slowly. When it comes to baking, I'm slow. I like to take my time, pour over recipe books, my favourite magazines and sometimes I consult the internet; although I’ve learnt that there is a LOT of dodgy recipes out there! So, with a discerning eye (some may call lazy) I find at least 3 recipes I like parts of. I’ve always thought that with baking you have to be precise, it’s such a science. Mostly, this is true – to make a mousse set, fillings not ooze out of their encasings and the right ratio of butter to sugar for that perfect cupcake. However, I have learnt that I can adapt – yes, a huge revelation for me – as long as I keep my measurements about right, I can add flavours and subtle changes to my baked goods.
Spreading out my Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Old Fashioned Favourites’, my collection of photocopied recipes from various sources - friends, old magazines (in the waiting rooms of medical clinics...shhh you have to be quiet when ripping out pages while people are sitting in close proximity) and the internet, which I usually document the origin but with this particular Chocolate Mousse layered cheesecake I did not. The layer I used was adapted from Dorie Greenspans Baking: From My Home to Yours. The 3rd recipe I really liked was from Doughmesstic’s Toasted Raspberry Coconut Cheesecake - for the addition of a raspberry coulis layer. Making life complicated for myself? Hmm.... I've always taken the long road, the scenic route – often coming back to the start but somewhat wiser...I think!
I contemplated getting out of my jammies, but I was comfortable and it’s my kitchen, so what’s the point of getting dressed? Only at the moment where I realised (in mild panic) that my spring-form cake tin was NOT going to fit in any of my roasting dishes. And, yes, I’d already done the base and filled it with the creamy lusciousness of the cheesecake filling. There was no going back to the smaller tin. It was time to face reality and get dressed to solve this problem. Normally I would've rung around my friends – Katie being first, she is an awesome cook and has lots of goodies! But, we are in technological silence here in Port Fairy with the phone exchange being burnt down – no Internet and no phones. Well, extremely limited. I could get in the car, drive around to all my friends’ places until I found a large pan. Or, I could go next door (with my ruler, oh dear....) and see if my lovely neighbour Mary has anything. I know they entertain a lot, so my hopes were high. I knocked on the door and waited...nothing, bugger. I looked around my quiet street and worked out my next target. Judy on the other side has a fabulous fruit and vegetable garden and we are always chatting over the fence. Just as I was walking away, Mary called out to me. She was just getting out of her pyjamas too! That’s ok, it’s only midday. She had the pan, I measured it up, Mary laughed at me and my ruler.
I laughed at me and my ruler.
I laughed at me and my ruler.
Back to the (now) epic baking session at hand....all ready for the oven in its cosy water bath, I gently and lovingly placed my lemon cheesecake in to bake for and hour and a half. Now, waiting time until I can lavish it with lemon curd. That will have to wait as I have run out of caster sugar. Talk about organised!
Notes to self: Make sure your spring-form cake tin fits into a roasting dish before you fill the tin and realise your dish isn't big enough and like me, need to run next door and ask your neighbour. Not such a bad thing for community good will.
Mental note – make your kind neighbour something special to thank her. There will be no leftovers on this cake you can be sure, especially when you are taking it to your work Christmas party where it will be devoured in a breath full.
Post it note: I used a different recipe for my lemon curd this time. I consulted the September 2012 edition of Delicious where they had a nice, simple version of this delicious treat, using whole eggs instead of just the yolks. It was either going to be scrambled lemony eggs or a silky lemon delight!
So far, all is well in lemon curd land. Looks like there will be leftovers to pop in a jar with my label and thank my neighbour. [Print Recipe]