Saturday, September 29, 2007

Baking at Night: The Not-so-mini Cheesecake

When baking at night, one should most definitely have a cup of tea, wake up, and read the recipe properly.

I've heard and read all sorts of good things about Nigella Lawson, although I have never watched her show. Her book, How to be a Domestic Goddess, is turning into something of a classic. I liked her writing style, many of her recipes looked very interesting (although, where can one get quinces or white currants in the U.S.?!) and, of course, there is a little bit of a domestic goddess wanna-be in me.

I decided to try her mini-cheesecake recipe and whip up a batch for A's birthday. The ingredients are very simple, and it seems like there's surprisingly little sugar in it, although it's been years since I've made a cheesecake.

The recipe instructs you to press the graham cracker crust into the bottom and up the sides of each cup in the muffin tin. One heaping teaspoonful in each cup, for a total of 24 mini-cheesecakes. For the life of me, I couldn't stretch that heaping teaspoonful to cover the bottom and the sides. I assumed there were mistakes in the recipe, as I had read several reviews saying that, in the U.S. version of her book, a lot of the quantities were incorrect.

So I put a lot more than 1 teaspoon of crumbs into each cup, and ended up with 12 mini-graham cracker crusts instead of 24. "Wow," I thought, "she has the quantities completely off!" Well, I should have paid more attention to the recipe. I mean, sure, regular-sized muffin cups are "mini" compared to your average 9-inch cheesecake. So, when I saw read that 2 12-cup muffin pans were required, I assumed that meant 2 regular-sized muffin pans, since there are normally 12 muffin cups to a pan.

Well, they were supposed to be MINI-muffin pans. I'm sure a heaping teaspoonful of crust crumbs would line the bottom of one of those very well. And yes, I would have ended up with 24 mini-cheesecakes, instead of my 12 not-so-mini ones. In my own defense, most mini-muffin pans I see around have 24 cups, all in one pan.

So, now I have to figure out how to mail these rather fragile-looking cheesecakes to the birthday boy. It will have to go via priority or overnight mail, I think. Any suggestions for packaging?


Kea said...

You're seriously going to mail cheesecake? I think it would be easier to mail Anthony! They wouldn't fit into egg carton, would they?

MooCow said...

I agree, especially since he's a lot further from the Canadian border than you are, and we're still enjoying an Indian summer.

Lana said...

I guess it's back to the oven for me! I think I'm going to make the ever-popular oatmeal butterscotch cookies.

The cheesecake tastes good, though! An almost guilt-free little serving, especially since I used low-fat cream cheese and sour cream. I might add just one more tablespoon of sugar next time.

Kea said...

Someone recommended freezing them, which would keep them hard enough to withstand shipping. If you manage to find some way to pad them in a styrofoam cooler with some ice packs, they might just make it to New York City in one piece.