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fail cake

Posted by aleta under recipe fail

So I’d say a good 98% of my cookings are successful, but of course now and again they are not. I cite as evidence: Pesto Cheesecake.

Yes, I know it doesn’t sound all that great to begin with, but it was in the JOY and was a little unusual and I figured out how to work it into the context of my diet and I had a huge bunch of basil seeking its purpose in life. And I could make it largely fat free. The idea grew on me. I gathered ingredients.

Some ingredients.

Then a bunch of boring stuff happened, involving making pesto in my new mortar and pestle and also regular “making a cheesecake” type things.

The boring details.

One of these pictures came out amazingly well—a little mound of pesto, floating on a magical cloud of ricotta.

A wad of pesto floating upon a ricotta cloud.

And then, DISASTER. I tried making a waterbath. Now I understand what a waterbath is, and I know why we make waterbaths, I had just never actually made one. And I fucked it up. Here’s a tutorial:

A tutorial.

See? I came to put it in the oven, noticed the water seeping in, and had a serious Oh Shit moment. The worst part is that even though I gleaned my instructions from JOY, I somehow missed this very pivotal illustration.

The directions were confusing.

So my cake cracked. After it got a little bit of water in it. But I don’t think these were the culprit in the whelmingness of this cake. Nor was it the fat free sour cream nor the fat free ricotta cheese. It just plain wasn’t a very good recipe. It’s weird, which usually earns recipes big fat bonus points in my book, but this time the weirdness was not in a good way. As an attempt to salvage a whole bunch of time and ingredients, I finished the recipe, which involved frosting with sour cream and making some sundried tomatoes as a garnish. (I refuse to pay for them when I can make them in my own oven)

So I took all my tomatoes from the farm down the street and lined them up for their last few moments in the sunshine.

One last sunbath.

Then I sliced ’em up good.


Laid them out on a cookie sheet with the remaining pinch of oregano I had on hand.


And baked them at 225 for five hours.

Just. Ew.

Turns out I, like Master Shake, do not like sundried tomatoes. Even though this was a painful lesson, it was still a rather lovely one, wouldn’t you say?

  1. Patti Said,

    Your pictures are absolutely beautiful!!! What kind of camera do you use?

  2. aleta meadowlark Said,

    It’s a Nikon D80, but it’s not mine. I’m looking into a D40, but we’ll see when I have the dough saved up!

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