A phoenix rises from the ashes…a chocolate cottagecake

Before today, I had never made a cheesecake. Technically, you would be right in saying I still haven’t made a traditional cheesecake. That’s what happens when kitchen bravado strikes and you misread “cream cheese” as “cottage cheese”, in this BBC recipe.

I’ve always been a bit gung-ho about cooking, liking to imagine myself as Jamie Oliver in a “just chuck everything in” kind of way. It’s a lot more likely that I’m just a lazy cook.

We are between blenders at the moment so instead of processing the biscuits for the cheesecake base down to a fine powder, I rolled a water-filled bottle over them and then gave them a few whacks with my new Scottish Spurtle.

Spurtle, I choose YOU!

I also don’t have any round baking tins, so went for an avant-garde rectangular cheesecake instead. It was when I added the uninvited cottage cheese that I realised the mixture looked odd. The cottage cheese curds were showing prominently through the glorious chocolate goo of a batter. The words “cream cheese” started to come back to me. Darn.

A quick google of the situation revealed a few others who had made the same mistake and who had requested advice, mostly on Yahoo Answers. The responses were as outraged and horrified as they would be if the poster asked for advice after they tried to give their new puppy a bath but ended up strangling them. I had committed a terrible, most grievous offence.

I researched further to make sure it wouldn’t kill me or anyone else and then decided to chill the cheesecake anyway and see how it turned out.

I didn’t expect it to set, as cottage cheese is so much lower in fat than cream cheese.

Miraculously, after about 2 hours, the cottagecake had firmed up and was looking…okay. The white curds stood out against the chocolate like tiny white marshmallows. I braved a taste.

You know what? It wasn’t half bad. It sounds horrible, but the curds provided a nice texture to the topping, which I think would have been too rich without a break in the monotony. (If you try the above recipe yourself, maybe use less chocolate. That is a sentence I never thought I would type).

What does all this prove? That making a mistake while cooking is not the end of the world. No-one could ever accuse me of being a master chef, but perhaps they could call me an inventive chef.

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Posted on March 2, 2012, in FOOD and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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