079 Trying to bake German cheesecake

079 Trying to bake German cheesecake

With the outside world still wet and gray, I get a lot done indoors while dreaming about garden work. As I’d been craving some cheesecake, I decided to bake some from scratch–something that I hadn’t done in over a decade. It did not quite go as planned.

The temperatures are slowly creeping up, but most days it still feels like winter here. I know you are probably thoroughly sick of watching me can potatoes. Believe me, I can’t wait for more variety in my tasks myself.

I check on my seedlings way more often than is reasonable. The garden is calling.

I was so proud to have made it through an entire batch of canned potatoes without breaking the machine. Well, I did. But the joy didn’t last long.

Preparing dough

It took me about an hour to get 19 jars of potatoes into the canner. I can barely boil one batch of potatoes in that time. And 19 jars are a lot of convenient meals.

Luckily, the canner doesn’t need me to babysit it, and I didn’t have to stay in the kitchen. Instead, I got to draw up a plan for the gardens. A plan with a lot of things to do in my future. Especially the growing plot will require a lot of work if I want to plant there.

I guess it’s good that we are lagging behind the season a bit. But soon, nature will wake up. In the meantime, let’s return to my kitchen and what Marvin did to gain a leave of absence.

I removed the clips from the jars, checked that everything had sealed, and stacked them up to dry before shelving.

.I really, really want cheesecake, so for the last few days I’ve been preparing, learning what I need to do, finding recipes that actually only have traditional ingredients. And, this morning, I made the dough that goes underneath the cheese part of the cheesecake.

Baking is still tough for me. I need to trust the process so much more than in cooking. I have too little experience with it to improvise much.

I turned on an audiobook and got to work. Two days after canning them, I finally shelved the jars. All the steps involved, I think I spent about an hour and a half on the potatoes. Not bad for 19 portions.

I quickly made a new batch of kombucha to get those jars out of the way as well. And while sipping a coffee, checked on my tiny seedlings for the hydroponics system.

Now, cheesecake. The “cheese” in this is a Quark, so something like a very mild cream cheese.

And this is where Marvin earns his third strike… After breaking while chopping potatoes (twice!), and the leaking blender, the core function broke… It was actually grinding the plastic!

The dough also didn’t quite want to be rolled out. But it was smudgeable. Smudgeable. What a word. So, smudge I did. At this point, I was certain that cake would never come out of the form again. But it was too late now…

So, I continued with the cheesy parts of my cheesecake. I don’t have any vanilla, so I’ll be making a lemon one. I was going to make a lemon lavender one. It’s right there…

My egg whites were a lot less stiff than they should be. But with Marvin, I’d now be adding plastic grinds to this. And I didn’t have an alternative.

I don’t have the best history with cheesecake. The previous attempt (a decade ago) landed on someone’s foot when they checked the oven for me. I hadn’t tried since.

I used up the remaining dough to make an improvised apple crumble something.

The cake actually came out fine. But then I didn’t wait long enough to cut it. “Der laeuft aus!” (“It’s leaking!)

I just pushed it back together and placed it in the fridge for a few hours. Then, very nervously, I tried again. This time, the cake was properly cold. The bottom was too thick. The inside a little wobbly. The top more brown than golden. But it was undeniably cheese cake. And I made it.

I made cheesecake.

So long, and thanks for being here.