First Quarter and Cheesecake
My choice to go to culinary school both did and did not occur overnight. I had always wanted to go, but up until recently, about a month ago, in fact, I was reluctant to go. I had been telling myself that I just wasn't good enough or I wouldn't be good enough for the longest time. I would rationalize not going by telling myself that I wouldn't like it because it would turn something I love into something I hate because I would have
to do it instead of wanting to.
I finally got the nerve to go, and it was because I was forced to take a position in a job that I had no business being in. I had a decent amount of experience in the IT field to warrant applying at this position, so I did. I had the experience, so why not? After a month of being there, I couldn't take it. It was a call center job. It was tedious, boring, and talking to people all day about how they can fix the problem with their device was not what I wanted to do. Culinary school kept popping into my mind. It got so bad that I decided to quit the job without any other job lined up which, in this economy, was pretty dumb or pretty gutsy. I'll let you decide. Either way, two days later, I was on the phone with the admissions director. The day after that, I was taking a tour of the school and had applied. By the end of the week, I was accepted with all of my previous degree credits transferring, and by now, I'm finishing my first quarter.
Quarter 1 consisted of two classes:
Supervision and Effective Speaking.
Neither of these classes were actually hands-on in the kitchen, but they had to get them out of the way before starting the fundamentals class next. It turns out that in my Effective Speaking class, almost all of the students are in the culinary program. There is only one in the photography program. So, naturally, what would culinary students want to do to wrap up their first quarter? Bring food to share.
Since I love baking so much, I decided to bring a cheesecake. I have documented my experience with some pictures as well.
First off, there is some equipment you may need to make a cheesecake:
-A medium size bowl
-A large spatula (maybe 2)
-A couple of spoons (good for QC)
-An oven (You need something to cook it in)
-A large roasting pan
-A 9 inch spring-form pan (I do not recommend a pan with sides that do not come off. It makes for messy cheesecake retrieval)
-A medium size pot or a kettle
-A mixer of some kind (You can do it by hand, but it takes longer and a lot of energy on your part. If you do use a mixer, make sure the bowl can hold the amount of batter that you're making)
Measuring spoons and cups
A rolling pin
A plastic bag
Some of this may be optional, but it all depends on how you want to make your cheesecake.
Optional equipment that I used:
A digital camera
A laptop with internet access
4 cats (They boost morale)
Now onto the fun part.
The cream cheese was still a little cold, so I had to open it up and let it warm up a bit more.
While that is warming up, I assembled the rest of the ingredients.
Not pictured: Salt and Water (No feelings were hurt, I promise).
I didn't have time to go get the boxed graham cracker crumbs, so I made my own which is easy and less expensive anyway.
Making the crust is not an exact science. Never try to get it perfect. The cheesecake batter will be covering it anyway.
My nice baked crust now ready to be filled with the luscious creamy filling.
I'm so glad my roommate lets me Bogart her KitchenAid. In fact, I don't think she's used it at all since she got it.
After adding sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs, I begin to measure the sour cream with my tiny pink spatula. That actually came from an EZ bake oven set a friend was getting rid of. It looked useful, and I was right. I've used it a lot.
Quality control is key. However, never use your bare hands or fingers...unless you're a bear but then you probably couldn't read this anyway.
Good night my proto-cheesecake. I will be back when you are nice and tanned.
My creation is ready to be extracted.
As a final touch, you can't have cheesecake without some kind of sauce to go over it. This happens to be a strawberry sauce I made the day prior. It will go nicely with it.
I was so proud. I've made this cheesecake like 4 times now, and every time prior, some water would always get in to the very last later of foil. It didn't really affect the cheesecake at all, but I thought I had layered the foil enough. This time, there was no water inside, so I guess I did a good job of it. I have to let it cool more before putting it in the fridge so it can be nice and chilled for tomorrow.This
is the recipe I used. I had tried several before, but this one just seems to work great. I'm sure my classmates will enjoy it too.
I think that should tempt you guys enough for now. Please feel free to comment. I encourage it actually. I'm not sure what I'll be making next, but I do know that I promised someone some pumpkin scones. Perhaps that will be my next post.