Home grown

Late-night baking disaster

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I love making cakes for family birthdays. Sometimes I try new recipes and make cakes from scratch, but in months like September, with birthdays every week, I tend to get lazy and buy cake mix and frosting.

Last week, I decided I wanted to do something special for my dad’s birthday. I spent all day trying to come up with something else I could make for him. At 10:30 p.m., I came up with the perfect idea…cheesecake.

By this time, everyone else was asleep, but I thought I’d be able to make it without waking anyone up. I’ve seen them sleep through phones ringing, dogs barking and tornado sirens going off, so I figured a little noise from the kitchen wouldn’t cause them to stir.

I gathered everything I needed and got to work. I soon realized that I could be quiet, but our two dogs in the entryway next to the kitchen began growling and barking when I turned the mixer up to medium. Low speed was the fastest I could go, and it took longer to get everything mixed smoothly.

By the time I had the cheesecake in the oven and could sit down, it was midnight. I realized I had to wait for it to finish baking — and then I had to wait for it to cool. My late-night idea might not have been so great after all.

When it was finally time to take the cheesecake out of the oven, I put it on a cooling rack and prayed it cooled quickly while I tried to find something to watch on TV to keep me awake.

By 1 a.m. I was exhausted and couldn’t stay up any longer. I tried removing the outer layer of the springform pan, but the cheesecake was still warm and sticking. At this point I admitted defeat. I put foil on top, threw it in the fridge and went to bed.

The next morning, I didn’t even want to look at the cheesecake. When I finally took it out of the refrigerator, I tried removing the outer ring, but the cheesecake was stuck to the sides. I tried prying what was left from the bottom, but even that was coming up in chunks. I took it out the best I could and threw it in a bowl for my husband and boys to eat. It looked too bad to bring to my dad for his birthday, but I knew it would get eaten at home.

This week I’m sharing an easy recipe for cheesecake. Hopefully you all have better luck than me! I’d just suggest not making it at midnight, when you’re trying to be quiet, and when you don’t have time to let it cool properly.

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