Friday, March 12, 2010

Cheesecake and the charmed life

I've been craving cheesecake for several weeks now, so I finally decided to make one for Knit Night last night.  As the fates would have it, another lady brought frozen margaritas with chips and hot salsa.  I had no idea that it would go so well together, but OHMYGOSHITWASGOOD.  Fun times, I tell you, and pretty much one of the coolest groups of ladies I've ever met.  And it doesn't hurt that we get a tiny bit liquered up together every now and again.


I used the recipe "Tall And Creamy Cheesecake" from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours", and it certainly lived up to my weeks of expectation.


I added some vanilla bean pulp to give it a little extra boost.  The recipe states "1 1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two", so I used 1 cup sour cream and 1/3 cup heavy cream because I love a little bit of tang.  Next time I'll go with all sour cream, but it was pretty near perfect.  Dorie Greenspan certainly knows what she's doing.  I'm not sure if I'm her bakerly stalker, or if she's my unwitting Baking BFF.  However, wherever Dorie goes with her sweets and pastries, there I will go also.  I've said it before, and I will say it again (and again): she is my baking hero.


The cheesecake is more plush than smooth -- not dense, and melts on the tongue without managing to be actually light.  The crust is just sweet enough, and the pinch of salt perfectly counteracts the richness of the desert.  To top it all off, while it definitely takes a bit of time (it bakes for an hour-and-a-half in a low oven, then sits in a propped open oven for another hour, and finally chills for 4 hours to overnight), but the actual work involved is minimal.

Thankfully, I only made it home with only 2 pieces of the cake left, because it's tempting me from the refrigerator as I type this...  (Shhh, no I did not have a slice breakfast.... I DIDN'T.)

Moving on to knitting....  It's taken me about a week to admit this, but....Green Tea Cardi is getting frogged.


Yes, my friends.  I swatched with care as I always do, washing and waiting for the swatch to dry before measuring it, but then tragedy struck: I picked up THE WRONG SIZE NEEDLES.  The sweater is a 38" bust, and I need a 31".  If this yarn wasn't so special, I would do something a bit violent to the whole project, but instead I'm just waiting a bit to lessen the sting, and then I'll rip it out and begin again.

As it turns out, this may be for the best anyway, because I am very much NOT feeling the love for those garter stitch button bands.  I should have deviated from the pattern and added a 5 stitch button band on either side as I went along, just like my February Lady Sweater.  (If you look closely at the picture you can see the swooping of the button band -- I would have had to pick up less stitches, but still I think that it would have stretched funny when buttoned.)  On top of all of this, I didn't add waist shaping, and I did want to make this a button-all-the-way-down sort of a cardi, so it probably would have made me look like a little bit of a can.  ~sigh~  The things you learn.  I should have expected that this charmed knitted life I've lived couldn't last forever.

But hey!  I still have one piece of cheesecake!!

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