My Cheesecake Disaster

Cheesecake_2

Peabody over at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody is the host of Hay Hay it’s Donna Day and her theme is cheesecakes.

            I was both anxious and excited about this. Anxious because I have never made this before.  Excited because I have never made this before. I looked through some of my books but have not found a definitive guide to making cheesecakes. My time for research was also hampered by work, just like Ivonne over at Cream Puffs in Venice.

           I used a basic recipe for cheesecake with the one exception that I substituted crème fraiche for sour cream. For a special touch I decided to use mangoes both as a filling and a topping.

            I felt the first inkling of a disaster when the mangoes for my filling turned out to be sub-standard. They were not tasty and were a bit mealy. No problem. I had to add lemon juice and sugar to them anyway so that made up for the lack of flavor. I don’t know why I did not use a fruit in season but I just had to have mangoes to put on top that graham cracker crust. Next, as I beat the cream cheese and added the rest of the ingredients I noticed some lumps form after I incorporated the eggs. I was not sure if this was normal. Anyway, I figured, it was just going to melt as it cooks. (Although it did say to beat it until smooth.)

          So I layered the mango filling on top of the graham cracker crust and further layered it with the cheesecake batter. I put it into the oven in a water bath and cooked it till it was firm on top but still jiggly (about 80 minutes at 325 F). I let it cool down and refrigerated it overnight.

         The next day, I bought an extra mango for the topping. I was really looking forward to the cheesecake now sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be eaten. The mango I bought this time had a better texture, still not too tasty but better than the last two I used for the filling.

        After I the topping was made and chilled, I took out the cheesecake and liberally spread the topping on top. It looked really mouthwatering. Then I sliced it. Uh-oh, the center seems to be too soft. Oh no! I undercooked it! The outer part was like how a cheesecake should look like but the inner part was just a gooey mess. I was disheartened, I don’t know if I could even bring myself to take a picture of the disaster. It was like a gory crime scene.

       This was a promising recipe and I was disappointed that I messed it up.  I tasted the part of the cheesecake that was firm and it was really delicious by itself. But the mango filling/topping that I used realy added a flair to the cheesecake.

Mango cheesecake

     1 recipe cheesecake of choice

Mango topping

3 ripe mangoes

3 tbs butter

juice of 1 lemon

3 tbs sugar (or to taste)

3 oz. heavy cream

     Slice the mango in ¼ inch lengths or as desired. Coat with lemon juice. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the mango pieces. Add the sugar and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cream and cook until mango pieces are tender about 7 minutes. Cool before adding to graham cracker crust. Reserve some for topping.

23 thoughts on “My Cheesecake Disaster

  1. Oh!

    I'm sorry it didn't work out for you Veronica. It still looks lovely and I bet that it tastes delicious even though you're a bit disappointed with it.

    Here's hoping we'll all have more time in the kitchen from now on!

  2. It looks perfect. I've had this happen, too. Sometimes it's haard to tell with things that are supposed to still be sort of uncooked looking in the center when they are 'done'. The mangos are a great idea & I'll bet you nail the recipe next time.

  3. With that photo you could have fooled me! Don't worry, it has happened to me on occasions to. Hope you will try again!
    remember that everytime you had fruit in the filling, you increase the moisture content and your cake requires a longer baking time.

  4. I absolutely love the idea of adding the mango to a cheesecake.. I've been craving mango a lot lately.

    As for your gooey center.. uhh.. that's not a good thing? 😀

    I look forward to your next cheeesecake creation – I know it's going to be as mouth wateringly good as this one is!

  5. All – Thanks for the words of encouragement. I will definitely make another cheesecake. I will wait till real mango season when I can get the yellow mangoes from the asian market. Helen , you are most likely right about the fruit filling increasing the moisture content. I had a half a piece last night from the outer rim of the cheesecake and boy was it good!

  6. Hi Veron, i'm sorry to hear that it didn't work out well. But the mango does sound great! And, the photo looked fantastic. Don't give up, do try again cos your idea sounds yummy.

  7. It's pretty on the outside!
    And the mangoes were an excellent idea, I would have stubbornly carried on if my mangoes weren't perfect too.

  8. Don't be discouraged…your cheesecake looks lovely. Next time try:
    1) using an oven thermometer to make sure you've got the correct oven temp and
    2) baking it at 350 degrees. Correct oven temperature is especially crucial for cheesecake.
    Hope your next creation comes out to perfection.

  9. Hi Veron! The cheesecake still looks fab from the outside and the addition of mango sounds fantastic 🙂 Sorry to hear that it didn't turn out as you wished but I'm sure you will have a round two as you are such a Braveheart in the kitchen! 🙂

  10. Hi Veron,
    My favorite cheesecake recipe is the one from Maida Heatter's "Book of Great Desserts"… it's the Craig Claiborne Cheesecake. The proportions are perfect, so I always use this as my basic recipe and then make up my own variations. My own favorite variation is a lemon ginger one- with Trader Joe triple ginger snaps ground up as crust, minced candied ginger, add a little extra lemon juice and peel. Once I bake it (in a bain Marie), cool it and chill it, I make a homemade lemon curd (I like Martha Stewart's version from "Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts"- nice and tart!) for the top and chill it again. Garnish w/lemon slices and or star fruit slices.
    I have even successfully cut some of the calories by using half neufchatel in it and it is still good!
    BTW, Maida Heatter is the best for baked desserts! (there are several books)…

  11. Thanks Mae – I was really excited when I topped it with the mangoes and took the picture. I will make it again.
    Thanks Bril – I love mangoes and yes I think we are alike in a lot of ways in the kitchen.
    Bunny, thanks for the tips. I do use an oven temp for low temp cooking (200 and below) but I did not use one this time..now I know better. I'll also try 350f next time too.
    Hi Joey ..and thanks :).My resolution for this year is to face my fears!
    Hi Robin – lemon ginger sounds lovely for a cheesecake! Cuts through the richness. Will check out Maida Heatter's book. The hubby will roll his eyes again since I just ordered 3 books over the weekend :).

  12. Well you certainly can't tell from the picture that it was a disaster. It sure looks good enough to eat. I hope you persevere and try again. Perhaps use canned mangoes for a more foolproof texture and flavour?

  13. Well, your first go went a lot better than ours! We had the lumpiness issue, too, but I guess we left a few more lumps in ours than you did – they didn't all melt in the cooking, *plus* we had the overly-gooey middle, and it sucked. Essentially unsweetened cream cheese, in a sour cream/egg sauce? No, thanks.

    What we learned:
    – bringing the cream cheese up to room temperature *completely* makes getting the lumps out a lot easier
    – our second definition of 'jiggly' was a lot better than the first. (some movement, but nothing liquidy). Looking up tricks online to avoid goopiness, it seems like much of the concern over keeping the top moist is to avoid a crack on the crown of the cake. But if you're covering it, no worries!
    – we were too lazy to do the water bath idea, but it kept on coming up as being recommended all over the place.

    I can just imagine what this will be like with in-season mangoes!

  14. Hi Veron,
    I know exactly what's wrong. Many recipes for cheesecakes out there leave out certain important ingredients. I see your recipe above did not include any flour at all. You could put in about 40 to 60grams of plain flour and about 40 to 60grams corn flour. Add minimum 3 egg yolks one at a time. Beat 3 egg whites till soft peaks (never overbeat egg whites please). The flour gives the cake the structure while the egg whites helps to raise the cake while it's been baked much like yeast or baking soda. The soft peaks actually has millions of tiny air bubbles that expands when heated. To prevent lumps, I simple put everything in a blender. And finally fold in the whipped egg whites last to the rest of the batter and fill the pan.
    My first cheesecake was also a disaster, but following the above 2 tips, made my second, third and forth cake superb.

  15. Hi Veron,
    Oh I forgot, if you want to add fruit, you should not blend the fruit with the batter. Just cut the fruit up and mix it while pouring into the pan.

  16. Hi…
    I think that your cheesecake looks lovely also and applaud the mango experiment! How can one go wrong with a mango?

    One tip….fresh mangos (and papaya's) contain live protein eating enzymes (eek! danger for eggs!).
    This is why your cake didn't set properly. You could try cooking the mangoes first, let them cool completely, then add them as you're pouring in your batter, and I'd bet you'll see a huge difference!
    Keep it up!

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