Well, you see, I made a cheesecake this evening for the gal who does my hair…it’s the least I can do for a dear woman who listens to my tales of “raising a boy woes”–she’s raised three. And, it’s the very least I can do for the woman who keeps my hair blonde without making it look like someone is keping my hair blonde (and for the record…I am a natural blonde–very blonde, indeed, however with each child my hair has gotten at least a shade darker, albeit it has gotten ALOT curlier–so it’s a trade-off!). I made the Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake from my last post. I have made this same cheesecake recipe for at least 12 years and don’t ya know, it cracks everytime I make…arrgghh!! It’s enough to make a grown woman cry. Well, tonight the cheesecake came out of the oven perfectly formed…”Ah, hah! ” I thought to myself, “At last, I’ve done it!!”
Well, hold on there little britches…not 30 minutes later did I hear from LaLa, “Hey Mom, there’s a HUGE crack right down the middle of your cheesecake!” I hustled over to her as fast I could go (which by the way is not fast at all) and sure enough the Grand Canyon of Cracks was dissecting the very center of the cheesecake. “Oh, well”, I thought trying to put a good spin on this development, “I’ll just tell Deborah to put some whipped cream on top and no-one will be the wiser.” This is usually the fix-it for my cracked desserts. However I did not count on one small factor: Tink.

Apparently, the lure of the newly baked cake was just too overwhelming for her two-year old sensibilities…after all aren’t all cakes baked by Momma made especially for Tink? So, sometime between when the Grand Canyon crack appeared and the next time I looked at the object of my frustration (oh, about 30 minutes)…the cake seemed to have developed two indentations…finger sized indentations…2-year old Tink sized finger indentations! Can you blame her—I couldn’t–I’d been hankerin’ for a taste myself. But what is a poor Momma to do? I didn’t feel right giving the cake away knowing (or should I say not knowing) where Tink’s fingers had been.

So, I did the only thing I felt I could do–I baked another cheesecake to give to Deborah (actually it’s baking as I type). So, two cheesecakes in one night—but this time it was going to be different, It was not going to crack!! I Googled “Why do cheesecakes crack?” and I got this answer: “Cheesecakes crack when the proteins in the cake separate.” Great…I’ve got separating proteins…but, I kept reading, “cheesecakes that incorporate flour or corn starch tend not to crack”…the flour or corn starch gets between the proteins and holds them together. Wonderful…there is corn starch in the recipe…but my cheesecakes still crack. I kept reading some more… “cheesecakes also tend to crack if you beat the eggs too much”…Ah, hah!!! A light bulb moment…I’ve always beaten the eggs to within an inch of their little lives…perhaps this is the problem. I’ll have to let you know later as there is still at least 45 minutes until the cakle is out of the oven and cooled sufficiently to tell if I have solved my cheesecake dilemma.

So, stay tuned for the next episode of the “Cheesecake Diaries” to find out!!

originally posted 11/22/05