Monday, May 18, 2009

Cheesecake, S'more inspired

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Have you had kitchen disasters? I have, countless of 'em.

If you like to cook, or work in a kitchen, I am pretty sure you have your share of fiascos, those good-intentions-gone-awry. It is inevitable and, if you ask me, it's an essential part of learning. If only we can share our stories over a cup of tea (or coffee), I am sure that we'll have a real blast listening to each other's narratives about our respective kitchen mishaps. Wouldn't that be so much fun?

When I talk about my unforgettable "duh!" kitchen moments, there is one incident that readily comes to mind. It is quite memorable for me, and may I say, hilarious too.

This happened 15 years or so ago. Back then, I was just beginning to explore the world of baking. I've always been interested in learning how to bake ever since the cooking/baking class I had when I was still in school. Sadly after graduating from college, my carreer took over and I'd never had a chance to really practice what I had learned in that baking class - until I got a scholarship in Germany for a long term training.

When I was in Germany, I spent most of my free time with a Filipino missionary family, so much so that they considered me as their "adopted" daughter. Their place became my home-away-from-home. The wife, Sarah, happens to be fantastic in so many ways, her cooking/baking skills included.
It was her who took me under her wing and mentored me, with the goal of molding me into becoming a good wife, a nurturing mother, and yes, an awesome baker. :o)

One day, I was helping her make a cake (forgive me, but I don't remember what kind it was). It all went very well in the beginning, until the time came for me to pop the pan into the oven. As it was my very first unsupervised baking endeavour, I eagerly picked up the pan from the counter, carelessly grabbing the pan by its rim.

Alas, the bottom of the pan gave way and to my horror, the cake batter flowed out from the pan and onto the floor much like a volcano angrily spewing its lava out --- all in a matter of seconds. Just imagine my shock and dismay! For a brief moment, I remained frozen on the spot staring at the blob by my feet. How mortified I was !!!

I think Sarah was just as shocked. But then, we quickly recovered and like a true Filipino, eventually found the whole scene comical. We laughed.
Thankfully, Filipinos are known to have the ability to laugh at themselves, to find something funny even in the most dire situation. Truly, this trait has served me well on occassions, such as this one.

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Anyhow, that was my initiation to a unique baking tool, the springform pan. That experience definitely beats any classroom session on Lesson 101: An Introduction to Springform Pans hands down, wouldn't you say?

To commemorate that unforgettable experience, I bought my very first springform pan in Germany (Kaiser brand) which I love and still utilise to this day. It is the very same pan that we used to bake this S'mores inspired cheesecake in.

Springform pans are essential for cheesecake baking due to their removable bottom (boy, do I know this now!). This unusual pan has a fastener on the side that can be opened to remove the rim after the cake is cool, allowing the cake to remain on its base. It is a worthy investment if you love cheesecake and would like to try making one.

This cheesecake flavor, if I may say so, was actually concocted by Mr. J. For days, he had been wanting to make a cheesecake with his own flavor combination. So, like a good wife that I am (ahem), I let him have his way in "my kitchen". Hahaha. (Ok honey, it's OUR kitchen.)

After surveying what we have in our fridge and pantry, Mr. J came up with this one. (He does have his flashes of brilliance..**wink**) I'd say, this cheesecake is a combination of his favorite eats -- S'mores + coconut.


(NOTE: For those who don't know, a S'more is a traditional campfire treat popular in the United States and Canada, consisting of roasted marshmallows and a slab of chocolate - usually Hershey's milk chocolate - sandwiched in graham crackers).

Being that this cheesecake was done by Mr. J, I regret to say that I won't have any recipe to share with you. He has not had the time to write it down for me and if I were to wait, it would be a loooooong time coming 'til that happens. :o) But, I do encourage you to infuse your cheesecake with your favorite flavors. I'm sure that the result will be amazing, just like how this one turned out for us. Good job, honey! This one definitely goes to Mr. J's "future restaurant menu item" file.

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And since this cheesecake was that good, I can't help but share this, first, with Sarah. Sarah, you are and always will be my epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman. Thank you for being such a good example of a wife, mother and friend to me. This blog is an evidence of the time and effort you've invested in me. I miss you.

Next, a slice goes to this week's Lasang Pinoy Sunday (La.Pi.S) - Slice It Up. Sorry for being the perennial latecomer - but hey, I made it :oD. If you want to know more about La.Pi.S, kindly check it out here.

Enjoy your cheesecake. Laugh a lot; life is too short.

37 comments:

Fearless Kitchen said...

This is a really interesting idea. I love s'mores. I've never tried mixing them with coconut though!

Kristel said...

Yum!

Shalimar said...

Never tried s'mores... I was living european way of life on board somehow... but this might be on my list when am, back and this time we shall meet , share hilarious cooking disasters....

oggi said...

This sounds delicious! S'mores, cheesecake, coconuts... Mr J is a genius.:)

BTW, your mishap with springform happened to me too about 20 years ago.:D

Zee said...

WOw looks absolutely yummy! and I love the story that went with it! hehehe they say experience is the best teacher and that is so true! :)

i've also had my share of cooking fiascoes when I started exploring baking myself (after my high school class in baking) LOL...and i'm still exploring baking! hahaha

Crossmyheart said...

i love cheesecake with graham crusts. i love smores too!

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

Hehe, nice story. =)

Elyse said...

What a funny story! The springform pan is certainly a necessity but can be oh-so dangerous at times :) I have plenty of kitchen mishaps that I could share with you. In fact, not too long ago, I stupidly seized not one, but two pots of melted chocolate. UGH. Anyway, this cheesecake looks absolutely fabulous. I've been on a s'more experimentation kick as well. Delish!

Grace said...

in situations like that, the very best thing you can do is laugh.
this is a terrific cheesecake. s'mores are a tasty combination of ingredients, and i LOVE that you used coconut too. bravo!

5 Star Foodie said...

Thanks for sharing the story! The cheescakes sounds really good - love the s'mores and coconut here! Delicious!

Pam said...

Now that's a cheesecake - it looks wonderful!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oh, that cheesecake sounds and looks delightful! A wonderful idea...

Cheers,

Rosa

Lynn said...

Oh boy. This cheesecake sounds, and looks delicious. What a combination! Our favorite around here is chocolate chip cheesecake. And I also make a mean s'more pie. But s'more cheesecake . . . hmmm, that sure sounds like a winner to me :) Thanks for sharing both your photos and your fun cheesecake disaster story.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Jescel, thank you for coming by my blog. This is my first time at yours and I must say I was absolutely delighted to see this wonderful cheesecake recipe. I've had my share of disasters in the kitchen, but hey, it makes interesting. Nice to meet you my friend. You have a wonderful blog.

doggybloggy said...

great story and this s'mores cheesecake is on its way to getting copied by me - thanks...

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

What a gorgeous sounding combination. And re your story, I think at times like that, you either laugh or cry and laughing is more fun! :D

Sara said...

I love s'mores, they're one of my favorite desserts. I can only imagine how good they'd be with cheesecake! This looks delicious.

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Yummy cheesecake and s'mores...two great combination's!!!

tigerfish said...

I am quite a fan of cheesecake and I don't mind trying the S'more cheesecake.....not a SMALL slice though. ;p

Mirage said...

That certainly looks "smorelicious!" I'd have it whole!

MUSHROOMSfromHOME said...

divine cheesecake! love love the close; what a terrific play of colors and twirls- light yellow cheesecake, brown twirls and white marshmallows! enjoyed the springform pan story.

Liza said...

I love cheesecake! Yours look really yummy. :)

I've had a lot those kitchen disasters too. :)

Happy weekend.

raquel said...

oh, man! that sure looks delicious! smores and cheesecake....yummm!!!

Joie de vivre said...

My one time using a springform was a disaster as well (not as bad as yours though), the water seeped through from the water bath making a soggy crust. I"m glad your second time turned out well. It gives me courage to try again!

noobcook said...

I love cheesecake and yours look superb. I always wondered what the bottom removable plate is for but now I have a better idea :D

Jescel said...

Joie.. I had that accident too. But what can we do, we just learn from it, right?

Thanks guys for all your comments.

Maris said...

This looks just amazing! It would be a great dessert for any special occasion.

Teanna said...

SMORES CHEESECAKE?!?!?! I'm dying over here! That would just never leave my sight!

Tangled Noodle said...

Can I celebrate my birthday a little longer so that I can have THIS as my cake? S'mores and coconut are perfect for this and even if there's not recipe, I thank you for encouraging us put into it what we like, just like Mr. J!

The springform story is funny but you are so right about how self-deprecating Filipinos are - the ability to laugh in the face of adversity has helped us as a people and as individuals!

Thanks so much for the birthday greetings and I can't wait to hear what you'll be doing for yours! And apologies for being absent so long - I just started a summer class and I'm still trying to figure out how to fit in my blog reading with my assignments!

J said...

sooo tempting! i'll have to try this one soon.. and thanks for visiting my blog :)

Juliana said...

Thank you for sharing your story...isn't true that many times we laugh at situations that at the time did not feel "funny"? Anyway, your cheesecake looks delicious, with coconut, yummie!

cakesANDladders said...

now i really have no excuse for not using my spring form pan! that looks divine!:)

Donna-FFW said...

All the kitchen disasters make the treasures all the more worthwhile. Smores cheesecake sounds like a delicious treat!

The Food Addicts said...

Hi Jescel! Your cheesecake post is absolutely heavenly. My husband and I were planning on baking cheesecake this weekend, so what a great inspiration. I won't be doing it with the marshmallows, but with strawberries (since that's what we have on hand). Check back our blog for the post!

Kevin said...

A smor cheesecake sounds good!

Antonio said...

Sprachlos!
Jes, you are an amazing learner..very proud of what you have become and more...
that was Russische Zuftkuchen :-D
Love you

Lori said...

Smore cheesecake! Give me some more!