Dinner @ Nikko’s – the Japanese Steakhouse nearby – was good and it was the first time we had place for 14 people, which means a double cooking station, and they had it timed well, both cooks were well in sync and it was fun having all along and being able to talk and enjoy food and jokes.
As it was an early dinner, we had after enough time to digest at our place as it should be, before indulging into the (birthday cake) Cheesecake and the two Lemon-Cheesecakes (made with low-fat, drained yogurt, but all the same creamy and yummie and always a hit with the family). Even though I still don’t eat cheesecake myself, for the past 3 years I’d bake one for Bear’s birthday as he and his family as good Americans are true cheesecake lovers – I have to admit, my very first one turned out visually the best, but they all taste good and this years Swiss alps across the surface of the cake did look indeed similar to a Chinese symbol which COULD HAVE stood for “Happy Birthday, Bear”.
Well, one secret I’ve learned, if the cookbook warns you that the cheesecake will break on the surface if cooled to quickly and best place to cool it for the first 3 hours is right in the oven itself, but then goes on to tell you to bake the cake until it is barely set in the center… do NOT take the cake out to check if it has set (because you can’t see as the cake is baking on the upper third of the oven), do NOT be such an idiot as you’d go against rule #1, thus just bake it according to time table, then shut the oven off and keep the door slightly ajar with a wooden spoon and you’ll be just fine and no “Chinese symbol” excuses needed. Nothing more painful then to see a perfect cake at 40 minutes baking but then right after to break all apart only because you followed the recipe and checked for doneness. I hope I’ll remember this lesson same time next year :-)