I was a bad blogger and didn’t take any pictures of the process of making my holiday bake-off dessert. And, reader, it has been a journey. I had my heart set on a tart for a while, specifically a cranberry-caramel tart but I had a disastrous trial run where: the tart dough was practically impossible to roll out, and cracked during pre-baking, and then the caramel seized almost beyond repair, and then (of course) the caramel leaked a bunch out of the cracks in the tart dough. It looked a mess, but more than that, I Did. Not. Like. It. The sweet caramel and the tart cranberries, rather than complement each other, just tasted like they didn’t belong. The tart dough was tasty, though. Smitten Kitchen of course.
I am not a patient cook. When something doesn’t work, I am not likely to try and try again to get it right. I DO like to tweak recipes I already like to make them even better. But when something fails, I am generally done. RIP, cranberry almond caramel tart.
So, back to square one. JD sent me the judging categories for the contest:
* Best Presentation
* Best Use of Chocolate
* Best Store Bought
* Most Creative
* BEST DESSERT
I wanted to do something with chocolate so that I’d have a chance in at least a couple of categories.
I wanted to go with something I had the technique down on, nothing too new.
I wanted to use a Smitten Kitchen recipe because I have the best luck with her recipes.
I decided on this Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake. I’ve made successful cheesecakes in the past, and I’ve been on a real caramel kick after discovering how easy it can be. Also, Teddy Grahams in the crust!
Reader, I am sad to report that a Y-shaped, Grand-Canyon sized crack developed in my cheesecake. It was REALLY bad, so bad that I couldn’t bear to take a photo. I whipped up a batch of SK’s Salted Butter Caramel Sauce to try to cover the canyon, and also up the caramel ante.
We shall see! Party tonight!