It’s rare, but sometimes you’ll see something and instantly you know it will play a role in your life. That happened to me earlier this semester.
I was scrolling on Facebook to procrastinate, and I came across a video. As it began to play, my heart stopped. It was the most fluffy, beautiful, Insta-worthy cheesecakes I’ve ever seen. I immediately made this cheesecake my priority, and took it upon myself to enlighten as many people as I could by showing it to them as often and as randomly as possible.
For some reason, people generally don’t seem to like having a screen shoved under their noses and listening as I drone on about making some random cake while they try to study for midterms.
However, two of my friends seemed interested- ed—they were not interested but they humored my obsession—and coincidentally we were staying together over October break, so this seemed like the perfect time to spring the prospect of making this beautiful dessert on them.
Finally, after quite a lot of persistence, I convinced some friends to bake it with me. We followed the following instructions to the best of our ability, which, granted, was actually pretty pathetic after having our brains fried from taking too many tests.
The resulting dessert may or may not have had two layers—one of cheesecake and another of some odd egg custard thing—but it was edible, which is all you can really ask for at the end of the day.
Instructions from Buzzfeed, the clear authority on all things culinary:
1. Preheat oven to 320°F/160°C.
2. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk the milk, cream cheese and butter until smooth. Remove from heat and cool.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth, then slowly drizzle in the cream mixture, stirring until evenly combined.
4. Sift in the flour and the cornstarch, whisk- ing to make sure there are no lumps.
5. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until you see soft peaks when lifting the mixer up from the egg whites.
6. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat until you see hard peaks when lifting the mixer up.
7. Take about one-fourth of the egg whites and fold them into the egg yolk mixture, then repeat with the remaining egg whites until the batter is evenly combined.
8. Place a four-inch parchment paper strip around the edge of a 9×3-inch cake pan that is already lined with parchment at the bottom. If you are using a springform pan, make sure to wrap the bottom and sides completely in foil twice to prevent any leakage.
9. Pour the batter into the parchment-lined pan and shake to release any large air bubbles.
10. Place the filled pan into a larger baking pan or dish lined with two paper towels at the bottom. The paper towels ensure that the heat is distributed evenly along the bottom of the pan. Fill the larger pan with about one inch of hot water.
11. Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 280°F/135°C and bake for another 55 minutes, until the cake has risen to almost double its height.
12. Remove from the oven, and carefully invert the cake onto your dominant hand and peel off the paper. Be extremely careful, as the cake will be hot. You can also invert the cake onto a plate, but this will cause the cake to deflate more.
13. Sprinkle the top of the cake with powdered sugar, slice and serve with strawberries while still warm!
For an extra twist, watch Wonder Woman at the same time and think about the fact that she’s out there kicking butt while you’re gorging yourself on cheesecake, but then remember that you created something today, and that’s kind of beautiful.