Most of the time, I have no problem following recipes. Sure, sometimes things don't always come out exactly as planned, but in general I don't have any trouble.
Other times, it's just a disaster and I cock things up from here to...wherever things are really cocked up. I decided a few days ago that I really wanted to make a pumpkin chocolate cheesecake, and on Saturday, that's what I tried. Now, before we get going, I should say that this did come out pretty good. It's very rich, and three bites may give you diabetes, but I do like it. That said, I completely misread a crucial part of the recipe and ended up making something that varies pretty drastically from what I actually meant to make. I think what I'm going to do is post the recipe I actually made, then we can talk about where I kind of went off the beaten path onto some path that probably doesn't exist and isn't very beaten at all.
CHF Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted - I used Kerrygold Irish Butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup chocolate chips - Ghiradelli Bittersweet Chips for me
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin filling
4 large eggs
1 can Evaporated Milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease 9-inch springform pan.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and granulated sugar in medium bowl. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup morsels.
Bake for about 10 minutes and set aside.
Microwave remaining morsels in medium, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 30 seconds; stir. Microwave at additional 10 to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth; cool to room temperature. It took me 4 or 5 20 second bursts to melt it all.
Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth;
Beat in eggs, evaporated milk, cinnamon and nutmeg, vanilla, and 3/4 of the can of pumpkin. Pour into
Spoon remaining pumpkin mixture into chocolate and mix well. Then spoon into the pan and try and swirl it around. This is really hard. See, this isn't how you're supposed to do it, so this step doesn't make much sense.
Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until edge is set but center still moves slightly. Run knife around edge of cheesecake; loosen and remove side of pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Ok, so there we have it, and you can see what I created. Very good, but not really what i was going for, which was a pumpkin cheesecake with some light marbling in it. Where I screwed up was in separating just the pumpkin, rather than the whole mixture. I was supposed to beat in all of the pumpkin, then mix 1/4 of that into the chocolate and use that for the marbling. Also, I was only supposed to use 1/2 of evaporated milk instead of the whole can.
Anyway, this is still worth trying, and I like the result, so I guess all is not lost. Since I'm on the verge of a sugar coma after one piece, it might be a while before I try again.