I am not just a spreadsheet nerd; I am also a chemistry and baking nerd. The above poster hangs in my kitchen, and was very thoughtfully given to me by a dear friend after I moved to Australia. He clearly knew me well; I specialised in organic chemistry in the laboratory, and in cheesecake in the kitchen, so it is an exceptionally fitting coincidence that the poster uses cheesecake for carbon
In fact all three of my nerdisms overlapped one glorious night about twelve years ago when I ran some chemistry equations & calculations, came up with twelve variants on standard cheesecake recipes to test various hypotheses, had a huge cheesecake tasting party, and spreadsheeted the results. In the end, I came up with my incredible cheesecake recipe, a recipe that has gotten me countless accolades, several marriage proposals, and, I hope, will eventually lead to a lucrative retirement plan!
Every year for Christmas I pull out all the stops and prepare a huge array of desserts for my friends and family as gifts. This year is no different, and I thought I would share with you a little slice of what I do when I’m not arguing about Divine Aegis on the official Healing forums!
I baked approximately one zillion cookies:
I made amazing brownies from the Cooks Illustrated recipe Derevka gave me:
I made two types of actual fudge:
I’ve got a pumpkin pie with a ginger snap cookie crust, that’ll be served with maple whipped cream at Christmas Eve dinner. I prefer the ginger snap cookie crust as it really highlights the ginger in the pie, and adds a much-needed textural contrast to the pie itself. I can make typical pie crust, but why would I?
The maple whipped cream, of course, is to placate my boyfriend’s family’s Canadian side.
But the pieces de resistance, and the real pay-off to this post … the cheesecakes!
I infuse my typical cheesecake batter with Bailey’s Irish Creme, mix melted dark chocolate into half of it, and make these lovely layered cakes. Each one contains three miniature Oreos. On top, a dark chocolate and Bailey’s ganache supports another mini-Oreo, because why not?
These vanilla and lemon cheesecakes are topped with homemade lemon curd (a.k.a. “lemon cheese”, which sounds so gross it’s not even funny, but tastes like a summer day) and decorated with mint leaves and raspberry gelatin pearls in a holly theme.
I hope you all have a cheerful holiday season! And seriously, thanks for reading. I’ve really enjoyed running this little project so far, and I’m still overwhelmed at the friendliness, warmth, and intelligence of the healer theorycrafting community. Everyone’s been so welcoming to me, and I hope that someday I’ll be able to help some of you as much as you’ve all helped me!