If at first you don’t succeed – just give up!

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

If at first you don’t succeed – give in and try something else!

That’s my new motto after doing that this week while trying extremely hard to perfect making cheesecake for our Christmas dinner dessert.

I’m still making cheesecake for our festive dinner table, even though it’s not a traditional one, but I’ll be making a strawberry one instead of the caramel recipe I promised everyone.

When we were doling out the duties for the annual family feast where we all make the effort to be together – albeit sitting on different sizes and styles of seating – I booked the dessert course.

The reason was simple – I’m addicted to foodie programmes like ‘Masterchef’, ‘The Roux Scholarship’, ‘Great British Bake Off’ and ‘Great British Menu’ and have started cooking and baking like never before although Nigella I most certainly am not (in a complimentary way, of course).

Not many from the family wanted a traditional dessert so I decided it would be cheesecake thinking it would be an easy option after watching my culinary heroes on TV do them without too much trouble.

The recipe I chose was a caramel one and I was wise enough to practice making it instead of leaving it until Christmas Eve which I usually do and I’m so glad I did.

I don’t know what kept going wrong with the recipe because it wasn’t anything I was doing I can assure you.

I got the measurements right, used the correct ingredients but still I couldn’t get an acceptable cake after three attempts and hours of painful whisking and mixing.

Although it tasted really good, it was just too soft. Not that Dot and Bill next door minded because they ate all the prototypes and the grandchildren liked licking the bowls.

It got to the stage where I just couldn’t take it any more, I’d had enough of failure. No matter how much I tweaked things I still couldn’t get it right. For a few days I toyed with the idea of just buying a nice big fancy one but I wasn’t to be defeated. A simple cheesecake wouldn’t beat me. I changed recipes and did a strawberry one and bingo – first time it came out exactly the texture and taste I wanted.

The base wasn’t perfect but I’ve got a week left to perfect that.