As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been on the hunt for the Ultimate Cheesecake. Before this there was the Ultimate Chocolate Cake, the Ultimate Carrot Cake (don’t know if this is a particularly South African thing, or whether it’s eaten elsewhere), the Ultimate Muffin etc . . . you get the picture. It usually involves some sort of baking activity. I find cooking a bit less of a search for perfection.
The criteria for the hunt is that the cake or whatever should be both tasty, and as easy to make as possible. I did come across one cheesecake recipe recently which claimed to be The Ultimate, but it seemed like an awful lot of effort to make. Could this particular cheesecake really be that good?!
It helps a little if I’ve had The Ultimate somewhere and can ask the creator in question if I could have the recipe. As in the case of the Ultimate Carrot Cake. Which my mother-in-law bakes. And she gladly shared her recipes (plural – I think she sent me 3 or 4!) with me, not knowing which one I was talking about. I made an educated guess, and got the right one on the second attempt. Much quicker that way, but ultimately (what can I say, I like the word) less fun.
You’re probably thinking that I spend a lot of time baking. But really it’s all in the research (once a scientist . . .). If you read a lot of recipes, and try a couple of variations, you normally have a good idea of you’re looking for. But it does involve some trial and error – and some willing guinea pigs to test the results.
So what happens when I find The Ultimate? I usually only bake it once a year or so . . . It’s all about the journey!