We Made 3 Amateurs Bake A Cheesecake From Scratch Over A Zoom Call—And It Was A Complete Trash Fire

Chelsea Lupkin

From Delish

Three complete amateurs plus two hours over a Zoom call plus one pro chef...what could possibly go wrong? If you want the TL;DR answer: everything. Everything could and would go wrong.

The long version? Test kitchen manager June, YouTube hosts Tess and Julia, and camerawoman Chelsea are put to the test during quarantine in a Zoom call cooking challenge. The challenge is simple: Bake a mystery dessert using only June's voice for guidance over the call. Surely, June wouldn’t torture our amateurs with something too difficult to make...

She went with her favorite dessert, her ultimate pick-me-up: a classic, fluffy cheesecake. Making one in the Delish kitchens is a rite of passage, after all. Cracking one is an instant disappointment; dropping one would be sacrilegious. To make this challenge a little more difficult for our hosts and camerawoman, June sent each of the amateurs a grocery list with some ingredients they needed and some that would be rendered absolutely useless. (Keeping people on their toes is very important for baking, no?)

After reading the ingredients aloud, the amateurs realized with utter agony that they were going to bake a process-heavy dessert with little-to-no experience in the cheesecake department. (Tess would like to clarify that she has, in fact, made two cheesecakes in her life, while Chelsea and Julia confirm they've never even considered baking one, not even for someone they love.)

Here are a few tips and tricks that the amateurs learned from their journey:

  • Having a hand mixer will make mixing the cheesecake mixture much easier and faster than if you had to do it by hand. However, you won’t get biceps.

  • If you do have to mix it by hand, adding the sugar actually makes it easier to break up the cream cheese with your spoon.

  • While using Nilla wafers or graham crackers for your crust are the traditional cookies of choice, honey-flavored Teddy Grahams are a great option as it gives you a similar taste profile. The only downside is that you might feel a little guilty about smashing those cute little teddy bears in the process.

  • While a springform pan is ideal, a pyrex baking dish can be used to make your cheesecake. However, you may have to cook your cheesecake a bit longer because it distributes heat differently.

  • Getting creative with your fruit topping is fun! If you use berries, try not to smash them too much in your pan for ensured extra texture.

Oh, you wanted to know what happened? Who won? If there will be a part two? You'll have to watch the full video on our YouTube.

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