This is probably the most prominent failure I’ve had, to the point that I didn’t even take a picture of the final product.
If you search “cheesecake with strawberry hearts” you’ll find pictures of other people’s attempts. Yeah, I saw this picture on tumblr, saved it, and half-guessed the recipe. The graham cracker crust was alright, and the cream cheese filling was a bit weird but I don’t make/eat cream cheese things often so I couldn’t really tell how weird it was. My hearts weren’t as uniform or cute as the ones shown above, and instead turned out like the picture below:
After these nine hearts, I just started chopping up strawberries into random slices and throwing them on.
You know what you shouldn’t do when experimenting with a recipe? You shouldn’t experiment with materials you aren’t used to and you should not improvise main components of the recipe.
We didn’t have jello for the top layer. What we did have were gelatin packets. If you mix gelatin with juice, you can theoretically make jello.
Maybe you should use a better juice that Fruitopia? Nah, that’s fine.
Maybe you should heat up the juice on the stove? Nah, I’ll just use the microwave.
Maybe you should have an idea of how much jello you want to make? Nah, this super thin, watery layer is good with me.
Did you want a successful cheesecake? Nah, I’ll take the gloopy soggy mess whose tray takes up half the space in the fridge.
Do not improvise loosely when it comes to baking.