Everyone who saw this cheesecake in person was amazed and asked how I got the design on top.
I strive to create really unusual edible crafts, which is getting harder and harder to do now that making artistic food has become so popular with bloggers. I hope that my readers are excited by my projects and recreate them at home.
Why else would I share such detailed step-by-step tutorials?
I love to see pictures from my readers of what they made using my ideas and I joyfully share their pictures in my Reader’s Gallery.
Depending on the time of the year I spend 40-70 hours a week creating unique edible crafts for Hungry Happenings, Tablespoon.com, Wilton, and Kids Activities Blogs, in addition to taking pictures, editing them, writing posts, responding to comments, answering e-mails, learning html coding, updating the look of my blog, and promoting my projects through social media and food aggregate sites.
This isn’t a hobby for me. I’m doing all of this work to make a living.
If you aren’t a blogger you may not realize that I make money when people visit my blog and see or click on the ads on my page or when people buy products using the affiliate links at the bottom of my posts.
So what happens when people start finding my tutorials all over the internet on other blogs and websites and they no longer have a reason to visit my blog? I lose income for work that I created.
In the last year the number of people who have stolen my work and posted entire tutorials on their websites has exploded.
Many bloggers recreate my projects and give me proper credit, which I totally appreciate, but others take complete credit for the idea and show their version of my tutorial with almost identical step-by-step images.
Someone even published a cookbook with several of my tutorials.
Another person has stolen my identity on Instagram. I haven’t even dealt with that yet.
This Valentine’s Day the most popular foodie on You Tube showed her million plus fans how to make my Conversation Heart Cheesecakes and said “I got this idea from the Internet.”
Another blogger made the same cheesecakes for the television show, Home & Family on the Hallmark Channel, once again with a mention of the internet, not me.
That project, which alone has brought over 400,000 people to my blog, was now everywhere. No one needed to come to Hungry Happenings to see the tutorial anymore.
I began to feel used.
Why wasn’t I on that television show sharing my project with the audience? Why didn’t they mention me or Hungry Happenings when they shared my project with their viewers? Is Hungry Happenings that much harder to say than “the internet?”
I work as a freelance recipe developer and am given assignments and asked to recreate edible crafts using the sponsor’s product. When I do this, I either give full credit to the content originator, if I know who that is, or I try to add a really unique twist to the project so that I can call it my own.
Recently I was asked to make Stiletto Cupcakes for Tablespoon.com. I’m pretty sure just about everyone who reads this blog has seen these done before by lots of different bloggers.
I challenged myself to make my high heel shoe cupcakes different than any other by making them 100% edible. The soles of the shoes are made out of candy melts not paper wrappers.
So, yes, I have on occasion, recreated something that was not my original idea. I have also been influenced by the work of other’s, but I have never made an exact replica of someone else’s work and taken full credit for it.
Up until recently, blogging was an incredible joy. I really do love what I get to do every day. I am excited to get out of bed each morning and get into my kitchen. If I didn’t love it so much, I would have given up months ago.
In order to supplement the loss of income due to the decline in my traffic recently, I have begun to do more sponsored posts. Several people have accused me of selling out, and I’m sorry they see it that way. I see it as a way to help pay for the expenses I incur to make the projects that my reader has access to for free and as another source of income and I plan to continue to write them.
With every job there is the good, the bad, and the ugly. When this blogging world becomes too ugly, I will bow out, but for now my enthusiasm for making fun food is tremendous so I will continue to share my passion with the world.
My ideas continue to flow and this blog is the main outlet for that creativity. Speaking of which, I made a cheesecake for you today, so let’s get on to the recipe.
Decorated Daisy Cheesecake (serves 8)
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
9 inch springform pan or PushPan*
roasting pan or round pan that is large enough to hold the springform pan
*For years I’ve baked my cheesecakes in springform pans in a water bath. I always line my springform pan with a few layers of tin foil, but the water always seems to leak in to the cheesecake.
I just discovered the PushPan by Kuhn Rikon. The outer ring does not clip opened and closed, instead the bottom plate pushes in and out of the ring. It has a silicone gasket around the bottom which not only holds it in place, but miraculously keeps the water out. Another great feature it the plate is flat, no lip means its easier to remove the cheesecake.
I will never use another pan to bake a cheesecake in a water bath ever again.
Just so you know this is not a sponsored post. I just have fallen in love with this pan and wanted you to know about it.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and melted butter, stirring until it looks like sand. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until fragrant and the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool completely.
You will need a water bath to bake your cheesecake.
You can either bring a large pot of water to a boil and pour it in the pan after you add the cheesecake, or you can fill your pan now with enough hot water so that it will come 1/2 way up the sides of your springform pan. Place that in the hot oven until ready to bake the cheesecake.
I like using a roasting pan with a flat rack inside. When the cheesecake has been baked, I can lift the entire rack out of the pan.
Beat 3 block of cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the beater as needed. You really need to make sure there are no lumps in the cheesecake and now is the time to get rid of them.
Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until creamy. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined.
Pour 1/4 cup of the cheesecake batter into a small bowl and color it pink. Color 2 tablespoons of batter yellow. Pour 3 tablespoons batter into a bowl, stir in the cocoa powder and some black food coloring until you get a deep dark color.
If you prefer to use natural colors, you can add about a tablespoon of raspberry puree for the pink, a 1/2 to 1 egg yolk for the yellow, and just use cocoa powder to make the dark brown. The colors wont be as vibrant, but they will be pretty, none the less.
Pour the plain cheesecake batter into the PushPan or a springform pan.
Pour the colored cheesecake batter into squeeze bottles or zip top bags.
Pipe the outline of the daisy using the dark batter.
I colored way too much batter (I’ve adjusted the amounts for you.) I didn’t want to waste it, so I kept piping over the design. That is why my cut cheesecake slices show the design so far down into the cake.
Pipe on a smiley face.
Carefully carry your cheesecake to the oven and set it in your roasting pan. If needed, fill roasting pan with boiling water being careful to not spill any water into your cheesecake.
Bake your cheesecake in a water bath for 45-50 minutes.
The top will still jiggle, but look shiny and set.
Remove from water bath, set on a cooling rack and cool at room temperature for an hour.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Remove from pan and serve.
Whew, that was a very long post, wasn’t it?
and link back to Hungry Happenings.
to share in the Readers’ Gallery
Items used to create this project that are available on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)