Sunday, September 1, 2013

Japanese Cheesecake

So I have decided to bake again after so long. I've been wanting to eat really soft cotton cheesecakes but there isn't any nearby where I live - probably they do have it in central London. Sometimes, baking at home is better than buying... The huge success that results in satisfaction can never be bought from any shops. Agree? It all began when a friend, Lynette, sent me the link on how to bake Japanese cotton cheesecakes. I do not have cake tin at home - I prefer cakes in the size of cupcakes or smaller (it's prettier!!). It's also easier to distribute when it's done. After trying out various recipes I've gotten online, I've decided to use this recipe. 

Initial Recipe (taken from The Little Teochew)
140g fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
50g butter
250g cream cheese
100ml fresh milk
60g cake flour (can also use plain flour)
20g corn flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven at 160°C. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool the mixture. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, salt, egg yolks and mix well.

2. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. Add the egg whites to the cheese mixture to and fold well. Pour into a 8-inch round springform cake pan or removable-bottom cake pan (lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof baking paper or parchment paper). Wrap the base of your cake tin with aluminium foil, to prevent seepage ... although I never do, and it has never seeped! ;)

4. Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hour 10 mins or until set and golden brown at 160°C.

5. Leave to cool in oven with door ajar, about 30mins to 1 hour. Sudden changes in temperature may cause the cake to cool too quickly and collapse.

===============  VON'S VERSION  ===============

I've tried a couple of times with different combinations and have finally settled with -
*You may want to click on the link by The Little Teochew for extensive explanations on certain terms.

Von's version
40g fine brown sugar
2 egg whites
2 egg yolks
15g butter (FULL FAT)
100g cream cheese (FULL FAT)
40ml fresh milk (FULL FAT)
20g extra fine sponge flour
10g corn flour

Adjustments for step 2, 3, 4

Step 2 - Basically the same step, without cream of tartar.

Step 3 - The same step, but I used cupcake silicone moulds. I did not use aluminium foil.

Step 4 - I baked the cheesecake in a water bath for 35-40 minutes.

The reason why I've reduced so much of everything is because I enjoy cakes but I can't finish everything all by myself. Instead of putting them to waste, it's better to bake it with lesser ingredients. As for why I did not include cream of tartar, it's because I do not have it at home.

Result from Von's version (after multiple times trying!) *picture taken using iPhone, no filter / edit.


Lesson Learnt

The OKs

  • It is OK to use a silicone mould. Mine turned out to be just as soft as expected.
  • It is OK to substitute sugar, as long as it is soft and fine.


The NOs

  • Do not substitute flour if you're not a regular baker - This is because you do not know how to tweak the flour to the exact flour that you need. Unless you're a regular baker and you know how flour works, do not substitute.
  • Do not reduce too much sugar - I personally never like cakes that are overly sweet so I tried reducing it to 25g sugar and the cake turned out to be horrendously tasteless!
  • Do not use low fat milk or cheese - It will make your cake tasteless. You MUST use full fat of both.
  • Do not use cheap butter or cheap cheese - It will definitely not contribute much taste to the cake. You can always use brands that you prefer, as for me I've used the Anchor original butter and Philadelphia original cheese.
  • Do not stop until your egg whites are foamy, otherwise the cake will be rock hard!

Verdict

  • It didn't look that pretty from the picture :(
  • The cake is not very sweet, just nice for people who loves eating cakes but do not enjoy sweet products.
  • The cake is very light, fluffy and soft.


Enjoy your cake with a cup of coffee! ^_^

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