Thursday, January 14, 2016

Japanese Cheesecake

Japanese cheesecake is such a temperamental cake.. The final results are almost never the same at least for me and unless of course you practice! I've gotten a little impatient rusty with getting my meringue to the perfect soft peaks, and the dreamy souffle texture of this cake depends on a well whipped stable meringue.

As you can't help but noticed, my cake is wrinkly. While still in the oven, my cake looked gorgeous- perfectly domed, golden brown, and no cracks. I snapped a couple pictures (see below) knowing it's too good to stay. As I left it to cool in the oven, it shrunk a little (which is normal) and became wrinkly (which is not ideal).

Japanese Cheesecake
recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia
makes 1 8" round
140g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar*
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
50g/2 oz. unsalted butter
250g/9 oz. cream cheese
100 ml/3 fluid oz. fresh milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
60g/2 oz. cake flour /superfine flour
20g/1 oz. cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Using double boiler, melt together cream cheese, butter, and milk.
Be patient and melt until no lumps.
Separate six eggs. Making sure the bowl is oil free for the whites.
Whip to soft peaks.
Meringue and cheese mixture.
Fold meringue in 1/3 into cheese mixture.
Pour into prepared pan wrapped in foil.
1. Lightly grease and line bottom and sides of 8" round cake pan with grease-proof baking paper or parchment paper.** Wrap foil around pan to prevent water from seeping in. Set aside.
2. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool mixture. Fold in flour, cornflour, salt, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.***
3. Make meringue by beating egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy.Add in sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
4. Take 1/3 meringue and gently fold into cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/3 of meringue. After incorporated, pour the batter back to the remaining 1/3 meringue and fold.****
5. Pour mixture into pan.
6. Bake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 325F.*****
7. Leave cake to cool down in oven with oven door slightly open for an hour.
8. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve cold.
*reduced sugar to 100g/3.5oz which possibly led to a weak meringue that deflated during folding/baking resulting in a wrinkly top. (Over beating is another possible reason)
**only lined the bottom of my pan and did not grease.
***started folding and switched to a whisk to get it lump free.
****folded meringue in third into cheese mixture. Did not pour into meringue for last fold.
*****preheated oven with a shallow pan of water, and baked cake on the lower shelf in the oven.

At 1 hour mark.. SO PERFECT.
Taking a peek.
Brain or cake?
I actually find the wrinkly top really intriguing to stare at. It went from looking like a baby bottom to an old person's face. EW NVM.. bad visual for a food ><''

I took my time making sure the cheese mixture was lump free. However, the meringue didn't get to quite where I wanted, it was loose. I am suspecting it may have come into contact with oil. 

The resulting denser-than-usual texture was acceptable but not favorable. It's moist and leans toward the texture of an American styled cheesecake. Some latte or tea would be great for sipping while enjoying this cake.

Flavor-wise, it's not too sweet and there's a mild cheese flavor. 

Making it a goal in 2016 to perfect this Japanese Cheesecake with consistent results!

Taste: 4 stars out of 5
Perfect sweetness, mild cheese flavors, and no eggy taste
Texture: 3 stars out of 5
A bit dense due to deflated meringue, denser toward the bottom.

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