Saturday, September 22, 2007

Japanese Cheesecake

22 September 2007

This has been in my recipes-to-try list for very long and I finally have the chance to make it. I have to admit that I'm quite fearful that I will not succeed. There are quite a few steps in the procedure which involves double-boiling, whipping the egg whites, folding them back into the cream cheese mixture and baking in a water bath. All seem to be complicated and time-consuming. And the fear that the cheesecake will sink after baking, the problem that is common for cheesecakes.

I took nearly 3 hours to complete (starting from weighing the ingredients to the end of baking), checking every steps to make sure that everything is right. The final product is so much better than what I expect. The colour is nice and it is moist, cotton-soft and fluffy. I really like this cheesecake very much. It is the best cake that I have made so far, despite some mistakes I made. Can't wait to try it again!

Problems that I have met during preparing:
1. Heating the cream cheese and milk. Took quite some time to dissolve the cream cheese. Some tiny lumps of cream cheese still remained but I just went on.
2. Whipping the egg whites. I overbeat the egg whites until stiff. I was too careless and forgot to stop and check. Resulted in difficulty in folding the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, and end mixture was not smooth enough.

Shall keep these in mind when I bake it the next time.

Recipe from Leisure Cat

Ingredients (8 inch round) (refer to website for 3 and 2 eggs quantity)
200g cream cheese
128g milk
43g unsalted butter
26g cake flour
14g cornflour
4 egg yolks
1/4 tsp lemon juice
4 egg whites
86g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1. Cut cream cheese into small cubes and soak in milk for 30 minutes. Melt the unsalted butter over hot water.
2. Place the bowl of cream cheese and milk mixture over double-boiler (do not heat directly). Keep stirring until the mixture is thick and no lumps are left. Add the melted butter and mix well. Remove from heat to cool.
3. Sift in the cake flour and cornflour, mix well. Add the egg yolks and mix well. Add in the lemon juice and mix well (if needed). Make sure the mixture is smooth. If there are still tiny lumps, pass the mixture through a sieve.
4. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Mix in the cream of tartar. Add the sugar gradually in 3 portions while whipping until soft peaks form (when the mixer is lifted, it should form a sharp point with a slight curve downwards at the end).
5. Add the egg white mixture into the cheese mixture in 3 separate additions, fold in gently until just blended.
6. Pour the batter into a greased and lined tin. Drop the tin onto the table a few times to knock off the air bubbles. Bake in a water bath at 170C for 15-20 minutes until the cake surface shows a slight colour change. Reduce the temperature to 150C and bake for another 40 minutes. Over the last 10-15 minutes, take note of the colour of the surface. Cover with aluminium foil if the surface brown too fast. (I bake for 30 minutes only at 150C for a 6 inch cake.)
7. Remove cake from the oven. Remove cake from the mould and leave on the rack to cool.