16.4.13

Baking Partners Challenge: Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake

I recently joined the Baking  Partner's group, a group of enthusiastic home bakers whose common aim is to bake their way through interesting and delicious baking challenges in order to learn, master, critic and perfect various baking techniques and recipes.  

The theme for this month's challenge was "Cheesecake," and as part of the challenge we had to bake a cheesecake following one of these recipes..... 

I chose to bake the Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake, also known as Chiizukeiki as a fellow blogger Samantha pointed out. and this turned out to be a real challenge for me... I actually tried the recipe thrice.... 

in my first attempt, my heart sank along with my bake :(
though the cake was soft and tasted great... it could not stand tall...
(for this i used the same recipe as below without the marbling effect... and baked the cake for 1 hour 10 minutes. i guess the problem in my first attempt was with the beating of the egg whites. i was interrupted several times and that might have caused the shrinkage. but other than that this cake tasted divine. in my opinion it tasted the best of the 3 that i baked.) 


so i decided to bake it again... second time it was too firm and too dry... i think i overbaked and also used an extra helping of flour and that messed my cake...
(for this i used almost the same recipe as below except that i used1/3 cup of APF instead of 1/4 cup and baked the cake for 1 hour 20 minutes )

so i gave it another try ... and the third time i got a little experimental. i tried marbling my bake... and though the marbling looked fine... there were issues with the cake... 
care to know what i did... then read on....

At the very onset I must tell you that the resources I have at hand are limited and those limitations might very well be the reason of my not-so-successful attempts at baking the cheesecake. i however choose to think otherwise and blame my momentary whimsies for my failures.  so here is what i did on my third attempt....

since my springfoam pan is 6 inch in diameter, I scaled the original recipe to half and proceeded as instructed in the recipe and for the marbling effect i used the Japanese Cheesecake recipe in Vivian Pang Kitchen as a guideline.

ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4.5 oz cream cheese
50 ml milk
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup minus 2 teaspoon all-purpose-flour
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt

3 egg yolks
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3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup fine granulated sugar (I ground the sugar in the coffee grinder)
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for the marble effect 
1 tablespoon hot water
2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coffee powder


what i did
  • First of all i dissolved  the coffee and cocoa powder in the hot water and kept it aside.
  • next i separated the egg whites and the egg yolks and kept them in 2 clean glass containers. 
  • i then sifted the all-purpose-flour and cornstarch together and kept the sifted mixture aside.
  • finally i prepared my springfoam pan by lining it with a parchment paper. for convenience i used some butter to stick the paper to the wall of the pan. since i would be baking the cake over water-bath i also wrapped the outer walls of the pan with 3 pieces of aluminium foils.
  • once all that was done i proceeded as instructed in the recipe. 
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  • over a double boiler, i melted the cream cheese and butter along with the milk. once the cheese-butter batter cooled i folded in the sifted flours. lightly beaten egg yolks and lemon juice and mixed the ingredients well until there were no lumps in the batter.

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  • next with my wire whisk i began whisking the egg whites in quick circular motion. after beating for about a minute, i added a pinch of sugar and continued whisking for another minute until the egg whites became foamy. at this point i added the lemon juice and continued whisking for another 7-8 minutes until the soft peaks appeared. then i began adding the ground sugar a little at a time... whisking all along. i managed to incorporate the whole sugar into the beaten egg whites in the next 10-15 minutes... and then whisked the egg-white-sugar mixture for another 15 minutes till the desired soft peaks formed..

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  • then i filled my 8x8 inch cake pan with 1/4 inch hot water and after putting it inside the oven, i preheated the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • while the oven preheated, i added 1/3 of the beaten egg white-sugar mixture to the cream cheese batter, mixed them well and then poured the mixture into the bowl containing the remaining egg white-sugar mixture and slowly folded the two mixtures until they were well combined. i then poured the batter into the prepared pan.
  • next i spooned out 4 tablespoons of the batter into the bowl containing the coffee-cocoa solution and combined the two well to form a smooth brown-coloured batter. then following this youtube video i swirled the chocolate batter on top of the cream-cheese batter to get the marble effect. the quantity of cocoa-batter i had was a little more than was required to form the marble effect. so at this point i lightly folded in some of the cocoa batter into the rest of the cheese-cake batter and did the marbling effect once more. *
  • i then transferred the pan with the batter into the prepared water-bath and baked it for 50 minutes. then allowed the cake to cool inside the oven for 30 minutes before removing it from the oven and unmounding  it.

I had taken the marbled cheesecake for my sister, so I do not have pictures of its cross-section. so you'll have to take my words for a description of how it turned out. ... though the cake looked fine from outside, there were issues with it. 
  • it was soft but flaky and had two separate layers. i guess that mixing the extra cocoa-batter* was not a good idea. that is probably one of the reasons for the two separate layers. i should have baked the extra batter in a separate bowl.
  • i saw the surface cracking at the end of 50 minutes and so assumed that the cake was done. however looking back i think the addition of cocoa in the batter made it slightly dry and hence the surface cracked before the cake was well-baked. perhaps using melted chocochips for the marbling effect would have been a better idea. the fat in the chips would have balanced out the  dryness of the cocoa and prevented the surface cracking. 
i intend to work on these issues soon. in case you have some tips and suggestions please drop in a word. i look forward to hearing from you and working on my cheesecake-baking techniques... so though i failed in my first baking challenge i learnt a lot and hopefully i'll do it right next time...

until then feast yourself on the cheesecakes baked my fellow bloggers from the  Baking Partners ..
BakingPartners




22 comments:

  1. Marbelling effect is beautiful. Cheesecake looks delicious too.
    .tc,
    Humi

    ReplyDelete
  2. Three attempts ..you are such a perfectionist!! Loved the marbling

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amrita !

      not a perfectionist really. more like "crazy about baking" :)

      Delete
  3. You don't quit, do you ;) Each one looks delish although the first one looks particularly luring :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha. as they say "old habits die hard." just couldn't stop myself at 1 or 2... and yes the 1st one tasted the best :)

      Delete
  4. I think may beating of the egg whites and leaving the cake in oven for while will reduce the sinking of the top. I don't have much tips with cocoa layers. Next time you can make perfect cake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tips Swathi. Will be more careful next time.

      Delete
  5. Hi Tanu, your cheesecake is beautiful, very well baked. The marble effect look very pretty too. You're very creative. I love that piece with the chocolate sauce flowing down...excellent!

    Have a nice week ahead,regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amelia. I love the flowing chocolate too. just wish that the cake below would be a little softer :)

      have a nice week.

      Delete
  6. Hi Tanu,

    I like your marbled cheesecake. The swirls look very pretty. I'm baking a featherlight cheesecake soon and nice to learn all these tips from you.

    Nice to know you via blogging. I'm now your latest follower and hope to hear from you soon.

    Zoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Joe. Good to know you too.

      Delete
  7. Hi Tanu,this is an amazing post - great tips.... my cake cracked and sank,will be baking this once again.Bookmarked it for reference.Thanks a whole bunch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. looks like many of us are in the same boat. but your looks pretty perfect to me :)

      Delete
  8. Wow, you tried it three times!!! Actually, all three look pretty good to me :-). The marbling effect is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi,
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    ReplyDelete
  10. I've never heard of a Japanese cheesecake before, but I was super intrigued when I saw the title since I love all kinds of cheesecake! I'll have to try this sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your Cheesecake is just beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey hi... ur cake looks beautiful.. Is there any eggless version of Japanese cotton soft cake. I m trying to search on the net but haven't found any... It wud b nice if u can help me

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by. It was nice having you here. Have a good day.

Take care and come back soon.
Best, Tanusree

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