Recent Bakes

Sharing with you my recent bakes….

1) Japanese Cheesecake: recipe from here

The only modifications I made was to replace the cream in sect A with milk and use 5 egg yolks and 5 egg whites.

It’s also important to beat the egg whites properly: see here.

I’m so glad to find out that my mini oven can brown the top nicely…Also, the sides are smooth…I didn’t use a springform pan to bake it, just an ordinary metal pan.

2) Junior’s New York Cheesecake: recipe from Junior’s Cheesecake Book

This is different from the Japanese Cheesecake, which is light and fluffy, and does not have a “heavy” cheese taste. It is also different from the Lime & Passionfruit cheesecake I baked earlier, which is light and yet creamy. This New York Cheesecake is the dense and creamy type.

One thing that I wished I had done better was to brown the top more evenly….

I made some modifications to the recipe:

  • Made a biscuit base instead of baking a sponge cake base
  • Used 750g cream cheese instead of 24oz
  • Reduced sugar to 170g instead of 1 1/3 cup (but brother commented that it tastes a little a savoury.…perhaps to try increasing to 200g)
  • Used 200ml whipping cream instead of 2/3 cup

3) Lime & Passionfruit Cheesecake

Although this has been mentioned in a previous post, I thought it would be good to put a pic here to show the contrasting textures of the cheesecake, resulting from the different proportions of cream cheese to whipping cream and the different methods of including eggs (Japanese Cheesecake requires an egg white meringue, while the other 2 just require eggs to be beaten in).

4) Cupcakes: from the Primrose Bakery Cookbook

Earl Grey Cupcakes

Cranberry & Orange cupcakes

These were baked in a silicon tray, but they were not cooked at the specified baking times…resulting in crusty tops and a dry crumb….:( need to experiment again….

5) Chocolate Chip Cookies: based on the New York Times recipe which was widely blogged about previously

I think these are the BEST I’ve tried to date although the choc chunks are a little too sweet for my liking….But these still become crunchy after 2 days although I kept them in an air-tight container (the lock & lock one)….Wonder whether is it because of the humid weather in Singapore.

I now honestly appreciate the quality of chocolate that goes into the cookie….No more Hershey’s or Nestle’s semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks….I’m going to look for better alternatives!

By the way, I replaced the cake flour and bread flour with all-purpose flour…wonder does that affect the retention of the chewiness. I’ve seen recipes that use bread flour only…perhaps I will buy some bread flour and use all bread flour….

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Lime and Passionfruit Cheesecake

My Da Jie was very kind in providing me with 8 passionfruits to bring back home when I visited her 😀 Paid homage to the passionfruit by baking a lime & passionfruit cheesecake. Da Jie, here’s a slice of the cheesecake dedicated to you 🙂

Used my new 9″ springform pan and was horrified to find out, after doing the crust etc. and just before filling the pan with the batter, that my usual roasting pan could not accommodate the springfoam pan! Luckily, I found another bigger round cake tin to hold springform pan, otherwise….sigh!

Anyway, I learned some new stuff while baking this cheesecake:

  • By greasing the sides of the pan, the chance of getting smooth sides is higher.
  • When adding cream into the mixture, make sure that the cream is lump-free too….otherwise the cheesecake mixture will have lumps – horrors of horrors!!

I fancy that using 500g cream cheese achieves a cheesecake that is too low for my liking…I prefer a much higher cheesecake :). But that’s a personal preference.

As for the verdict: it’s smooth and creamy. The tangy passionfruit complemented the richness of the cream cheese, making the confection not too rich. Glad that Hubby liked it, even though he’s not a fan of sweet stuff.

It seems like the texture of the cheesecake (light vs dense) is also dependent on the proportion of whipping cream to cream cheese: this recipe uses 200ml whipping cream to 500g cream cheese; I did another cheesecake which uses 200ml whipping cream to 750g cream cheese, and this cheesecake is more dense.

Here’s the recipe I used, which was adapted by combining the recipes from “In the Kitchen” and “Cheesecakes, Pavlovas and Luscious Desserts”:

Cake

150g digestive biscuits

60g melted butter

500g cream cheese

110g caster sugar

juice of 1 lime

zest of 1 lime

2 eggs

3 egg yolks

200ml whipping cream

100ml strained passionfruit juice (from abt 8 passionfruits)

Topping

1tbsp caster sugar

3tsp cornflour

passionfruit pulp (strained for juice earlier)

Method

1) Grease sides of pan with butter.

2) Place biscuits in a food processor and whiz to form small crumbs; add melted butter and process briefly. Press biscuits into the bottom of a 22cm springform cake tin. Wrap the outside base with foil, using 2 pieces to cover the base. This prevents water seeping into the cake during baking. Place in fridge to set, for at least 20 min.

3) Preheat oven to 170 deg C

4) Beat cream cheese until smooth, add sugar and beat. Add cream, lime juice, passionfruit juice and lime zest, stir till combined. Then whisk in eggs and yolks, one at a time.

4) Place cake tin in a deep baking tray. Pour in cheesecake filling over biscuit base. Pour boiling water into baking dish to come halfway up the cake tin. Place carefully in oven. Cook for 1hr or until the cake is just set, still with some hint of wobble. Allow to cool on a cooling rack before refrigerating, preferably overnight.

5) To make the topping: Combine the sugar, cornflour and 2 tbsp water in a small pan over low heat. Stir until smooth, add 2 more tbsp water and passionfruit pulp and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Pour hot topping over the cheesecake, spread evenly and then leave to cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.

We Did It!

Yes, we did it – we finally got the hang of making chye tow kueh (ctk) with the features we love: ctk firm enough to fry and yet soft and chewy….

Earlier attempts either produced too “hard” a ctk for our liking, or too soft to fry till it becomes mushy….

A few important tips….

  • Keep to the proportion. Do not double it. If you want to make more ctk, make another batch….
  • Fry till the dough becomes sticky….
  • Add a little oil to the surface of the ctk to prevent condensation going into ctk while steaming….
  • Buy a slightly heavier radish, cos after cutting of the head and tail and removing the skin, the weight is considerably lower.

No more commercial ctk….I followed Baking Mum’s recipe except that I used 400g radish and 200g carrot.