Sunday, 14 July 2013

Zebra Cheesecake, Sort Of.....


Blow trumpet some more lah! Hah! Blow trumpet some more......Padan muka! After tooting my own horn here, today I have to eat humble pie. What you see is a failed Zebra Cheesecake :(



I first saw this cake at Cook With No Books and was very impressed by the look of the cake. I knew this cake is essentially a Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake, a cake which I failed at many times. So was the zebra striping going to change my luck? Hah! Hah! Fat hopes! This is actually my second attempt. In my first attempt, my cake turned out looking like this :


The Frankenstein Monster of all Japanese Cheesecakes.

Pathetic, right? It was a nice tall cake in the oven with a nice domed top. I used a 9" pan and the batter rose really high but the cake suffered major shrinkage upon cooling even though I cooled it in the oven.  Let's take a look at the interior :


F9 big failure in baking exam if I ever sat for one.

But mind you, in spite of the super ugly appearance (if there was a contest for ugliest Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake, PH wins hands down) the cake tasted fabbbbulous! The texture was cottony soft, melt in your mouth with the chocolaty flavor making it even more delicious. As soon as the cake cooled, I whacked 2 big slices. Yah, yah, I am supposed to be on low carb diet but I simply couldn't resist.


Second cake looks much better but so flat and short.

For my second attempt, I thought that using a 10" pan might be better so that my batter won't rise too high. But guess what? The batter just sat in the pan and simply refused to rise. Every 20 minutes I ran to the oven and the cake stayed defiantly flat. After 40 minutes I knew there was no hope. I will have to contend with a very short flat cake.


The stripes look alright.

You see, I had a major "kesilapan teknik" (technical error) when I beat the egg whites. It has been some time since I beat egg whites and I did not want to overbeat because they would become dry and foamy. I did not realize that I still hadn't achieved stiff peaks until I mixed the batter. The stiff egg whites which should feel dense and bouncy, were very soft. Too late! I had no choice but to proceed.




I had some problems folding the cocoa powder into the batter. There were tiny lumps and I guess in future I should mix the cocoa powder with water to form a paste first. Anyhow, layering the two batters was quite enjoyable. I used two Chinese soup spoons to do the job. 


My layering not bad lah, hor?

I was actually thinking of baking this cake for the Bake Along event, but just as well I couldn't make it. It wouldn't do to put a failed cake in an event. Or else I will get a memo from the organizers that would sound something like this : "Dear Madam Phong Hong, while we commend your irrepressible enthusiasm to be a part of our Bake Along, we regret that we have to advise you to withdraw your bakes as they you have yet to achieve our overall expected standards." In other words, "Eh, sister, please lah get a life!" Wahahaha! But the Baking Court of Appeal (if there ever was one) would beg to differ. After all, once in a while we do need some comic relief. So come, come, lets humor Madam Phong Hong :)


Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake. Go ahead and laugh. Bake Along reject.

Anyway, it was Janine's gorgeous Zebra Cheesecake which she sourced from Cook With No Books that motivated me to re-attempt this zebra cheesecake. So here it is, my little zebra cheesecake. Not perfect like the other two cakes but not that ugly either and very edible though the texture is dense and spongy.


52 comments:

  1. Phong Hong, I like your post. It is very interesting. And thank you for sharing your failure experience. I like cheese cake. Please send 2 pieces to me. lol

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    1. Ekks..sorry Veronica! I did not realise I missed replying your comment! Hee..hee.. I would be too shy to send a failed cake to you :)

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  2. Nice stripes. Oooo...I love Japanese cotton cheese cake!

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    1. I was quite pleased with the stripes. Though the cake did not turn out as it should, it still tasted good.

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  3. wow so gajen bake again the stripes are so nice it also looks so yummy can share some with me

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    1. EE, I will be baking this cake again. Very fed up because every time become so kecut.

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  4. Hi, Phong Hong. I did bake a light cheese cake today and I will post it later. I just realize something from the recent baking. That is the temperature of the oven. Previously I bake ogura cakes very often and every time it shrinks more than 50%. Now I believe I have know my oven better and got the tips where I need to bake it in lower temperature and longer time, but the result is good. It comes out nicely without major shrinkage. Not sure whether your oven is the "heaty" type like mine but I hope this tip could help you :) Cheers!

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    1. Jozelyn, thanks for the tips! I baked at 140C which I think is quite low already but I will try again.

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  5. Aiyo Phong Hong, where got fail? I saw the first photo (before reading your post) and thought u did a really great job!

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    1. Thanks, Yen! The cake is supposed to rise in the oven and the texture should be something light like a chiffon. But it couldn't rise and it was dense but soft. That's where it failed hee..hee...

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  6. first one, phong hong then lau hong... hahaha... second one... boh kao hong... but i bet it goes well with thick kopi O .... ice pls...

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    1. Hah! Hah! You are funny, cousin! I will bake again and this time will come out phong phong!

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  7. I think the stripes look lovely and the cake looks fluffy soft too.

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    1. Thanks, I liked the stripes but the cake wasn't fluffy. It was compact but soft. But still edible and at least did not go to waste :)

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  8. Phong Hong, the stripes are beautiful and don't judge a book by its cover! I did try once but it ended in the garbage bin! Tak boleh makan... At least yours looks so tempting and the stripes are amazing :)

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    1. Thanks, Ivy! I have had a few that fed the rubbish bin too hah! hah! But yah, the stripes turned out rather nice :)

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  9. Beautiful zebra stripes and the texture is perfectly smooth and light.

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    1. Thank you, Angie! It wasn't that bad I guess because it was still good to eat.

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  10. Fat hope?muhahaha
    Ph ! I nampak ok je jalur zebra tu.if rasa sedap ok la tu ph still got hope ma....hehe.

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    1. CM, jalur tu boleh tahan, kan? PH akan cuba lagi.

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  11. I also have no luck with these kind of cheese cakes! Never mind, don't give up and I am sure it will turn out perfect one day.

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    1. Thanks, Mich! I will be trying again soon :)

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  12. phong hong, i agree with Jozelyn. last time i bake chiffon cake also have a same problem and i just ry try try for many times, i also don know how many n how much i waste the ingredients, but lastly i get it is my oven temperature problem.

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    1. xing hui, I will try this cake again because right now feel so unsatisfied. Must do until jadi!

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  13. Hi Phong Hong,

    I can understand your agony of baking these cakes as I have been through it too...

    Janine has made us believe that baking a zebra cheesecake is easy but actually not ... After my final cheesecake success, I wasn't sure at all that I want to bake Janine's zebra cheesecake. Too scare to fail!!!

    Zoe

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    1. Zoe, somehow I feel that I must conquer this Japanese Cheesecake! Will be making another attempt. The good thing is that even if it turns out funny looking, it still tastes good.

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    2. Haha maybe I should have stated in my post that many years ago I baked a "cotton cheesecake" which was a major epic fail, so it was until after I mastered beating egg whites and folding that I dared to try the japanese cheesecake again!

      Anyway Phong Hong, I think the stripes look beautiful, and your layering is really good. And you probably identified your problem of the egg whites. Do try not to overfold your "yellow" mixture into the egg whites. I have tried using eggs beat to soft peaks and the result is still pretty yummy, though not so tall a cake :) Jiayou!!

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    3. Hey, Janine! Well, that is certainly comforting to know that maybe someday my zebra cake will stand proud and tall. Hee..hee...thanks for stopping by and sharing :)

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  14. Not too bad laa, still can eat, visual effect also not too bad, the stripes very even, the zebras would have been proud:D I too have my share of failures, just didn't have the guts to post them like you did lol!

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    1. Jeannie, I was quite happy with the stripes but when I waited and the cake didn't rise I felt so much heartache hah! hah! But luckily still can eat or else I would be so depressed.

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  15. Hi Phong Hong, brave attempt, nothing to loose so long as it's edible. Looks good too.

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    1. Thanks, Kimmy! The taste was still good even though not cottony soft. Will be trying again.

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  16. Adei.....zebra on diet ah?

    But yours still edible kira okay la. No need to feed to mr tong sam pah.

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    1. Hah! Hah! Skinny zebra that's why the stripes so thin. I almost wanted to throw it but upon tasting, I decided that it was fit for consumption.

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  17. I guess we all have our bad cake day, we are learning anyway. Yours don't look too bad actually, zebra still there and most importantly it' s delicious :)

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    1. Thanks! It still tasted good even though it was so flat and compact. Maybe it qualifies as a different style of cheesecake hah! hah!

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  18. Kak PH, nampak macam Zebra , cuma Ini Zebra badan kecil, kekeke ..don't give up , we learnt from our failed experience and improve from there ..make sure low temp at the lower rack, and beat till soft peak will do ..

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    1. Sonia, my zebra banyak kurus. Too much dieting hee..hee..I try again lah. Must have semangat to succeed.

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  19. Hi Phong Hong! I think they look more like tiger stripes to me due to the colour combination! Zebra or Tiger... doesn't matter... as long as it taste yummy!

    I salute your determination and you have my respect!

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    1. Hi Alvin! Thank you for your kind words. Tiger? Hey, I didn't think of that :)

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  20. morning phong hong, to me the stripes look beautiful, no padan muka ok?! i must admit too that baking a cheesecake is a very challenging for me too, for my previous cottony cheesecake, i watched the video many times and oh, btw if you were to submit to bake along, we would not disqualify you la...we nice people ma..even if it is a failed one, no harm to share a failed experience :)

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    1. Lena, I also watched so many videos but still like that lah! Hee..hee...very shy to join Bake Along. I know you all are nice people :)

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  21. Phong Hong, Your zebra cake looks great and I don't mind to have a big slice of it.

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    1. Thanks, Ann! But really, I would be so shy to serve you this cake hee..hee..

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  22. Me too, waiting for 3 big slices of your zebra cake!!! :) :) :)

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    1. Aiyo, Sri! You want to eat failed cake ah?

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  23. Hi Phong Hong,
    You are so funny! Never fail to bring a smile when I read your post. Like Lena says, we are very nice ladies, ahem! Haha! We would never reject your post, it is only natural that we fail sometimes, and these cotton cheesecake are really not that easy to make! I think most of us have at least one failure where this cake is concerned! :)
    Bravo for trying!

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    1. Heh..heh..thanks, Joyce! I am still determined to get the cake right. One of these days, I would like to join your Bake Along :)

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  24. Hi Phong Hong, Wow! I must salute you for tempting this version of Japanese cheesecake! I think it looks nice with even stripes & nice texture woh . As long as it sedap , o;kay lah! BTW I've a sort of failed experince for a normal zebra cake last year! Just imagine that! Too dense & not even rise! I'm planning to bake another one next month for my son's bday , hopefully jadi lah this time! My son wants a Minecraft cake with stripes! Aiyoo, SIGH!

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    1. Hi Kit! It is comforting for me to know that others like yourself have experienced failed cakes too. I am sure your next attempt wil be successful. Wah, Minecraft cake! With stripes some more, that's a tall order. I am sure you can do it! Sonia did a Minecraft cake for her son last year or the year before. I was so impressed :)

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