Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Light Blueberry Cheesecake : LTU Milk



This cake is phenomenal! So light, so melt-in-your-mouth, so ethereal. It's like eating slices of cloud because it floats on your tongue. It was a revelation to me that sliced cheddar cheese can be just as good as cream cheese. For those of you who have a phobia for cheese and the smell (yes, you mummy), don't you worry one bit. There is no cheese smell at all and if I didn't tell you, you would not have guessed that there are 6 slices of cheddar cheese in this cake.



The cake you are looking at is my fourth attempt. You want to hear my story? OK, I tell you story. My first cake was baked in a regular 8" pan which meant that I had to flip the cake for removal after baking. I read some recipes that say that you must unmould the cake immediately after it is baked. The recipe that I followed did not say anything about cooling the cake in the oven or removing it immediately from the oven.


Pock-marked cake. Kesian...

So.......I decided to be clever and went with the immediate unmoulding thingy. When I flipped the pan to remove the cake, I had a bit on an accident. The cake slipped and I ended up banging the cooling rack with cake in tow hard on the table. BLONK! On impact, my cake punctured and slowly it collapsed wheeeeeeeeeeshh........to half it's height. This was how the poor thing looked like :


Deflated and wrinkled. Unmistakably the work of PH.

Of course I was devastated. But it is what it is. I just accepted my punctured cake and left it to cool. The next morning, I sliced it and took a bite. Whoah!! So delicious!! Because it was compressed, the texture was dense and moist but what the heck. It was so, so good. And you know me. Obsessed. Boh kam guan. I baked another one the next day which brings us to cake number 2. 


The top so smooth and beautiful.

This time I used my brand new 8" springform pan. The pan was still a virgin, plastic wrap still intact since two months after purchase. This should do the trick. No danger of dropping the cake when unmoulding. My cake should be perfect, right? Sadly, no. Everything went well - melting, mixing, and the whole ding dong bell when halfway through baking I realized something was wrong. Apparently I had a senior moment. I forgot to wrap the pan with aluminium foil!!! Sei chor!!! (for some reason, during catastrophic moments I can suddenly speak Cantonese).


Isn't this a thing of beauty?

I ran to the oven and took a peek. Of course I couldn't tell if water seeped in but it was a given. Why? Why? Why? Why so careless??? One hour into baking, I saw the cake float (yes it floated!!) above the pan. I could see 1/4 of the cake above the rim. All the physics I learnt in school including my own theories came into my head. Teacher was right. At some point, physics will stare you in the face.




But my cake looked pretty good. It had a domed top and when it was done, the top was beautifully browned and dry. This time I left it in the oven for a good 20 minutes. Then I removed it to the cooling rack. As I lifted the pan, water dripped off and I tilted the pan to remove the excess water. After that I unclipped the pan.




The lower part of the cake in contact with the pan was wet :( But.....as it sat there cooling, the shrinkage was minimal. The sides of the cake remained straight and it was so soft and bouncy. When it was cool enough, I sliced the cake. Another moment of truth. Surprisingly, the damage was not that bad. The bottom wasn't soaking wet but just damp. I am guessing that when the cake floated, it was saved from soaking up more water.




And again. Obsession. Never give up! Pig headed or whatever you want to call it. I baked cake number 3. This time my pan was all wrapped up snugly with heavy duty aluminium foil. But Murphy's Law was at play. If anything can go wrong, it will. In spite of my pan being wrapped in two layers of heavy duty aluminium foil, water still seeped into that pan. This time, the whole cake was soaked through. That was really depressing. The whole cake got tossed into the bin :(




And now we come to cake number 4. Finally, perfection if I may say so. Dry bottom, tall cake, dreamy texture. I did it! Finally! Yeshhh!!!! 




Credit for this recipe goes to Ha Sue and you can see how beautiful her cake is. She had dotted her cake so daintily with blueberry filling whereas mine went in in big blobs and they sank hah..hah...Thank you Ha Sue for sharing this fantastic recipe!


My first ever selfie. Folding the batter by hand. Eeeeksss...I didn't realise I have so many blue -green veins! Not the hand of a princess for sure.

A note to those of you who have failed in baking this variety of cotton cheesecakes. You have to try and try again. From my personal experience, 3 major factors affect the success of this cake :

(1) beat your egg whites to stiff peaks; 
(2) fold the two batters together until evenly mixed without over mixing (this comes with practice); and
(3) you must adjust the baking temperature and time according to your oven (this comes with experience).




So where is the blueberry you ask?  I used blueberry jam and because I couldn't pipe tiny dots, they sank to the bottom of the cake. 




I have had my fair share of failures and a lot of practice when I baked Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake. So I dedicate this post to all you bright eyed bushy tailed novice bakers, young and not so young. If PH can bake, so can you! 











Light Blueberry Cheesecake
Recipe source : Adapted from Ha Sue

Ingredients :
- 240ml milk
- 6 slices cheddar cheese
- 110g butter
- 110g self-raising flour (I sifted 3 times)
- 90g caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 eggs, whites and yolks separated (I used large eggs)
- 2 heaped tablespoons blueberry jam or better still use blueberry filling (I used Steffi's no sugar added jam)

Other things you should do/take note :
- For heaven's sake use an 8" springform pan wrapped in heavy duty aluminium foil. Double layer for extra protection. Better safe than sorry. And line the bottom and sides with baking paper.
- Have a roasting or baking pan big enough to accommodate your baking pan on standby.
- Prepare boiling water in your kettle now. Then boil it again just before putting your cake into the oven.
- Preheat your oven. Mine has to be 140C for this cake. Adjust yours accordingly.
- I baked this cake on the lower rack.

Method :
1. Put your blueberry jam into a piping bag or a plastic bag with the end snipped off (don't cut the hole too big). Set aside.
2. In a bowl put milk, butter and cheddar cheese.
3. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir to melt butter and cheese.
4. Once melted, set aside to cool (till just warm to the touch is good enough)
5. Place egg yolks in a big mixing bowl.
6. Using a whisk, beat the egg yolks till they are thick and creamy.
7. Pour a small amount of the warm cheese mixture into the egg yolks (this is to ensure that the egg yolks don't get cooked) and whisk to combine. Then pour in the rest of the cheese mixture. Add vanilla extract and stir to evenly mix the mixture.
8. Sift the flour into the egg yolk batter bit by bit and whisk to combine as you go along. Once evenly mixed, set aside.
9. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy and add sugar a little at a time. Continue to beat until stiff peaks (this is when you can invert the bowl and your egg whites won't fall out).
10. Take about 1/3 of the egg white mixture and fold it into the egg yolk batter. It is alright if your egg yolk batter is still warm (not hot) at this stage. Addition of the initial egg white batter cools it down further. 
10. Add the rest of the egg white mixture and gently fold to combine the two batters. Mix until you don't see anymore streaking.
11. Pour about 1/3 of the batter into the prepared cake pan.
12. Then dot the blueberry jam all over the surface.
13. Pour another 1/3 of batter into the pan. Repeat dotting with jam.
14. Finally pour the rest of the batter into the pan.
15. Tap the pan lightly a few times on your work surface to release trapped air bubbles.
16. Place the cake pan into the bigger pan and pour boiling water into the pan until it reaches halfway up your cake pan.
17. Put into the oven and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean (yours could take shorter time, monitor closely).
18 When done, leave the cake to cool in the oven for 20-30 minutes with oven door very slightly  ajar. You don't want the oven temperature to drop too suddenly.
19. Remove from oven.
20. Place the cake pan on a cooling rack and unclip to remove the cake.
21. Leave cake to cool completely. You may chill the cake in the fridge but I prefer mine at room temperature. For longer storage, keep in the fridge.




Photobucket

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Tze of Awayofmind Bakery House.

49 comments:

  1. Oooo...baked cheese! My favourite. Blueberry, my girl would surely love, I know!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Arthur! Yah, I knew you were going to say that hee..hee..

      Delete
  2. One question sweetie... What happened to the cake #1 and #2 before you baked cake #4? (I know cake #3 has ended up in the bin).. Who finished it? Pack to work and gave all to colleagues? How much jam you have "wasted" to bake 4 cakes, gawd, you are really one determined woman.. And this..... is not me, so we are not so same afterall, keke..
    When I see your cake pictures, I thought you use cream cheese (again), and gawd, you would have wasted so much expensive cream cheese to come to cake #4..
    I believe you when you say there's no cheese taste, coz I've baked using cheddar cheese before, and there's no cheese taste, really.. So it looks like a soft, moist, melt-in-the-mouth butter cake, yes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Louiz! So many questions hee..hee...OK, cake #1 was given to friendly parties who would eat anything I baked and cake #2 given to some people near my office. I was too shy to give to colleagues. As for the jam, I used 2-3 tablespoons per cake. This cake is really good, has vanilla and buttery taste. Just like you described - a soft, moist, melt-in-your mouth butter cake. I reckon you can finish the whole cake in one sitting :)

      Delete
    2. Oh yes! Hope you don't mind the same old phrase - I could dig in with a spoon and finish all, no need to wait for you to cut into slices la, thank you..
      You know what sweetie? I actually like cake #1, coz I like that pock-mark thingy on top of the cake.. Looks like a lot of "liew", no?

      Delete
    3. Wah, sudah ada water, now bake 4 times yer?
      Guess your baking mood comes back already, no more catuan air, kakaka..

      Delete
    4. Let me tell you a little secret. The batter for the first cake was the best. That is why the blueberry jam can float on top and didn't sink. But I don't now why the rest of the batter was more watery and the jam all sank.

      I am relieved that the water is back on and yes, can bake every weekend yipee!!!

      Delete
  3. Eh, your floating cake actually looks beautiful, so smooth! Why didn't take a pic of your floating cake to show har? Then we would know if we see something similar happening in our oven:P I have tried baking ogura cake with cheddar cheese and got good results although when my friend tried, he failed miserably. lol! It all depends on individual I guess. Let's hope when I try this cake, I get a successful one at first attempt:P *fingers and toes crossed!*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeannie, I wish I could have taken photo but my oven door is very blur-blur already (you know why lah...). I think your friend needs more practice. My first chiffon cake jadi just like that and I am not even talented hah...hah...I am sure you will get this cake right :)

      Delete
  4. Hi Phong Hong, again a persistent baker. Failed - try, unsatisfactory outcome - try and try and try. Once it's a Yeshh... forget about it. My sister in-law's theory, she will keep trying failed recipe and once she got it right, the recipe is going to be a 'Keeper'. Kept aside and forgotten. Hahaha! Thanks for sharing this recipe that uses Cheddar cheese slices. I have more of this than cream cheese in the fridge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hah..hah...hah...Kimmy, you made me laugh! I won't forget about this cake because it is so good. You know what? I am going to bake another one this weekend. Oh no!

      Delete
  5. cheesecake, it's CHEESECAKE!! somemore the light one, aiyoh, the loaded ones I probably can have just one slice or two, but then the light one, since it's not that jelak, I can wallop down the whole cake with no problem!! seriously..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SK, I believe you! This cake is so light that after one piece, you feel like you didn't eat anything. I could have gone on and on eating but I am on diet, you know. Can only taste one piece and after that quickly tapau to give away.

      Delete
  6. and this blueberry light cheesecake you baked, FUYOH!! looks so perfect, I mean the top is so smooth with no cracks at all, just like a shelled boiled egg.. and inside, no need to mention more, looks so fluffy like cloud, ethereal but with a substance.. one bite and make you feel like on cloud 9 huh?? love it lah~~ :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SK, so well said! Yes, on cloud 9 or even 10!

      Delete
  7. so fluffy the cake. Yum...

    Fold by hand taste better kot kihkih

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eh, I washed my hand, you know...hee..hee...

      Delete
  8. Hi Phong Hong,

    If you PH can bake, so can you!!! This phrase is such a classic and you sounded exactly like Martin Yan saying this...

    Baking this recipes 4 times!!! I can fully understand your persistence and craving for perfection when I baked my cottony cheesecake for our bake-along last year. I reckon that I have learned a lot from these cottony cake bakes!!! And get to eat yummy cakes anyway... Not bad, huh?

    Keep baking these beautiful cakes!!! Never say fail... because PH can bake!!!

    Zoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zoe! hee..hee...yes, that is my favourite Martin Yan catch phrase! The beauty of this cake is that, even when it comes out flat or ugly, it still tastes very good!

      Delete
  9. You are one determine lady! I can imagine the horror seeing your cake float in the baking pan ha ha. Actually all your cheesecakes turn out beautifully. The last I bake one of this was years ago. Seeing your beautiful cheesecake give me an idea to bake one for our upcoming tea party. Thanks for sharing the recipe PH.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "the horror" hah...hah....You have described it so well, Gertrude! Do bake this cake. It will be a hit at the tea party. Better bake two :)

      Delete
  10. I must salute you PH. I thought you would have stopped at number 3 but no, you carried on till you get it right. So you had 3 edible cotton cheesecake... and you ate them all? Hahaha.. there goes PH's diet!! Tak pa tak pa... after this, you diet balik ok... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mama! I am like that. If I want something, I really go for it. Kalau benda yang tak minat tu, lain cerita. Oh no, I didn't eat them all, even though I wanted to hah...hah....

      Delete
  11. oh, this is perfect cake, I have so long did not bake a cheese cake, can teach me or not? hehehe..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonia, I should be learning from you. You are my sifu!

      Delete
  12. Yes, you can bake indeed! And the results are showing that your cheesecakes are improving by the loads!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Thank you! I really needed a pat on the shoulder hee...hee...

      Delete
  13. Your hand is so fair, hehehe! Can send a few slices of this cheesecake to me? I think how you describe it as like eating slices of cloud is so perfect, though I haven't baked a light cheesecake successfully b4 but I had eaten some store-bought, now I won't be able to sleep, keep thinking of Phong Hong's the very "cloudy" like cheesecake!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But got so many veins lah, not nice....Jessie, if I can courier the cake to you, I will. But I think hor.... halfway the cake will disappear hee...hee...

      Delete
  14. Wah....never knewit can actually fold the batter by bare hands!! And wow.....4th times and thats not too bad comparing to my countless times of castella cake. Should I follow suite to bake this cheesecake? You bet I will....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mel, I am sure you can get this cake right. I dare not bake castella cake. I know that I will not get it right the first time, the second and don't know how many more :D

      Delete
  15. I always love reading your posting about your experience whether is good and bad. Thumb up for your unstopable baking to get a perfectionist done. :) Thanks for sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi DG! Thank you! Thank you! I am hoping that by sharing my failures, it will inspire and give hope to aspiring bakers. Never give up!

      Delete
  16. Good try, PH! I'm crazy about cheese cake and same as you, I'll be sad if my cake gone wrong.
    Keep it up and thumbs up for your yummy cheese cake!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ann! Next I want to try your cheesecake - the one that doesn't use flour. Good luck to me hee...hee...

      Delete
  17. Ha.....Ha........these are all about your disaster?
    I respect your persistence for perfection of this cheese cake. Thumbs up for you !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Aunty Young! The best part about this cheesecake is that the disaster still taste good except for the one that kena banjir!

      Delete
  18. Hi Phong Hong, hard work do paid off. Delicious cheese cake you have baked. Sometimes success do come with persistence and never give up attitude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Karen! I am very persistent about the things I love. Others, hee..hee..I just give up :D

      Delete
  19. hello phong hong, i cant imagine myself baking the same cake the 4th time after several failures..must be very nervous and mentally tired too! you know, today i just baked a cake, it got kind of sunk in the middle and i'm not sure if it's fully cooked inside, hope the tester didnt fool me! hv to wait till tmrw and cut and see how it goes..if not cooked properly, then i think i need to copy your attitude..with determination and make another better one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lena! Hope that your cake turns out OK! Sometimes the tester is not reliable because the crust of the cake scrapes off the raw batter. We will think that the cake is cooked when it is not. I was disappointed a few times.

      Delete
  20. You're a determined one- four times! I'll just give up and admit I can;t bake. This looks great and exactly as you described it- really light! Cheesecakes tend to be really dense and though delicious you can;t have more than a few bites. This one I could definitely do a giant slice of :p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shu Han! That's just 4 for this cake. The other Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake, I have lost count. It must have been more than 10 or 20. Yikes!

      Delete
  21. Phong Hong, baking 4th times!! wow! salute your persistance to get the perfect cake! this cottony soft Japanese cheesecake really lovely! well done and keep baking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tze! Just as well that I enjoy baking or else I would have given up!

      Delete
  22. Looks pretty good to me! And it does sound daunting ...but you have been convincing and I shall give this a go.....soon....I hope.....maybe.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Ping! Thanks! I'll be on the lookout for your interpretation of this cake :)

      Delete
  23. Thanks sharing all those experiences that you had to avoid others making the same mistakes. Your cheese cake looks yummy.

    ReplyDelete