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.
Light Blueberry Cheesecake
Recipe source : Adapted from Ha Sue
- 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.
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.