Posts Tagged ‘japanese’

Japanese Cheesecake

May 12, 2011

There are about 18 different types of cheesecakes in the world.  Not flavors, but actual types of cheesecakes and how they are made.  Yes, 18.  That’s what wikipedia is telling me, anyway.  Mostly they differentiate by region – by the flavor of compote that is put on top of the cheesecake.  Or they are refrigerated, rather than baked.  But while I happened to be on the wiki page for cheesecake, the Japanese description caught my eye: “smooth flan-like texture and almost plasticine appearance.”  What an amazingly delicious sounding and totally weird cheesecake!  I started looking up recipes.

Japanese cheesecakes does use cream cheese.  And like most American cheesecakes, it is baked, not refrigerated.  And it uses a lot of eggs.  But boy, that is where the similarities of the two versions end.  The Japanese version is light and fluffy and almost has a steamed texture to it.  It’s quite delightful, actually, but it lacks the traditional cheesecake quality of tasting like, well, cheese.  In fact, my mom, a lover of all things cheese and all things cake, especially when they are put together, said that this was even more delicious when you don’t call it a cheesecake.  Awesome (and so truthful!).

Do not let any of this deter you from making this, though!  In fact, let it be encouragement to make it as soon as possible!  It’s quite lovely in its own right.  It’s creamier than a chiffon cake, but still has the airiness quality of one.  And hello, wiki said it’s “flan-like,” which completely sold me.  And wiki is always right.

Japanese Cheesecake (adapted from here)

6 large eggs, separated

140 grams sugar

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

50 grams butter

250 grams cream cheese

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

zest of one lemon

60 grams cake flour

20 gram corn starch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 320 degrees.  Grease a 9 inch round springform pan.  Line the outside with aluminum foil.

2. Over a double boiler, melt together butter, cream cheese and milk until completely smooth.  Set aside to cool.

3. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.  Add cream of tartar and continue to beat on medium speed.  As you see soft peaks forming, slowly pour in the sugar until the egg whites are light and fluffy and hold their own shape.

4. To the cooled cream cheese mixture, whisk in egg yolks, vanilla and lemon zest.  Fold in all of the dry ingredients until they are completely incorporated into the cream cheese mixture.

5. Working in batches, fold in the egg whites to the cream cheese mixture, being careful not to deflate the egg whites.  When all of the egg whites are incorporated, pour into the prepared pan.

6. Fill a separate 9×13 baking pan halfway with water.  Place the cheesecake in the center rack of the oven.  Place the 9×13 pan on the rack below, to create a water bath.

7. Bake cheesecake for 70 minutes, until a toothpick tester comes out clean.  Let cool completely.  Serve at room temperature or cold with strawberry sauce.

Strawberry Sauce (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

2 cups strawberries, rinsed and cut into big piece

3 tablespoons sugar

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup water

1. Blend everything together until smooth.  Strain to take out seeds.  Serve cold or room temperature with cheesecake.

Sushi. It’s what’s for dinner?

August 2, 2010

There are certain foods that I just will not attempt making.  It’s not really about the ambition or time commitment – it’s just mostly me getting the, “If I can get this at the store perfectly made, then why bother making it at home?” kind of feeling.  ..Hm, okay.  I guess it’s all about the ambition and time commitment.  Or lack thereof.

But, really, let’s put this into perspective.  Would you really want to make puff pastry at home?  Sure, you may think about it, but the supermarket-freezer-kind is quite tasty.  Or croissants?  C’mon.  Let’s leave that to the French.  But here’s the most controversial one.  Sushi.

I know that a lot of you out there make sushi at home – and even prefer doing that than getting store-bought.  But I’ve always been a skeptic.  Maybe it is the seaweed.  Or the rolling.  Or the rolling of the seaweed.  Regardless, despite my objections, we attempted sushi for dinner the other night.

We made the rolls without a sushi mat, which resulted in some frustrating moments, during which I eyed the box of cereal for dinner.  But as soon as we were able to fit all of our desired fillings in the roll, making sushi wasn’t that bad.  It was quite tasty.  It’s certainly a quick meal for one, and not even that ambitious!  Now, onto the croissants!

Sushi, My Style.  Which may not be the best style.  But give it a try, eh? (makes 2 rolls)

Ingredients

1 cup dry sushi rice

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

2 sheets nori

Assorted veggies (I used sliced cucumbers, bell pepper, avocado, shitakes, and baked tofu)

Soy sauce

Wasabi (optional)

Pickled Ginger (optional)

Method:

1. Prepare rice as indicated on the package.  When ready, mix with 2 tbsp. of rice vinegar.

2. Spread half of the rice on to one sheet of nori.  Pat down until an even layer is formed to the ends of the sheet.

3. One one end of the sheet, length-wise, layer veggies.

4. Start rolling the nori, encompassing all of the fillings in one, tight roll.

5. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Whatever will you do with all that leftover sushi rice?  Check back for the next post!