Monthly Archives: January 2018

Japanese Cheesecake

I got interested in the Japanese Cheesecake about 2 months ago when I was talking to my granddaughters. They showed me the video of the making of the Fluffy, Jiggly Japanese Cheesecake and commented about how they would like to learn how to make it. I agreed to help them. Meanwhile, I had to research the project and make certain I could make the cheesecake. So I went from the video to the web site and found several problems. The measurements of some of the ingredients were different in the video than on the recipe. So I started following the comments for the recipe and found others had the same problem; no one had corrected the recipe or video- whichever was wrong.

It also seemed to me that the comments were of two types- those that seemed taken with the recipe but hadn’t really tried to make it, and those who had really tried to make it and were not complementary. There were bad comments about the taste. One person even suggested a recipe on a different web site as being better. So I decided I needed to look at that recipe.

I made that recipe, and it was a failure. So I continued research and finally found a combination of recipes that work for me.

I will also say that the original Fluffy Jiggly Japanese Cheesecake recipe had an area that I couldn’t figure out how to solve- they had the cheesecake coming out of the oven at cooking temperature and immediately being turned upside down on your hand to remove the pan and parchment paper- how to do that without getting burned badly had me stumped.

Here is a version of Japanese Cheesecake that I made and felt showed the final texture and rise of the product. I notice that almost all cooks serve the cheesecake with a sweet topping. Some are just fruit like strawberries, and others are jam glazes, or powdered sugar or a combination of these. I will use frozen strawberries as they provide moisture and sweetness.

I have decided to leave the ingredient list in international units- grams and milliliters where the measure is not a natural one. That was how I put the recipe together and had no real problem. My kitchen scale allows setting the units to grams, and the back side of my liquid measuring cup shows milliliters. If that is too big of a problem, there are conversion programs to aid in getting the units back to ounces and cups.

Japanese Cheesecake

Preparation

  • (Optional)Remove frozen strawberries from freezer to come to room temperature over-night.
  • Remove cream cheese from refrigerator to come to room temperature over-night.
  • Move oven rack to lowest position.
  • Cut parchment paper to fit a 8×3 cake pan bottom; spray the sides and bottom of the pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with the parchment paper. Wrap the bottom and sides completely in foil to prevent the water bath from oxidizing the pan. (the water bath with heat turns aluminum black so the foil protects the pan.
  • Separate 6 eggs

Mise en place

  • 9 ounces cream cheese (ouch, it comes in 8 ounce packages)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 70g granulated sugar(this is half of the total 140g)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 60g cake flour
  • 20g cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • —————–

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 70g granulated sugar (the other half of the 140g)
    —————–

  • (Optional) Strawberries – to serve
  • (Optional) Powdered Sugar – to serve
  • (Optional) Cream Chantilly – to serve

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (200 degrees C).
  2. Over a warm water bath (bain marie), whisk the cream cheese until smooth
  3. Add the egg yolks and continue to whisk
  4. Add half the sugar (70g and whisk
  5. Warm the milk and butter in the microwave or stove and whisk into the batter
  6. Add the salt and lemon juice and whisk
  7. Remove from the water bath, sift the flour and cornstarch and fold into the mixture.
  8. ————————

  9. Whisk the egg whites at low speed until foamy.
  10. Add the cream of tartar and beat at high speed till bubbles become very small but still visible
  11. Gradually add the sugar (70g)and beat till just before soft peaks form.
  12. Fold the whites into the batter 1/3 at a time.
  13. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and tap on the counter a couple times to remove air bubbles.
  14. Bake the cake on the bottommost rack in the preheated oven for 18 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees for 12 minutes; finally turn off trhe oven and leave the cake in the closed oven for 30 minutes. Open the door of the oven slightly at that time for 10 minutes for the cake to cool.
  15. Remove the cake from the cake pan, and remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake. Sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar, and serve with a side of strawberries and Cream Chantilly. Enjoy!


I found that I was not as taken with the soft sponginess of the Japaness Cheesecake as others seem to be.

Christmas bites in Seattle

This is an annual happening; I spend the Christmas vacation time in Seattle with my muse and we eat breakfast and dinner out. Some times we eat at restaurants that have become favorites, and at other times we are exploring and experimenting with places that are new to us.

Even though we had a couple days of slick roads due to a light snowfall Christmas eve, we only missed one of our planned restaurants- a breakfast at Serious Biscuit. We always plan to eat- in all day Christmas since it is difficult to find places that are open. For our Christmas dinner my muse made a crab mac and cheese; she made it in 6 separate ramekins, but it was still a lot. We shared one of the ramekins for our dinner.

My contribution was in three parts- a box of Morning Buns, a box of cookies of different varieties, and a dozen Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. I may have eaten more than my share of the latter of those.

The box of multi-kind was similar to the ones I gave out to some local friends just before I left for Seattle. I started baking just after Thanksgiving and made a different kind almost each day. The types of cookies and candies I made and put in the boxes are: New York Times Chocolate Chip, Chocolate filled Bon Bon, Rum Ball, Karo Lace, Rocky Road, Lemon Squares, Magic Cookies, Kookie Brittle, Black Angus, Coffee Chocolate Truffle, and Honey Rum Chocolate Truffle

The last one- Honey Rum Chocolate Truffle- is referenced in the blog article for Coffee Chocolate Truffle as Alex Guarnaschelli’s Valentine’s Day Truffles

But that is not the list of restaurants we frequented. As I said, there were a lot of old friends and some new acquaintances. Our old friends included 8 oz, our go-to place for a hamburger, The Fat Hen, our place for a Eggs Benedict fix, Bakery Nouveau where not only do we have breakfast, but we pick up Kouign Amann and savory Croissants for Christmas morning and whenever. For Breakfast my muse had the Junction Croissant (​scrambled eggs bacon cheese) and I had a brown sugar and pecan Brioche. We both washed breakfast down with mochas.

Our other breakfast places included SeaTown, Skillet and a new cafe named Wild Mountain. At Seatown, ​my muse had the Fried egg sandwich (bacon, hash browns) while I had the Seatown breakfast (2 eggs sunny side up, bacon, hash browns). The thing about the hash browns is that they are made into a nice block, and then have truffle oil sprinkled on them. We both drank coffee. They leave a small pot on the table so there is plenty.

At Skillet I had the Chilaquiles and my muse had the Pork Belly-Cornmeal Waffle- my muse said the eggs were perfectly poached and the coffee was awesome Cafe Vita. I have to say, the chilaquiles were not so memorable that I can say exactly what they were.

Finally, we had a somewhat difference of opinion about Wild Mountain. We both had Bennies which met our expectations- the eggs were well poached. I had the BAT- bacon avocado & tomato while my muse had the regular. My muse didn’t like that the cafe is in a converted home, and you could still tell the different rooms- we ate in the converted dining room. Also, the furniture didn’t try to hide the converted home feeling.

The suppers I haven’t mentioned yet include new to us places of Gracia and Bastille, and other old favorites of Dalia Lounge, and Red Cow. Gracia didn’t win any awards from us; we were seated in a draft from the front door, and evidently got there before the full wait staff had arrived. As a result, we were never certain who our wait person was. The menu is like a taco place in that they come a la carte. My muse had a couple tacos and I had a taco and a tostada.
The taco was on a soft tortilla, and when I picked it up it tore through the side and I ended up eating it with a fork.

Bastille was a much better experience, and I am certain we will return again some time. I had the Lamb Daube, which is a lamb stew. and I do not remember what my muse had. I tried their flight of wines; there were three glasses- I photographed the notes for what the different wines were but the text is too small for me to read right now. I was somewhat upset that each wine was a mix of different varieties. I am use to getting just one variety in the glass when I order, such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, etc.

At Dahlia Lounge my muse had a hibiscus 75 cocktail, followed by bread salad, crab cakes with beans and greens, and dessert of donuts with marscapone and blueberry compote.
We shared Broccoli in black vinegar as well as bread & butter.
I had a martini cocktail, followed by short ribs w/carrots and mashed potatoes, Then coffee and coconut cream pie for dessert.

At Red Cow, we both had the 8 oz Wagyu Ribeye Cap.

And that is our epicurean tour of Seattle during Christmas 2017. I hope that if you find yourself in Seattle, some of our experiences will help you chose restaurants that you will find enjoyable and meeting all of your desires and criteria.

Errol