Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Japanese Cheesecake (with cream)


Less than two weeks to go before Chinese New Year, and I can see many food-bloggers posting recipes for CNY cookies. I haven't started making any yet, though usually I just stick to making pineapple tarts. My sister just came back from Malaysia and brought over a few jars of CNY goodies which I have started snacking on, and at this rate, there might not be any left by the time CNY comes around. Anyway, I plan to make the tarts closer to CNY so that they are still fresh when I serve them to friends and family. In the meantime, instead of twiddling my itching-to-bake fingers, I decided to try out this cheesecake recipe that was posted by Nami a few months ago on Just One Cookbook.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hokkaido Cupcakes with Cream

 

One thing that often plagues me is that I can never get my sponge cakes to be soft and fluffy like the ones from the Chinese bakeries. There has to be some sort of special ingredient that gives the cake that ethereal texture, and for a long time, the answer has eluded me. I am generally not an advocate of instant cake mixes, as I find that they usually produce cakes with an unpleasant chemical aftertaste. This time however, I had to succumb to the fact that I am never going to achieve the perfect sponge unless I use a sponge cake mix of some sort. When I chanced upon this Hokkaido cake mix at a baking supplies store a few weeks ago, my gut (or more like my stomach) told me to grab a packet immediately. I then realised that I didn't have a recipe for the cake. Fortunately, when I approached the shop owner about it, she smiled and said "I'll give you the recipe". She proceeded to pull out a thick folder bursting with recipe printouts of all sorts, and handed me a small cut-out of the Hokkaido cake recipe which I safely tucked into my pocket. I continued eyeing the folder whilst secretly hatching a plan to recipe-nap it and run away. Well, that didn't happen, but I did ask her (nicely) for another recipe.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs


I grew up in a culture where rice is a staple food, and almost every meal (that my mum cooked) would consist of boiled white rice served with a variety of meats, soups and vegetables. Mum's a fantastic cook who takes pride in the food she prepares for us, which is why I always look forward to her cooking whenever I go back to visit. I try to learn as much as I can from her, although in the much earlier years, before my foray into the kitchen, I was merely interested in consuming the end product and not so much how it was prepared.  I have, however, picked up many kitchen tips from her since then, which are truly invaluable and have probably saved me from countless pain and heartaches in the kitchen. Thanks Mum!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creamy Japanese Cheesecake with Sponge base

 
 
This cheesecake is kind of a cross between cotton soft Japanese cheesecake and American (NY style) cheesecake. Though it does not have the chiffon cake properties of the former, it is not as dense as its American counterpart. From the photos here, you can sort of tell that the cheese layer is slightly fluffy, and there is a layer of sponge cake on the base as well. This version of cheesecake is quite similar to the Hokkaido cheesecake sold at Breadtop, However, I would have preferred a lighter, smoother and fluffier texture, and less "cheesey". Maybe it's just that I overfolded the egg whites and lost all that air and fluffiness. In my next attempt (not so soon), I might use use less cream cheese, add more fresh cream and toss in some cake flour, and see how that turns out.