Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Featherlight cheesecake



The first sight you'd see if you walked into a primary school classroom would be the interesting artworks, mounted onto brightly coloured cardboard strung up in neat rows above your head and stuck onto onto every bit of wall. There'd always be the beautiful artworks which immediately draw your attention and there'd be the simple and ordinary artworks surrounding it, quickly forgotten unless it was created by yourself or your own child. My artworks always fell into the latter category- I was never the artistic type. My drawings only ever barely resembled what I'd attempt to draw. My paintings were even worse. And I could never get my colour combinations right.

In the first two years of high school, when I did visual arts, I always got average marks. I remember the first, and only, time I ever got a full marks for a cartoon, in which I'd drawn fruits simply because they were colourful and easy to draw. I was completely perplexed as to why I'd done so well, when so many others which I'd found very impressive scored lower whilst mine consisterd of simple line drawings with circles for eyes and a line for a mouth, like this :)

IMG_3810
As much as I found other people's artworks impressive, nothing quite compared to my amazement the day we chanced upon my friend, Steph's, artbook. She'd been in a different class and so I'd never seen any of her artwork, but when we accidently pulled her book out of the cupboard, we only needed to turn to her title page to be completely mesmerised by her artwork. We spent the remainder of the lesson slowly marvelling through her beautiful drawings and paintings. I'd never seen anything quite as amazing in real life and to this day, I'm still amazed by all her artwork- so much so that I was inspired to do something I hadn't done for ages- pick up a pencil and draw something.

Never one to learn to walk before running, I decided that while I was at it, I might as well fulfill my mother's wish of having a portrait of her drawn (a wish she's had even before I was born) so I grabbed a nice photo of her, a blank piece of paper and set about sketching her face. I picked up my pencil, slowly tracing out the shape before slowly sketching each and every little detail and actually found myself enjoying it! Before I knew it, hours had passed, the side of my hand had been coloured dark grey and I'd created my first portrait.

It was a rather amateur and childish attempt, probably describable as cute more than anything and definitely miles and miles and miles away from Steph's artwork. But still, the face was immediately recognisable, if a little dispropotioned and unlike anything I'd ever done before. And I was proud of it.

It's amazing how far a little effort can really get you!


But putting a little effort sometimes isn't quite as easy as it seems. With my cakes I always think that if I just put that teenie weenie bit more effort into decorating the cakes, they'd look a lot more presentable. But despite planning to do so, I always find I put so much too much time and effort into making sure that the cake itself tastes great, that by the time I get around to icing and 'decorating', I'll just slather the frosting on and hope for the best.

Decorating a cake prettily for me is an especially difficult task because I'm not a creative person. I can't just think of a nice way to arrange decorations on a cake and even when I'm copying a design, it never turns out quite right. But not being creative is not an excuse for anything- it means working harder to make up for it. My usual solution to any situation which requires creativity, whether it be designing something, decorating a cake or writing a creative writing piece, is to get inspiration from others. This is the reason I have a whole pile of cake shop brochures from Hong Kong which I look at whenever I'm baking a sponge cake.

I was determined to make this cake look good, so I chose a simple design- one which really could go wrong. One which requires close to no skill but still looks amazing. This cake design is completely copied from the bakery Patisserie-C'est Mieux. Admittedly, I don't actually remember taking the brochure in the first place, but their cake designs were all simple yet beautiful.


For the cake, I decided to use a cheesecake simply because that was what was used in the brochure- and it gave me an excuse to try this featherlight cheesecake from Wendy's blog. True to it's name, it was very light- perhaps one of the lightest cakes I've ever made. I made the mistake of taking it out of the oven too early (because I think my electric oven is a little on the cool side) and had to put it back in the oven again after it had cooled considerably and then accidently left it in the oven after turning it off. This left the bottom half of the cake really weird but the top half of the cake was still perfect- light (but in a different way to most sponges) and delicious but surprisingly not cheesy!!

As for the cake decorating, it didn't come out as beautifully as in the brochure- I should have used a bigger spoon and fork and my fruit arrangement is rather messy but it still looked pretty good and I was proud of it =) It'll probably be a while until I start thinking of my own designs but I think I'll take it one step at a time!

IMG_3812

Featherlight Cheesecake from Wendy

250gm milk
20gm butter
125gm cream cheese(room temperature)

50gm flour
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
80gm sugar

Pinch of salt
½ Tbsp cocoa powder (I omitted this)
1 Tbsp boiling water (I omitted this)

1. Line the base of a 8 inch square pan and preheat the oven at 150/160C.
2. In a medium sized bowl, cream cream cheese until smooth.
3. Bring milk and butter to a boil and pour ¼ of it into cream cheese and gently stir until incorporated. Pour in another ¼ the milk and stir again. Lastly pour in all the milk and stir until smooth. (At this point, prepare some boiling water)
4. Let the cheese mixture cool down and put in flour. Mix until smooth. Then put in egg yolks and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
5. In another clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Put in salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks. Put in sugar gradually and beat until stiff.
6. Put 1/3 of egg whites into cheese mixture and fold gently but quickly.
7. Pour the cheese mixture into the egg whites and fold until well incorporated.
8. Mix cocoa powder with boiling water until smooth. Put in a few tablespoons of the cheese batter and mix until a smooth chocolatey batter is formed.Pour main cheese batter into prepared pan. Drizzle chocolate batter over main cheese batter. Use a knife and cut through the batter to create a marbling effect.(I skipped this step)
9. Put pan into slightly bigger but shallower pan. Fill the bigger pan with boiling water until halfway up and bake for 50-60 minutes.
10. When cake is baked, remove from oven and release the sides of the cake from the pan immediately by running a knife between the sides of the cake and the pan. Leave it to cool down totally and chill until cold before cutting.

44 comments:

j3ss kitch3n said...

featherlight cheesecake i can't resist them looks very delicious von!

BLEH =T said...

YVONNE!!! this cake looks very yummy :). do i get some too? haha.

grub said...

what are you talking about, not creative? i think your cake looks so AMAZING! that i want to reach into my screen and gobble it! hows post HSC treating you? having fun? i just finished VCE yesterday and am bored to death. back to the baking schedule tmr :)

lena said...

hi, to me it looks more than beautiful! ..and it's amazing to hear that you're also trying to sketch a portait of your mom..just lovely!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

If ever my kids draw a portrait of me, no matter how it turns out, it'll be something dear to my heart. It's the effort and thought that counts.

Yeah, this cake is not a cheezy one, but taste different than on a regular sponge.

Moogie said...

Girl..... I'm all about presentation. And you have simply nailed it with this beautiful work. WOW

Kristy Sayer said...

This cheesecake looks DIVINE! I love the fork and spoon imprint and the chocolate swirls - is that a treble clef?

PlumLeaf 李葉 said...

I think the decoration went very well - I think it looks professional! The spoon and fork I feel, are the right size too.

Sounds like a lovely recipe! I might use that when there is a special occasion coming up.

Anh said...

Yes, I know this cheesecake! A favourite in my family as well :)

OohLookBel said...

The cheesecake is beautifully simple in its own right, but the icing sugar and strawberries do take it to the next level - it's lovely!

Vivienne said...

I'm def no the creative ones too...in primary school I was always so 'safe' in my artworks and never exploring or trying new things!
but wow your cake..looks beautiful for sure! reminds me of jap cheesecake! so delish!
and good on ya for attempting the portrait..im sure your mum appreciates it :D

Esther said...

Your cake looks perfect! You are getting better and better at baking cakes. I love how you used the dainty spoon and fork to decorate the cake. I think it looks really nice with the small spoon and fork, very cute. :) Sounds like you're having a great vacation! I really want to learn how to make these types of cakes, but I'm scared of the eggs. Was it simple or hard to make for you? Do you think it's easy to mess up the mixing process? I wanted to make this before, but I'm too scared. haha Great job!

Chow and Chatter said...

looks amazing you are such a talent, maybe you would consider guest posting for chow and chatter :-)

elpi said...

so red and lovely. .This version looks especially tasty.

Von said...

Hi Jess! Thankyou! Now that I've tried it, I don't think I can resist them either!

Hi Andrew! First you want ice cream and now you want cake?? You must be the greediest person I've ever known =P haha.....okay. You get your cake when you give me ice cream ;)

Hi grub! Thanks! YOu're BORED?!?! =O haha....but yay for baking! post HSC has been awesome for me- so much time to do all the things I've been wanting to do for AGES!

Hi Lena Thanks!

Hi Wendy! Thanks for the recipe =) That's the same thing my parents always say too!

Hi Moogie! Thankyou!

Hi Kristy! Yup =) I haven't drawn one for AGES.....and drawing it with chocolate was a lot harder than I thought =S haha...

Hi PlumLeaf! Thanks! Do try it- it's really good!

Hi Anh! And it's not hard to see why!

Hi OohLookBel! Thanks!

Hi Vivienne! haha...me too! I never really enjoyed art- just wanted to finish it and hand it in =D This is pretty much a japanese cheesecake- only a little bit lighter =) And thanks! My mum loved the portrait =D

Hi Esther! Thanks! haha...it wasn't my idea anyway but I love the spoon and fork too! I've made quite a few sponge cakes before so it wasn't all that hard- I think the most important thing is not to overmix the batter, because it deflates really easily and to make sure it is completely baked before takiing out of the oven....otherwise you'll end up with a cake like mine =S haha....

Hi Chow and Chatter! Ngaw...thanks! I've never done a guest post before- it sounds like fun!

Hi Elpi! Thanks!

Steph said...

Von that is seriously one of the prettiest cakes I've seen! and it doesn't matter if you copied if from other picture because in the artworld, that kinda thing happens alll the time! :P but yeah I love it!! especially the spoon and fork bit :)

Thanks for the mention :) It means a lot when people like my artworks =D

Can't wait to see you tomorrow!! :D:D

Susan: My Food Obsession said...

I think your cheesecake looks wonderful! I have been looking for a light and fluffy cheesecake recipe for quite some time.

Thanks for sharing, I will definitely be trying this one out!

Christine@Christine's Recipes said...

My family loves this kind of featherlight cheesecake a lot. It'd be gone very quickly for sure.

Anncoo said...

Your cheesecake decoration looks perfect and I love this recipe :)

Quay Po Cooks said...

What a clever cale decoration! Looks yummy too.

Faith said...

We have a winnder here! Great job on the cheesecake. I love the docortation too. Looks so yummy.

Juliana said...

Featherlight cheesecake? I would love to try this one :-) I absolutely love the way you decorated the cheesecake with the fork and spoon "shape", SO SO cute ;-)

tigerfish said...

This is the kind of Japanese soft and light cheesecake I enjoy. Well, maybe I should say, I like most classic cheesecakes. :)

Zoe said...

So cute :D I like the way you dust the icing over the fork and spoon! Very nice presentation!

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Aww that is absolute cuteness! I'm not one for decorating either, once I'm done I like to just slop on some frosting and dig in though when it's a gift to someone I will try and I mean try to decorate it nicely.

Reeni said...

Your cheesecake looks heavenly! And I like the way you decorated it! Very cute!

SteelCityFlan said...

Von, this is gorgeous! I don't care if you copied the design, I love it, and it looks great :) Plus, cheesecake. Yummeh. I especially like the little chocolate musical symbols...did you make those yourself? Either way it looks excellent and you should be very, very proud! :D

grace said...

yum. i have no artistic ability whatsoever, but buddy, i can bake, and i can make this! :)

Everybody Eats Well in Flanders said...

Wowee, how pretty! Looks absolutely delicious too! I have never made cheesecake before, so gonna copy down this recipe, thanks :)

sensiblecooking said...

That cheesecake got me drooling when I was reading the post. love the little musical signs with chocolate. And strawberry and bluberry. Indeed a masterpiece.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

that's one gorgeous cake!...and i am crap at decorating food T_T

foodies at home said...

Ok so probably one the best decorated cheesecake I have ever seen! I almost wouldn't want to bite into it!

lynne said...

omg, i love the way you decorated the cheesecake! It's sooo cute! Plus, I love the name...featherlight...sounds so..well, light!

Maria @ Scandi Foodie said...

It looks gorgeous!

Amy @ cookbookmaniac said...

This looks absolutely delightful. If I ate this at a cafe I'd be a happy little customer.

Sheena said...

This cheesecake looks just perfect!

Cooking Gallery said...

The cheesecake looks indeed featherlight! And what a beautiful presentation, Von :). Have a wonderful weekend!

++MIRA++ said...

lol! love the fork and spoon design

Patty said...

Very well done! Sometimes the most simple designs are the most attractive. I can't decorate or design a cake to save my life, but I find people respond very well to my minimalist/simple decorations. I love the little spoon/fork design you've got going here - adorable and the fruit is a very nice touch. nice!

Betty said...

your decorating is lovely i love the little music symbol too :O)

Dee D. said...

there are no words to describe how amazing this sounds and looks to me. Seriously. I actually hate eating cheesecake because it's so dense! I will definitely try this out!

Zoe said...

Von, I am passing on 2 more awards to you (at my blog). Thanks for giving me lots of cooking inspirations.

sensiblecooking said...

Merry Christmas Von.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Wow, I am now curious about that portrait. I have made this cake before but you have jazzed it up really pretty with the fruits. Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas and lot's of beautiful things for the coming new year!

Related Posts with Thumbnails