Monday, December 19, 2011

meal plan monday: holiday treat

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I know, I know, I've been majorly slacking! I can't even use the holidays as an excuse because that'd  be stretching the truth very far. =) Because Christmas is this weekend I wanted to share this very tasty Japanese cheesecake with strawberry topping. I actually made this for Thanksgiving but it'd be perfect for Christmas too. This cheesecake is SO good, it's light and cloud like in your mouth.

MMMMmmmm right after cooling. I could have eaten this whole cake, it's even great without the topping!

Japanese Cheesecake
10.5 oz of cream cheese
this equals to a generous 3 tbsp of UNSALTED butter
3 yolks
1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
slightly less than 1 tbsp cornstarch
2/3 cup of milk
3 egg whites
1/4 cup of sugar + 1 tsp
Use a 7 in. cake pan with a fixed bottom.
Place parchment paper in the cake pan and make notches in the sides so it lays flat
Preheat the oven to 350°.  Put the egg whites into the freezer so it just begins to freeze around the edges.  Sift the cornstarch.
Wrap the cream cheese in clear wrap and microwave until it becomes soft to the touch.  You do not want to heat it up.  (I did this in about 15 second intervals.)
In a large bowl, melt the butter over a double boiler *place a heat safe bowl on top of a pot of boiling water*.  Add the cream cheese and whisk well to combine.
In another bowl, combine the egg yolks and 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of sugar.  Mix in the cornstarch.
Heat the milk so it comes to a boil.  Add it to the egg yolks and whisk until it thickens in a double boiler over boiling water.  Add this mixture to the cream cheese and combine well.
Add a small amount of the 1/4 c + 1 tsp of sugar to the egg whites and mix on medium low speed for about 2 minutes.  Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and beat on medium until a soft meringue forms.
Add ¼ of the meringue to the cream cheese mixture and combine.  Add the remaining meringue to the cream cheese mixture and fold to combine.  Fill the cake pan and smooth the top.
Put the cake pan in a roasting pan and add boiling water so it comes up 1-1.5 cm up the cake pan.  Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 320° and continue to bake for 25 minutes until the top turns slightly golden.  Turn off the oven and leave the cake pan for another 40 minutes to an hour.  (I left mine for 40 minutes.)
Note: The cake will continue to bake with the heat off so do not over bake.  Depending on the oven, the cake may not turn golden but should avoid cooking much longer than the suggested time.
Take the cake out of the roasting dish and place on a wire rack to cool completely.  Refrigerate and chill completely before taking it out of the pan.  It is best served the second day.

Whew, that was hard work. That entire recipe was done in grams and Celsius. I tried to go through and make sure all the oven temps were changed over to Fahrenheit. Please pay attention the the yellow highlighted sugars... don't mix that up as I almost did. =)

*recipe from green cilantro*

As far as the strawberry topping goes, i just used a basic recipe i found on all recipes. It was sweet but not overly sweet. I definitely could have used a little less topping but hey... I hate to waste! 

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