Sunday, March 28, 2010
I thought that I had perfected my tofu cheesecake recipe until I revisited Morimoto last month. My original tofu cheesecake recipe is still a big hit among my friends, family, and those of you who tasted it at the Tofu Dessert contest last year. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve made it, but Morimoto’s recipe immediately puts me in my amateurish place each time.
I could easily look up his recipe from the book and follow exactly. But that didn’t sound quite challenging enough for me. What if I develop my own recipe from scratch? Inspired by Morimoto, but still called my own. You bet. Last night I was up till 2am, trying for the fourth time to perfect this recipe. (Actually, I would have given up if it had failed again.)
The problem with cooking something that late at night is that one can easily make mistakes and not know about it until it becomes too late. And yes, I did… I realized that I only put half of the amount of crème fraiche after mixing in gelatin, pouring mixture into the pan and putting it in the fridge. I wanted bang my head against the wall. But then again, it was past 2am... Forget it.
Today when I woke up, I was not excited at all about checking my yet again unsuccessful tofu cheesecake. But I peeked cautiously into the fridge anyhow. After carefully removing the plastic wrap, it actually looked pretty good. Appearance check: passed! Next, the taste check. Mmm?!?? Oh my gosh… The mistake turned out to be an amazing discovery!! I seriously couldn’t believe how perfect it was.
Now, do I really want to share this recipe for free? Hmm... That’s a tough call. I mean, it’s one of the best recipes in my collection. But at the same time, I feel that it wouldn’t be worth anything unless it’s shared. So if you share this recipe with others, please kindly give me a credit. :) Enjoy!
P.S. Kitchen M will be offline for the next 7 weeks. I’ll be back on May 16th with pictures of Japan and Hong Kong and maybe with some goodies.
continue for the recipe...
The reason why it’s “almost” no-bake is that the actual cheesecake is no-bake, but the bottom, which you will have to make in ahead of time, is baked. I tried with different baking pans, dishes but spring form pan is probably the best if you are making it for the first time. (It’s just easier to remove the cake once it’s made.) Topping is optional. I used chopped pistachio and matcha powder for the color.
Ingredients (makes 1 -8” cake pan, serves 12-16):
Sponge cake for the bottom
½ c cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 large eggs yolks
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg white, at room temperature
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Butter for greasing the pan
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease 8” springform pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, beat egg yolks and 1/3 c sugar together. When the mixture gets light in color and thick, add vanilla extract and continue to beat for another couple of more minutes.
Gently, stir in dry mixture into the egg yolk mixture with rubber spatula. Do not over mix.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high speed until frothy. Add 2 Tbsp of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peak is formed.
Gently, fold in 1/3 of egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and repeat the same for the rest of egg whites.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool at the room temperature.
When the cake is completely cooled, slice the cake horizontally into two or thirds – varying on desired thickness. (You can save the other piece for second batch or something else.)
If you wish, clean the side of springform pan and re-attach. Leave the cake on the bottom and prepare the cheesecake filling.
For cheesecake filling
5oz (150 g) Silken Tofu
8 oz (1 pkg) Cream Cheese
3 Tbsp Butter
¼ c + 1 Tbsp Sugar
¼ c Kabosu Juice (You can use lemon juice if not available)
½ c Crème Fraiche
2 Tbsp Gelatin Powder
¼ c + 2 Tbsp warm water
In a large ceramic bowl (microwavable), add tofu, cream cheese and butter. Microwave for 5-10 seconds (x 3-4 times) to heat up a little bit at a time. (You don’t want the butter and cheese to melt completely.)
Mix with wired whip. When mixture becomes smooth, add sugar and continue to mix. Then add Kabosu juice and crème fraiche and mix again.
In a small ceramic bowl (microwavable) mix gelatin powder and warm water and mix well. If it’s not warm enough, microwave for 10-15 seconds. When gelatin powder is completely melted, stir it into the cheesecake mixture.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Serve chilled.