Cheesecake Galore Part 1

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Two months ago, I attended a workshop organised by At 19 Culinary Studio in conjunction with their series of Open Day demos to attract new students to sign up for the various classes available. Being eager to improve my baking skills, I registered for Cheesecake Galore Part 1 which was conducted by Sandy who is a cake decorator. The class focused on 2 recipes - Baked Japanese Cheesecake & Chilled Blueberry Cheesecake.

There were 6 of us in the class, naturally we were divided into 2 groups of 3 each. We started of learning how to prepare the Japanese version of the baked cheesecake. This cake is known for its soft, fluffy texture & less cheesy compared to other cheesecakes. It is technically challenging to bake this cake because every step is crucial to achieve the softness & fluffiness of the cake. One mistake made will spoil the texture & the mouth feel becomes less satisfactory. According to Sandy, we will not have problems with making other cheesecakes or baking other cakes if we're able to master the techniques required.

True as it is, one of my group members made a mistake by pouring the melted butter into the sponge cake mix before combining it in a mixer. The right step would be to pour the melted butter partially while mixing the sponge cake mix in the mixer. With that mistake, as a result, the sponge cake layer was tougher than it should be & less spongy than we hoped for. A lesson well learnt as it allows us to understand better each & every step & to differentiate what's the right or wrong cake texture.

After baking the sponge cake layer which serves as the base, the cream cheese mixture was poured over the sponge cake layer in a cake tin foil. We put the cake tin into the oven to bake for about 30 mins at 160 Celsius. The cake was baking beautifully inside the oven while we moved on to the next recipe.

The Chilled Blueberry Cheesecake, like all other chilled cheesecakes, is a fairly simple recipe for amateurs like us to master. There is no need to bake the cake & it's all about making sure the ingredients are combined well or risk having lumpy texture. All cheesecakes require a biscuit base in order to hold the cream cheese layer in place & this one is no exception. As soon as the ingredients were combined, we poured it into the prepared cake tin foil. Then we spread blueberry jam evenly over the cream cheese layer & immediately store the cakes in the chiller. Meanwhile, our Japanese cheesecakes were ready & left to cool on the rack.

Due to time constraint, we had to remove the blueberry cheesecakes from the chiller only after half an hour. By practice, chilled cheesecake needs to chilled overnight to allow the cake to set in before serving. It still can be consumed, the only thing is it will taste more like a cream dessert rather than a proper cheesecake. Each of us get to bring home our masterpiece. =D

Although my Japanese cheesecake turned out to be stiff & heavy, it still tasted good in the mouth. Yesh! Whereas the blueberry one tasted heavenly...more than enough to satisfy my midnight craving. XD