1 year ago, inspired by the blue moon, I decided to make Japanese chiffon cheesecake. I made many. And the results were all the same.
I gave up. Or rather, my family suggested that I gave up. There’s a limit to how much failed cheesecake they could stomach.
1 year later …
Last month, while searching for a fried Beehoon recipe, an innocuous tap landed me on this popular cheesecake recipe post by bing. It had very detailed instructions and photos; enough to give this failed baker sufficient confidence to attempt to bake it again. 3 disastrous turns took place before a moderately successful outing was had with the 4th.
Mistake: mixing the ingredients without melting them over double-boiler first (since ingredients were de-frosted at room temperature, I thought I could skip that).
At this point, I got a bit stupefied and panicked. Kept poring over bing’s photos. Over and over. Was it supposed to look like this? In the end, I had no choice but to stick it into the oven.
The cake got baked but looked crumbly and moistly.
Mistake: did not fold whites into batter properly and oven was too hot.
I thought I could get it right this time. Somehow, success still eluded me.
The cake seemed a bit raw still.
Mistake 1: took too long to melt the ingredients (did not defrost ingredients long enough) and did not cool mixture with ice before folding.
Mistake 2: did not grease the sides of pan
This one was a rush job. So I had it coming. When I peeped into the oven, this was the horror that i saw.
When they rose too fast, you can be sure they’d collapse royally.
Since I used a non-stick pan, I thought I would try once without greasing the pan. Then I almost tore it apart even more.
The cheese sank resoundingly, to the bottom. It was worse than before because the heat rose too quick.
Fourth Try: Moderate Success
Learning from the mistakes above, firstly, had the ingredients as near to room temperature as possible, especially the butter. Melted them over double-boiler, and then cooled the mixture over a tray of water with ice. Also tried to fold in the whites as well as I could but bowl didn’t have a flat base so this was compromised. Best to use flat-base bowls for folding. Finally, lowered the oven temperature.
Surprisingly, the cake rose evenly and stayed. It looked good from the outside, but the inside was another story.
I’m going to take a break from cheesecake baking after this. On to a new challenge!
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