From mini cheesecakes to Japanese cheesecake

Which is more heartbreaking? Baking a cake that didn’t rise or a cheesecake that deflated? I think they both are! Especially when you have invested so much passion and excitement in making it- to serve or offer it to someone special or some special people; or merely satisfying your personal satisfaction on being able to create something new. My mini cheesecakes looked so lovely in the beginning- I was already imagining how smooth and delicious they are. I have made cheesecakes before and they turned out well. These cuties shouldn’t be any different! And look at them … don’t they hold a lot of promise?

So I thought then- but now, when I look closely- there's an impending disaster the way there are traces of cracks beginning to form to my chagrin- this is how they looked the moment I opened the oven door!

I was so sad! How can I fail in making these? But of course I know I did something wrong or there’s something I didn’t do that they turned out this way. I have to make something to redeem myself. Another cheesecake! But something I haven’t done and I came up with this beautiful cheesecake specie- the Japanese cheesecake. I was like a kid feeling triumphant when I saw how pretty it is after spreading the strawberry preserve on top… and wrote this little poem in celebration... :-)

Sweet thoughts, sweet tooth
Cheese cake so silky and smooth
When I’m having a bad day
And things turn the other way
I think of cheese cake so yummy
To bring out smiles and a happy tummy
Now I can just forget
Failed mini cheesecakes I once baked

Japanese Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping


1 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 Cup whole milk
1/2 Cup baker's sugar
3 Eggs, separated
1/4 Cup cornstarch
2 tbsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
2 1/2 Cups boiling water


Spray a 9-inch cake tin with cooking oil spray
Beat cream cheese with milk to soften
Add half of the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and lemon juice to the beaten cream cheese
Beat until smooth
Beat egg whites separately, in a medium sized bowl, until fluffy
Gradually, add the remaining sugar and the cream of tartar to the egg whites, beating on high speed until soft peaks form (about 8-10 minutes)
Gradually fold beaten egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, stirring gently
Pour into cake pan and smooth the surface
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Place cake pan into a larger roasting pan and place in the lower rack of oven
Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come half way up the side of the cake pan
Bake for 35-40 minutes. (mine took an hour to bake and i followed someone's advice to play safe put an aluminum foil tent over the cake on its last 20 minutes of baking)

Strawberry topping:

In a small saucepan, I added 1/4 c water to half a cup of my strawberry preserves to loosen it, stirring constantly and simmer into syrup like consistency. Spread on top of the cake evenly and garnish with a sliced fresh strawberry and a sprig of mint leaves.


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