I’m really giddy because today is a super special day – exactly one year ago, to the day, I married my best friend. My confidant, my biggest supporter, and the one who can always make us smile. While this day marks our first year as a mr & mrs, we’ve actually been together for 7 years! Seven years!! I love him so much – I never knew that I would meet the man of my life in high school (who thinks that these days???? In fact in high school my mom was so whatever about meeting him because she never thought I’d meet the one so early). I fully realize I gush, unnecessarily, on this blog so I’ll stop this for now. We had a pretty typical weekend – date night on Friday, photographed a wedding together on Saturday, and then yoga (me) + taking Annie to her first nose work class today. Then of course, Alex made steak, his favorite dish. We drank some cab sauv and danced to our wedding song. Then we finished editing our New Zealand trip photos (finally), which you can find HERE. I’ve included some because I just love them so much, and it just transported me back to a beautiful, lush, country full of wonderful, kind people, sheep, and awe-inducing landscapes. It was probably one of our best trips, ever.Two other happy things: 1) we all know about the awesome supreme court decision, which made everyone in the vicinity tear up and hug each other with joy. 2) Definitely nowhere near as exciting, but I was super humbled and flattered that this little blog was mentioned in Culture Trip’s USA’s 10 Most Talented Food Bloggers to Follow. Yay! Ok, let’s talk cheesecake shall we? New Zealand was amazing. We drove for hours, kept each other company, bungee jumped, huddled in a private cabin during a torrential storm, floated through a cave gazing up at glowworms, ate meat pies, cruised along the milford sounds, swam with hundreds of dusky dolphins, and kayaked to the sunset at the marlborough sounds – with not another person in sight. There were INSANE SKIES, crazy animals, amazingly kind folks, hundreds of cute sheep, and tons of lord of the ring references. We posted up all 80+ photos on our photography page here, but I couldn’t resist sharing a couple favorites with you on my food blog. Hope you don’t mind! This is a long post indeed.
This cheesecake is not like normal cheesecakes. When you think cheesecake, what comes to mind? Rich, creamy, decadent? Well, this cheesecake will completely change your preconception of cheesecake, because it’s a Japanese soufflé cheesecake. When I first made a NY cheesecake, I was shocked by the amount of cream cheese that went into the dessert. It actually turned me off cheesecake. However, this Japanese soufflé cheesecake is completely different. It has 1.5 packages of cream cheese versus the typical 4?? packages of cream cheese, and it instead incorporates sifted flour and a whipped egg white meringue for its body. The resulting dessert is kind of a hybrid between spongy cake and cheesecake. It has the rich flavor of cheesecake but with a light, fluffy crumb. It’s moist, light, and irresistible. It also does not have a crust, because it does not need one. It holds by itself, perfect on its own. You can eat it with a dusting of powdered sugar or topped with berries. For this rendition, I spread some blueberry jam over the top and topped it with fresh summer berries. The base recipe is the one from Namiko. It’s the one I’ve always used – for years, and it’s simple and super reliable. I’ve never EVER had a problem with it. Just look at the texture:
You first start off by whipping up some fluffy cream cheese and sugar, then incorporating egg yolks, heavy cream, and butter. Then you incorporate twice sifted flour. After that, you whip up egg whites + sugar into a fluffy meringue. This is then folded, gently, into the egg yolk mixture, resulting in a super light, airy batter, kind of reminiscent of the batter for these spongy vertical cake rolls.
Even though you don’t have a crust, you still use a springform pan, baked at a LOW temperature (320F) in a water bath.
I want to tell you about our wedding. It was a small, intimate wedding with friends and family. We were married at a small, light-filled space on Treasure Island in the bay area. Alex’s sister and my cousin played cellos for the ceremony, one of my close friends officiated, and we had help from my girls with flowers, name cards, and all the other details. My parents and parents-in-law, of course, were just awesome and it was just beautiful. Even today, a year later, I can’t think of it without a huge smile spreading across my face. I cried during the ceremony and somehow chocked out my vows (Alex and I wrote our own!); I cried during my dad’s speech, I bawled during my twin sister’s toast; my cheeks hurt because I was smiling so much. Our wedding photographers were just fantastic. Also, hehe, I want to share a super funny story. I had fake eyelashes on for my wedding day, which made my eyes look so much bigger. It was not that uncomfortable and it made me feel glamorous. The glue held up really well – except, ha, when I started crying during the speeches!! The next thing I know, I was staring at my dinner plate with half my eyelash hanging off. Oh my gosh. Talk about panic and wedding crazes right? Luckily for me, one of my bridesmaids Diana wears these enhanced lashes pretty regularly and has a tube of glue + eyeliner in her clutch. Crisis averted :).
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- I highly recommend you use a scale to measure the dry ingredients.
- Make sure you keep the first four ingredients at room temperature.
- Make sure you wrap your springform pan tightly in foil so that no water can seep through and affect your cheesecake
- When you are finished baking, do not skip the step of leaving your oven door slightly ajar. For a cheesecake without any cracks or collapsing, you want to gradually cool the cake down. Any sudden change in temperature may crack or collapse the cake.
Wooden server by Apple Doesn’t Fall, gold-rimmed dessert plates by Suite One Studio
Recipe: Summer Berry Japanese Soufflé Cheesecake
from Just One Cookbook, but berry-style!!
400g (14.1oz) cream cheese at room temperature
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
200 ml heavy cream, at room temperature
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
80g all purpose flour, sifted twice
3 tbsp blueberry jam + splash water
6 egg whites, cold
berries to top. powdered sugar to top.
1| Prepare your springform pan: lightly grease your pan and fit a circle of parchment paper to the bottom of the pan. Wrap tightly with two layers of foil, making sure you have it snug to prevent any water seeping in. Make sure you have a roasting pan large enough to fit the springform pan.
2| Preheat oven to 320F.
3| Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy and smooth
4| Add in softened butter and beat until well incorporated and smooth.
5| Add in egg yolks and heavy cream and mix. Add in lemon juice and zest.
6| Add in sifted flour and mix until well incorporated.
7| Set aside. If you’re using a stand mixer, then clean stand mixer bowl thoroughly, as you’ll be using it for the meringue.
8| Whip egg whites with whisk attachment until foamy. Add in sugar, in three batches, while mixer is running. It will become thick, glossy, and form stick peaks. Simply lift the whisk attachment and if resulting peaks do not collapse, then it is ready. If the peaks are still falling over, beat for another 15-20 seconds, and check again. Do not overheat the eggs!
9| Add meringue to egg yolk mixture in 3 batches, folding at each one. Do not over-mix.
10| Pour batter into springform pan and tap it against the counter to remove air bubbles.
11| Place gently into roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the pan, so that it comes up about 1″ up the sides of the springform pan.
12| Bake at 320F for 60 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300F and bake for another 30 minutes.
13| Test with a toothpick – if no batter comes out from the middle, then turn off the oven. Leave the door slightly ajar for about 15 minutes. Then remove from oven and place springform pan onto a wire rack.
14| In a small saucepan, whisk jam + splash of water until soft and thin. Brush onto the surface of the cake.
15| When cake is completely cool, then remove pan and place in the fridge for a few hours and let it set. Serve cold :).