Japanese Souffle Cheesecake

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I first tried Japanese souffle cheesecake on a visit to Taiwan and really liked it.  As its name suggests, it’s fluffier and lighter than American cheesecake.  The gluten-free version is somewhat crumbly, but if you use a sharp knife and clean off the blade between cuts, that should help.

Original recipe

 

Japanese Souffle Cheesecake
Adapted from Just One Cookbook

Yield: 9″ cake

For cake:

  • 400 (14.1 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons+1/2 cup (60 g+100 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 200 ml heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rum (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature

For the glaze:

  • 3 Tbsp apricot jam, or other seedless jam of your choice
  • 1 tsp water

 

  1. Measure out cream cheese, butter, egg yolks, and heavy cream, and bring them to room temperature.
  2. If you feel motivated, lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.  This will make the sides of the cheesecake look tidier and make removal easier.  However, I just served it directly from the base of the pan, so I skipped the extra step.
  3. Wrap base and sides of pan with aluminum foil, preferably extra-large heavy duty foil.  Make sure the foil comes up the sides to prevent seepage from the water bath.
  4. Center rack in oven and preheat to 320°F.  Boil water for water bath.
  5. While water is coming to a boil, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth.
  6. Beat in butter and mix until smooth.
  7. Beat in egg yolks and heavy cream and mix until smooth.
  8. Beat in lemon juice and rum and mix until very smooth.
  9. If desired, sift flour twice before beating it in all at once.  (I skipped the sifting.)  Again, mix well.
  10. Pour batter into a large bowl.
  11. Wash mixer bowl and dry completely.  Any oil or water will prevent the meringue from fluffing up properly.
  12. In the clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy.
  13. While continuing to beat, pour in sugar in three additions.
  14. Beat on high speed until meringue forms stiff peaks.  It should double in volume and look thick and glossy.  Don’t overbeat, or you won’t be able to fold the meringue into the batter properly.
  15. Add 1/3 of the meringue to batter and mix well to lighten batter.
  16. Add the rest of the meringue in 2-3 more additions, gently folding it in with a rubber spatula.
  17. Pour batter into pan and drop the pan from a height of 2-3″ onto the countertop to remove any air bubbles.
  18. Set cake pan in large roasting pan and pour in boiling water until it comes 1″ up the sides of the cake pan.
  19. Bake for 60 minutes, or until light golden brown.
  20. Lower temperature to 300ºF and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Don’t worry if the top has cracked a little.
  21. Turn off oven and crack the door open. Let cake sit in oven for 15 minutes so it can cool gradually.
  22. Take cake out from oven, remove aluminum foil, and place springform pan on wire rack to cool.
  23. In a small bowl, heat jam and water in microwave for 30 seconds.  It will be very runny.
  24. Spoon jam glaze onto cake and spread evenly with the back of the spoon.
  25. Cool cake completely, transfer to serving platter, and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.  (Or you can just leave the cake in the pan.)  Cover to prevent it from picking up any other flavors.
  26. To serve, cut cake with a fishing line or a warm knife.  For the cleanest cuts, run knife under hot water and wipe off before each cut.
  27. Cake can be stored, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.  Just defrost at room temperature while covered.  The glaze looks best the day it’s applied, so I would store the cake unglazed.
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Whipped Cream

Sometimes the most basic recipes are also among the most useful.  I certainly find myself making whipped cream often to serve with golden pound cake, lemon pound cake, strawberry pie, blueberry pie, and much more.  (One friend treats baked goods as delivery mechanisms for whipped cream….)

 

Whipped Cream
From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup very cold heavy cream
  • 1-4 tablespoons powdered sugar, to taste
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla extract, to taste (optional)

 

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat cream and sugar until cream starts to thicken.  Start slowly and gradually increase speed as cream gains texture.
  2. Beat until cream reaches desired consistency.  (Don’t beat too long, or you’ll get butter.)  Stir in vanilla extract, if using.
  3. Whipped cream is best used soon after it is made, but you can store it for up to 1 day.  Line a strainer with a piece of dampened cheesecloth, spoon cream into strainer, place strainer over a bowl, and wrap bowl and strainer in plastic wrap.  Place entire setup in refrigerator.  The cream will lose its excess moisture and thicken.

 

Basil-Cheese Pizza

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I know this isn’t a dessert or even a snack by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s gluten free and turned out well, so I thought I’d share it.  Although we made a vegetarian basil-cheese pizza, you can use whatever toppings you like.

Original recipe

 

Basil-Cheese Pizza
Adapted from Epicurious

Yield: Two 10-inch pizzas

 

For tomato sauce:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with added purée
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

For crust:

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, from 1 (1/4-ounce) package
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

 

For topping:

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

 

 

Make tomato sauce:

  1. In a 4-quart nonreactive saucepan over very low heat, stir together tomatoes and oil.
  2. Bring to simmer, cover partially, and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until sauce is reduced to 1 cup, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in sugar, salt, and oregano, cover. Keep warm or refrigerate, covered, up to 5 days.

 

Make pizza crust:

  1. In bowl of electric mixer, whisk together gluten-free flour, xanthum gum, and salt.
  2. In small saucepan over moderate heat, stir together milk and 1/4 cup water and heat until warm but not hot to the touch, about 1 minute (the mixture should register between 105°F and 115° F on candy thermometer).
  3. Stir in yeast and sugar.
  4. Add milk–yeast mixture, egg whites, and 2 tablespoons oil to dry ingredients and, using paddle attachment, beat at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until dough is very smooth and very thick, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove racks from oven, set pizza stone or heavy upturned baking sheet on bottom of oven, and preheat to 400°F. (Preheat at least 45 minutes if using pizza stone or 20 minutes if using baking sheet.)
  6. Have ready two 12-inch squares parchment paper. Scrape half of dough onto each square and form each half into a ball.
  7. Coat each ball with 2 teaspoons oil, then use oiled fingertips to pat and stretch each ball into 9-inch-diameter round, 1/4 inch thick, with a 1/2-inch-thick border.
  8. Loosely cover rounds with plastic wrap and let rise in warm draft-free place until each pizza is about 10 inches in diameter, about 20 minutes.
  9. Using baking peel or just holding the corners of the paper, transfer 1 crust with parchment to preheated pizza stone and bake until top is puffed and firm and underside is crisp, 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Using baking peel and discarding parchment paper, transfer baked crust to rack to cool.  If you don’t have a baking peel, hold the corners of the paper to transfer the crust to the rack, then slide the paper out from under the crust.
  11. Bake second crust in same manner.
  12. Baked crusts can be made ahead and frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap, up to 1 month. Thaw in 350°F oven until hot, 4 to 5 minutes, before topping and broiling.

Top and broil pizzas:

  1. Preheat broiler. Transfer baked crusts to 2 large baking sheets.
  2. Brush 1 teaspoon olive oil over each crust.
  3. Spread each with sauce, leaving 1/2-inch border bare, then sprinkle each with mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  4. Drizzle remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over pizzas.
  5. Broil pizzas about 4 inches from heat, rotating as needed for even browning, until cheese is bubbling and browned in places and crust is golden brown, 4 to 8 minutes.
  6. Scatter with basil, slice, and serve immediately.