My favorite part of cooking is the learning experience. Just like crafting food in a game, you need to start with a solid foundation and slowly teach yourself new techniques. In Final Fantasy XIV, you can start your life as a culinarian by visiting a master and getting a few quest to learn the basics of cooking. In the real world you start by looking for references on the internet or recipes from friends. Once you’ve gotten more comfortable with basics you begin to experiment with new combinations. This continues everyday in one’s cooking life. I find myself learning something new all the time and it is one of the main reasons I love posting these recipes here.
After several attempts and careful tweaking I can proudly present my Japanese style cheesecake. This recipe on the surface seems very easy but there are several steps that can lead to the cake not being perfect. Just like a culinarian in FFXIV, you must be patient, ready to execute steps when needed and willing to try again if things don’t turn out as you expect. The most difficult part of this recipe is combining the egg whites that have been mixed to stiff peaks to the egg yolk base. On my first few attempts, I either undermixed which lead to my cake being striped or overmixed which resulted in a flat cake. I would consider this one of the more complex recipes but the result is so fluffy and delicious.
Results: 1 cake
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
6 eggs, separated
½ cup + 3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1 ½ tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
¾ cup cake flour
Preheat your oven to 325℉. Place a double boiler (or a pot with a bowl that just covers the top) with water in the bottom pot over a medium-high heat. In the top pot (or bowl) place the cream cheese, butter and heavy cream. Heat until it becomes completely smooth.
Remove from the heat and add the maple syrup. Stir really well and then let it sit to completely cool.
In a small bowl combine the egg yolks, cornstarch, salt and lemon juice. Mix well.
Add the egg yolk mixture to the cooled cream cheese mixture. Whisk in the cake flour and mix until combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer place the egg whites and sugar. Mix until the egg whites reach stiff peaks.
Take a third of the egg whites and mix it in pretty well. Add another third and carefully fold in until well combined.
Add the remaining third of the egg whites and gently fold them in. Fold them in until you see no streaks. Remember if you under stir, your cake will have streaks but if you over stir, your cake will be flat. This is probably the most nerve racking step.
Take a springform pan, wrap it in aluminum foil and place parchment paper on the inside (as picture above). Carefully pour the cake batter into the pan. To remove excess air bubbles from the cake, drop the pan on a counter several times.
Place the cake pan in a large, deep baking tray. Pour hot water in the baking tray until about halfway up on the cake pan. This is done to avoid harshly cooking the cake and to prevent major cracks from forming on the top.
Place the tray on the lowest rack of the oven and bake for 70 minutes. After the cook time has completed, turn off the heat and crack open the oven. Leave the cake in there for 30 minutes. This will help prevent the cake from over shrinking (some will happen but not too much). Allow the cake to cool and enjoy.