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I join a group on Facebook called Baking Wonderland, and people pose all kinds of delicious food photos all the time. This cheesecake recipe comes from Baking Wonderland. What caught my eyes was that it uses only 3 simple ingredients: cream cheese, chocolate and eggs. Yes, very simple. Flourless and oil free too. Original 6-inch cake recipe calls for 3 eggs, 120g cream cheese and 120g chocolate. Since I don’t have 6-inch cake pan, 1 block of cream cheese in U.S. is 220g, and 1 package of chocolate chips is 10 oz, I figure I will just kinda double up the recipe to fit my 9-inch cake pan , and conveniently save my time measuring the amount of cream cheese and chocolate chips.

Why trial #1? Well, because this is a VERY simple recipe (we tend to like simple works don’t we all?). And who doesn’t like chocolate?? Plus, I made a boo boo this time during baking– I was supposed to turn off the oven and let the cake sit in the oven for another 15 minutes after baking at 300°F, but I forgot to turn off the oven heat!! So my cake baked an extra 15 minutes at the end, creating a cracked cake top. 😦

I could hardly wait for the cake to chill so I could try the taste. But… uh oh! The cake was a lot denser than I expected, and it was just too crumbly– I just couldn’t make a nice cut at all.  My mood went straight down to the bottom. The taste was good though– rich creamy chocolaty with a tangy flavor from the cream cheese. At the end, we finished this big piece of “chocolate crumbs”. Consider its simplicity, I might try making it again.

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Flourless Chocolate Souffle Cheesecake Trial #1

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Flourless Chocolate Souffle Cheesecake Trial #1– crumbs, crumbs, crumbs…

Flourless Chocolate Souffle Cheesecake (makes one 9-inch round cake)

Ingredients:

Egg yolk mixture:
8 oz. (1 block) cream cheese– room temperature
10 oz (1 package) bittersweet chocolate chips
5 egg yolks– room temperature

Egg white mixture:
5 egg whites– room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar or fresh lemon juice

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange oven rack to lower 2/3 (so the cake bakes in the middle of the oven). Boil a pot of water.
  2. Line the bottom of a  9-inch springform cake pan with parchment paper. Then double wrap the bottom of cake pan with foil (or put cake pan in a larger shallow pan). Prepare another large roasting pan for the water bath.
  3. Put cream cheese and chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir until it melts half way. Remove from the heat and continue mixing until all blended well. The mixture will be dense and sticky.
  4. Add in egg yolks, one at a time, and mix well to combine. The better will look smoother.
  5. Whip egg whites on high speed (KitchenAid Stand Mixer speed 8) until no visible clear egg whites. Add in cream of tartar or lemon juice, continue on high speed (speed 8). When the egg whites become meringue looking, turn down the speed (speed 6) so it whips out big air bubbles, whip for another 2-3 minutes until pointy peak forms.
  6. Gently fold in whipped egg whites into egg yolk mixture, in 3 batches, until all blended well. Pour batter into springform pan. Smooth the top.
  7. Add boiling water to the roasting pan (water level is about 1-2 inches high), then put cake (if using larger shallow pan: springform cake pan in shallow pan, then together in the roasting pan) in the roasting pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F, for 15 minutes. Then reduce further to 300°F for another 15 minutes. The cake should be done at this point (toothpick/skewer inserted into the cake center should come out clean). Remove from the oven. Cool completely before chilling in the fridge. Served chilled for best flavor.

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Tiramisu Cake Roll 提拉米蘇蛋糕卷

Tiramisu Cake Roll 提拉米蘇蛋糕卷

Ingredients:

Four mixture:
6 tbsp cake flour
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder

Egg yolk mixture:
6 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp golden rum

Egg white mixture:
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar

Filling:
3/4 cup tiramisu cream– see note below

for brushing (mix well, optional):
1 tbsp strong coffee
1 tbsp golden rum

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, place a oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line the bottom and 4 sides of a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly roll pan. Combine cake flour mixture.
  2. In a big bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar with a balloon whisk until it is pale yellow and fluffy, scrape the bowl several times. Add in milk, oil and salt. Mix well.
  3. Sift in cake flour in 3 batches, mix well until the batter is smooth after each addition. Add in rum, mix well again.
  4. Whip egg whites in a dry clean mixing bowl (I use KitchenAid stand mixer) on high speed (KA speed 8) until bubbles are small and no visible clear egg whites. Add in cream of tartar and continue whipping on high speed (speed 8). Scrape down the bowl if necessary.
  5. When egg whites turns white and the bubbles becomes very tiny, slowly pour in sugar. Continue whipping on high speed (speed 8), scraping down the bowl once, until it has a sheen appearance like a pearl. When you lift the whisk upside down, the egg whites will form a soft curl at the end of the tip (this is called soft peak. If the curl is too much then it’s not ready yet– continue whipping). Turn to low speed (speed 4) and whip for another 1-2 minutes. This is to remove any big bubbles in the egg whites so the cake will have a more delicate, fine texture.
  6. Gently fold in whipped egg whites into yolk mixture in 3 batches. Slowly pour batter onto the prepared jelly roll pan. Spread and smooth the top. Tap the pan a couple of times and bake at the middle rack of the oven for 15-18 minutes. Lightly press the top of the cake, if it springs back then the cake is done. Remove from the oven.
  7. Transfer the cake (with parchment) onto a cooling rack. Flatten out parchment paper on 4 sides of the cake.
  8. When the cake is cooled, place another piece of parchment paper (larger than cake) on top of the cake. Carefully and quickly flip cake and 2 sheets of parchment papers over (so the cake crust will face out when rolled up). Now the cake bottom is facing up. Remove parchment paper liner. Brush coffee+rum mixture on the surface if desired.
  9. Spread tiramisu cream evenly on the cake. With the short side facing you, roll up the cake like a jelly roll. Wrap the cake roll in the parchment paper and chill in the fridge before serving.  Before slicing each piece, run knife in hot water and wipe dry with a paper towel to ensure a nice clean cut.

Regina’s Note:

  • Tiramisu cream— since cake roll only requires 3/4 cup of tiramisu cream, I don’t border making it purposely. I just save some cream when I make tiramisu for the cake roll.

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We always have chocolate cake roll with sweetened whipped cream filling, so I decided to experimenting on a new flavor– just because I’ve wanting to get rid of the lemons in my fridge since long long ago. I personally like it for its refreshing taste, but the rest of the family are not a fan of the lemon whipped cream. Oh well, it doesn’t mean I won’t make this filling anymore, because when it comes to food in our house, I RULE (that’s right, Queen of the Chennaults!).

Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 檸檬奶霜巧克力蛋糕卷

Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 檸檬奶霜巧克力蛋糕卷

Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 檸檬奶霜巧克力蛋糕卷

Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 檸檬奶霜巧克力蛋糕卷

Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 巧克力蛋糕卷 (檸檬奶霜餡)

Ingredients:
Egg yolk mixture:
6 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp cake flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp hot water

Egg white mixture:
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar

Filling:
3/4 cup whipping cream– see note below
4 tbsp powder sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or adjust to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, place a oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line the bottom and 4 sides of a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly roll pan.
  2. In a big bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar with a balloon whisk until it is pale yellow and fluffy, scrape the bowl several times. Add in milk, oil and salt. Mix well.
  3. Sift in cake flour and cake flour in 3 batches, mix well until the batter is smooth after each addition. Add in hot water, mix well again.
  4. Whip egg whites in a dry clean mixing bowl (I use KitchenAid stand mixer) on high speed (KA speed 8) until bubbles are small and no visible clear egg whites. Add in cream of tartar and continue whipping on high speed (speed 8). Scrape down the bowl if necessary.
  5. When egg whites turns white and the bubbles becomes very tiny, slowly pour in sugar. Continue whipping on high speed (speed 8), scraping down the bowl once, until it has a sheen appearance like a pearl. When you lift the whisk upside down, the egg whites will form a soft curl at the end of the tip (this is called soft peak. If the curl is too much then it’s not ready yet– continue whipping). Turn to low speed (speed 4) and whip for another 1-2 minutes. This is to remove any big bubbles in the egg whites so the cake will have a more delicate, fine texture.
  6. Gently fold in whipped egg whites into yolk mixture in 3 batches. Slowly pour batter onto the prepared jelly roll pan. Spread and smooth the top. Tap the pan a couple of times and bake at the middle rack of the oven for 15-18 minutes. Lightly press the top of the cake, if it springs back then the cake is done. Remove from the oven.
  7. Transfer the cake (with parchment) onto a cooling rack. Flatten out parchment paper on 4 sides of the cake (see picture below). Cool for 5 minutes until the cake is not too hot to touch.
  8. Place another piece of parchment paper (larger than cake) on top of the cake. Carefully and quickly flip cake and 2 sheets of parchment papers over (so the cake crust will face out when rolled up). With the long side facing you, roll up the cake like a jelly roll (see picture below). This is to hold the shape while cooling and make rolling up later easier.
  9. While the cake is cooling, prepare fillings by whipping cream, powder sugar and lemon juice. Do not over whip (the mixture will start looks clumps) or it will becomes butter (in this case, just add in a little whipping cream and whip again).
  10. Unroll cooled cake, spread lemon whipped cream onto the cake, with a very thin layer of whipped cream at the end of the cake. Roll up the cake again, then wrap up with parchment paper or cling wrap. Chill in the fridge before serving. Before slicing each piece, run knife in hot water and wipe dry with a paper towel to ensure a nice clean cut.

Regina’s Note:

  • Whipping cream: As you can see from the pictures, I used too much whipping cream… should cut down to 1/2 cup whipping cream.
Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 檸檬奶霜巧克力蛋糕卷

Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 檸檬奶霜巧克力蛋糕卷

Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 檸檬奶霜巧克力蛋糕卷-- cooling the cake on a rack. Why  does it have a wrinkled top crust?

Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 檸檬奶霜巧克力蛋糕卷– cooling the cake on a rack. Why does it have a wrinkled top crust?

Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 檸檬奶霜巧克力蛋糕卷-- rolling up the cake and parchment papers  while it's still warm to hold the shape.

Chocolate Cake Roll with Lemon Whipped Cream 檸檬奶霜巧克力蛋糕卷– rolling up the cake and parchment papers while it’s still warm to hold the shape.

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This past summer when strawberries were in season, I made this roll after seeing the beautiful photos from 静心莲的BLOG, but my roll did not look pretty  like 静心莲的BLOG‘s~~ i don’t know why, but my cake roll never has the nice smooth golden top crust like many others. And this time I sprinkled too much chopped strawberries– which makes it worse to having a nice crust as the liquid from strawberries makes the crust more moist, more easily to peel off upon contact with fingers/ parchment paper/ cling wrap, and the strawberry color “smears” the cake the longer it sits. Frustrating!! I just don’t know what I did wrong as I followed the recipe to the T… On the good side, I love the flavor and colorful presentation– very different from a typical cake roll.

Strawberry Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling 草莓蛋糕卷 (軟起士餡)

Strawberry Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling 草莓蛋糕卷 (軟起士餡)

Strawberry Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling 草莓蛋糕卷 (軟起士餡)– recipe adapted from 静心莲的BLOG

Ingredients:

Egg yolk mixture:
6 egg yolks
2 tbsp sugar

Egg white mixture:
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
4 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp cake flour
1 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp milk

2 tbsp chopped fresh strawberries– about pea size– see note below

Fillings (see note below):
8 oz (block/tub) cream cheese
4 tbsp powder sugar
4 tbsp sour cream
10-12 whole fresh strawberries– remove stems and pat dry (see note below)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Position a oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line the bottom and 4 sides of a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly roll pan (no need to grease pan before lining)
  2. Combine butter and milk in a small bowl, microwave until butter melts. Mix to blend well. Keep warm.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar with a balloon whisk until pale yellow and fluffy.
  4. Whip egg white in a separate dry clean mixing bowl on high speed (I used KitchenAid, speed 8). When egg whites becomes small bubbles and no visible clear egg whites, add cream of tartar. Continue whipping on high speed (speed 8). Scrape down the bowl once.
  5. When egg white becomes white and very fine bubbles, slowly add in sugar, one tbsp at a time. Continue whipping on high speed (speed 8) until the meringue looks sheen like a pearl. Turn down to low speed (speed 4) and whip for 1-2 minutes. This is to whip out any bib air bubbles in the meringue and creating a cake with a more delicate, fine texture. Whip until soft peak stage (when lift whisk the meringue will have a 1 inch long, slightly curl soft tip).
  6. With a spatula, gently fold in 1/3 of whipped egg whites into egg yolk mixture until blended. Sift in cake flour in 2 batches, gently fold in flour until blended before each addition.
  7. Whip egg whites again on low speed (speed 2) for a few seconds, this is because whipped egg whites will start to deflate if not used immediately. Pour yolk mixture to whipped egg whites, carefully gently fold in until all mixed well.
  8. Gradually pour warm butter/milk mixture onto spatula and drizzle onto batter in circular motion. Gently fold in again to blend well.
  9. Pour batter to the prepared lined jelly roll pan. Spread to smooth the top. Tap a couple times to remove air bubbles. Sprinkle chopped strawberries on the top.
  10. Bake in preheated oven at the middle rack for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven. Tap cake pan on a surface to release air trapped underneath. Transfer cake and parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Flatten out 4 sides of parchment paper to cool completely.
  11. While the cake is cooling, preparing the filling: microwave cream cheese briefly until it softens. Add powder sugar and sour cream, mix until smooth. Chill in the fridge.
  12. When cake cools completely, place another parchment paper (large than cake) on top of the cake and flip it over. Peel off the pan liner. Spread cream cheese filling onto the cake, with a very thin layer at the long side (farthest from you) of the cake. Line whole strawberries on the other long side (closest to you). Roll up the cake, then wrap up with parchment paper or cling wrap. Chill in the fridge before serving. Before slicing each piece, run knife in hot water and wipe dry with a paper towel to ensure a nice clean cut.

Regina’s Note:

  • Chopped strawberries: I was greedy, and I put too much! The result is strawberries draw out liquid, creating a sticky cake crust, and the strawberry color smears the cake the longer it sits… should cut down to just 1 tbsp, and more finely chopped.
  • Cream cheese filling: Too much cream cheese filling (greedy, and don’t want to deal with cream cheese leftover), making the cake a bit rich to the taste even with the whole strawberries as part of the fillings… should cut down to 5-6 oz and possibly skip sour cream.
Strawberry Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling 草莓蛋糕卷 (軟起士餡)

Strawberry Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling 草莓蛋糕卷 (軟起士餡)

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We ran out of breakfast food, so I decided to make chocolate Ogura cake again– I want to fine tune the recipe before it slips out of my mind. Last time, my chocolate Ogura cake was for a 9-inch round cake pan, and it didn’t last my family long. So this time I decided to make it larger– to fit a 9x13x2 inch cake pan. I have adjusted the ingredient proportion. Also, learning from last time when I steamed bake my cotton soft Japanese cheesecake #2, my water pan was too shallow (I used a small jelly roll pan). As a result the water dried out during baking and possibly causing big cracks on the top of the cake. So, this time I used a more shallow pan to hold the water– a 9x13x2 inch Pyrex glass pan with water filled half way up, and it worked out fine this time.

The results–

The Look:

  • The cake batter didn’t spilled over. It rose very nice during baking– then the top started  to crack when it got closer to upper heat source (I place the cake in the middle rack this time). Originally I set the baking time to be 50 minutes at 325°F and planned another 5-10 minutes at 350°F, but when I checked the cake after 40 minutes/325°F, the top cracked pretty badly and I had to remove the cake from the oven (after the toothpick-comes-out-clean cake test). Next time I should try position the cake at the second lowest rack in the oven, right above the water pan.
  • Unlike last time, I let the cake cooled, inverted and inside cake pan, completely before removing from cake pan. What I found out is that there’s a lot of air trapped at the bottom of the cake (between the pan and parchment paper)– as soon as I make a slit cut along cake pan to unmold, the cake started to sink into the pan. Luckily the cake didn’t shrink. Upon removing parchment paper, I was glad the bottom of the cake was not soggy wet!
  • Besides the cracks, the top of the cake doesn’t have that nice smooth solid layer of soft crust (which I REALLY like for the look of a cake)–  my crust seems kinda weak as there are tiny tiny holes (or I should say very very fine cracks) everywhere. And the crust was a bit wrinkled. Why??… 😦

The Taste:

  • The taste is pretty good, not overly sweet and full of chocolate flavor, although a much richer chocolate flavor would be better (yes, I was looking for rich chocolate flavor of a molten cake!)… maybe adding more chocolate chips and/or more cocoa powder and less cake flour?

The Texture:

  • The texture is very very soft– I think it’s the softest cake I have ever made! It’s fluffy and light too, a delight to bite into! But the cake crumb is not evenly fine– some part of the cake has finer crumbs, but other parts have bigger holes.
Chocolate Ogura Cake (Large) 巧克力相思蛋糕 #2

Chocolate Ogura Cake (Large) 巧克力相思蛋糕 #2

Chocolate Ogura Cake Recipe  巧克力相思蛋糕 #2 (makes one 9x13x2 inch rectangle cake)

Ingredients:
Egg yolk mixture:
3 tbsp bittersweet sweet chocolate chips
5 tbsp milk
5 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
7 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup cake flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Egg white mixture:
7 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Fill a shallow tray with tap water to half way and place the tray on the bottom rack. Place another rack in the middle of the oven– this rack is for the cake. Grease and line the bottom of a 9x13x2 inch cake pan.
  2. Place chocolate chips and milk in a big bowl over a double boiler, until the chocolate melts. Alternatively you can melt it in microwave (I microwaved for 30 seconds and continued melting on double boiler). Remove from heat. Use a balloon whisk to whisk in salt and oil until well blended. Cool slightly.
  3. Whisk in egg yolks and whole egg, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture. Mix well after each addition.
  4. Combine cake flour and cocoa powder. Sift flour mixture into yolk mixture in 3-4 batches, whisk to blend really well after each addition. Cover the bowl until egg whites are ready to fold in.
  5. Whip egg whites on high speed (KitchenAid speed 8) until bubbles are small and no clear egg white is visible. Add in cream of tartar, continue whipping on high speed (KitchenAid speed 8). Scrap the bowl if necessary.
  6. When the egg whites does not have visible tiny bubbles and turns white, gradually add in sugar. Continue on high speed (KitchenAid speed 8), scrap down the bowl. When the meringue looks glossy, reduce speed to medium low (KitchenAid speed 6 or even 4– this is to push out big air bubbles, producing a cake with tiny holes and thus a more fine texture). Whip until it is soft peak (soft curl tip on the whisk when lifted upside down).
  7. With a silicone spatula, gently fold in whipped egg whites to the yolk mixture in 3-4 batches, be sure there’s no egg white lumps in the batter. Pour the batter into cake pan slowly (this will avoid big air bubbles and last check for any egg white lump in the batter). Tap cake pan once. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and inverted the cake on a cooling rack. Remove cake from the pan when it is cooled completely.

Regina’s Note:

  • Chocolate flavor: Not rich enough for me. Next time should increase amount of chocolat chips and/or more cocoa powder (up to 4 tbsp?) and possibly less cake flour?
  • Cake height: After baking and cooling completely, the cake is about 1.5 tall.
  • Cake position in oven: Next time try positioning the cake at the second lowest level, right above the water pan (so away from upper heat source and possibly less chance of cracking on the top); or even try placing the water pan on the second highest level and cake being at the second lowest level.

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I saw lots and lots of pictures, read up on lots and lots of recipes, but I still can’t make it right(frustrations!!).  Some recipe bloggers said it was pretty easy and the results are guaranteed everytime, but not for me– the cake sometimes turns out slightly better, but other times not! 😦 I think there will be at least a few more trials until I get it right (golden crust that’s not sticky, tall and not shrink horribly, moist and very fine cake crumb)– I believe I did the batter correctly– my problem might be the oven (temperature and/or moisture), which is more challenging than mixing the batter… sigh.

Here’s the result–

The Look:

  • I finally got that nicely browned top crust that I always look for in a Japanese cheesecake, and the crust doesn’t get sticky after cooling.
  • But the cake top cracked pretty bad, which indicates oven temperature is too high, and possibly not enough steam in the oven (found out, after baking, that water dried out during baking!)–> next trial, use 350°F/325°F or even 325 all the way, and more water.
  • I removed cake from the oven right after baking, cool for a few minutes then remove the spring-form side (I was afraid moisture will trap and make the cake wet). At first the cake was tall and handsome, but it started to shrink in no time, HORRIBLY!!–> next trial, turn off oven after baking, take out water tray (to avoid extra steam in the oven which may cause the cake too moist), and let the cake stay in the oven for at least 20 minutes with oven door ajar opened.

The Taste:

  • Very light, and mild cream cheese taste even though I used original full fat version.
  • Lemon flavor is too subtle for me–> next trial, increase lemon juice to 4 tbsp.

The Texture:

  • Very fine cake crumb and moist, but not wet like bread pudding.
Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake Trial #2

Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake Trial #2

Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake Trial #2

Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake Trial #2

Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake Trial #2 (makes one 9-inch cake, spring-formed pan)

Ingredients:

Egg Yolk Mixture:
1 block (8 oz) cream cheese
4 tbsp unsalted butter
50 ml milk
1/4 tsp salt
5 yolks– room temperature
1 whole egg– room temperature
grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice–> should increase to 4 tbsp for more lemon flavor
1/2 cup cake flour

Egg White Mixture:
5 egg whites– room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2/3 cup sugar

Method:

  1. Fill a shallow pan with tap water to half way, place the water pan at the lowest rack in the oven. Place another oven rack at the second lowest level, this is where the cake bakes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease, and lined the bottom and side of a spring-form cake pan with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches higher than the rim of the cake pan.
  2. Melt cream cheese and butter in a big bowl over double boiler (alternatively can be done in microwave), add milk and salt and hand whisk with a balloon whisk until smooth. Cool slightly if the mixture is too warm.
  3. Whisk in egg yolks and whole egg, one at at time, and blend well after each addition. Add in lemon zest and lemon juice, whisk to blend very well.
  4. Sift cake flour to the yolk mixture in 3-4 batches, whisk to blend really well before next batch and no visible small lumps.
  5. Whip egg whites on high speed (KA stand mixer speed 8) until tiny bubbles form and no visible clear egg whites, add cream of tartar and continue on high speed (speed 8). Scrap down the bowl if necessary.
  6. When the egg whites turn white and the bubbles becomes more fine, slowly add in sugar. Continue whipping on high speed (speed 8) for a few minutes. Scrap down the bowl at least once. When the egg whites has a sheen look like pearl, turn to low speed (speed 4) for a few more minutes to push out big air bubbles. Whip until its is soft peak (curly tip on the whisk when lifted upside down).
  7. Gently fold in whipped egg whites to yolk mixture in 3-4 batches until all blended well and no egg white lumps. Slowly pour batter to the cake pan (this will avoid big bubbles and last check for any egg white lumps, you can also sift batter through a strainer to cake pan). Tap cake pan a couple of times on a surface.  Then place cake pan inside a larger baking pan (to catch any spills if it happens during baking).
  8. Bake at 375°F for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325°F for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack slightly before unmolding.

Regina’s Note (learning from the failure, and hope for success!):

  • Oven temperature: next trial, use 350°F/325°F or even 325 all the way.
  • Water tray: next trial, use a deeper/wider tray for more water.
  • Lemon Juice: next trial, increase to 4 tbsp.
  • Cooling cake: next trial, cool cheesecake in the oven (with temperature off and water tray removed) for at least 20 minutes. Then cool completely before unmolding.

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I subscribe to a group on Facebook called “Baking Wonderland”, and recently I saw lots of mouth watering yummy looking Ogura cake photos posted to Baking Wonderland, all kinds of flavors too– vanilla, pandan, chocolate, coffee, mocha, mocha, passion fruit, pomelo honey etc… This is how I get to know Ogura cake. “Ogura” sounds like Japanese so i believe it’s a type of Japanese cake. I looked at all Ogura cake photos and they all have that moist, cotton-soft, fine texture that I always want for cake base, be it a sponge cake or cake roll. I have made sponge cake before but it didn’t turn out well enough for me– too dry, too dense and too rough (texture). I love chiffon cakes with all my heart– they are soft, moist, light and airy, but they don’t have that fine texture of a cake.

Needless to say, I rolled up my sleeves and started my concur on Ogura cake– let’s start the Ogura journey with the chocolate version.

End result? Just like some people said– it’s a cross between chiffon cake and egg-separated sponge cake. It’s moist, soft and the texture is more fine. While chiffon cake is very light, airy and sometimes a tiny bit dry, Ogura cake is moist, soft  and more fine which kinda melt in your mouth, just like Japanese cotton-soft cheesecake– except it’s a chocolate cake. I read about some people complaining about the cake being too wet, I didn’t have this problem this time, and I wonder is it because my baking method is slightly different– I put the cake on a rack, with water tray on the rack below (steam bake method), rather than had the cake pan sitting in the water tray (water bath method)? The top crust of the cake (my favorite part of a cake!) browned very nice and doesn’t get sticky even after cooling (Yay!!). Flavor: full of chocolate goodness and not very sweet, fit our palates just right.

Chocolate Ogura Cake 巧克力相思蛋糕 #1

Chocolate Ogura Cake 巧克力相思蛋糕 #1

Chocolate Ogura Cake Recipe  巧克力相思蛋糕 #1 (makes one 9-inch cake)– adapted from Jane’s Corner: 巧克力相思蛋糕

Ingredients:

Egg yolk mixture:
2 tbsp bittersweet sweet chocolate chips
50 ml milk
52 ml oil
1/4 tsp salt
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/3 cup cake flour
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Egg white mixture:
5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Fill a shallow tray with tap water to half way and place the tray on the bottom rack. Place another rack on top of it– this rack is for the cake (so it is positioned at lower half of oven). Grease and line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan.
  2. Place chocolate chips and milk in a big bowl over a double boiler, until the chocolate melts. Remove from heat. Use a balloon whisk to whisk in salt and oil until well blended. Cool slightly.
  3. Whisk in egg yolks and whole egg, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture. Mix well after each addition.
  4. Combine cake flour and cocoa powder. Sift flour mixture into yolk mixture in 3-4 batches, whisk to blend really well after each addition. Cover the bowl until egg whites are ready to fold in.
  5. Whip egg whites on high speed (KitchenAid speed 8) until bubbles are small and no clear egg white is visible. Add in cream of tartar, continue whipping on high speed (KitchenAid speed 8). Scrap the bowl if necessary.
  6. When the egg whites does not have visible tiny bubbles and turns white, gradually add in sugar. Continue on high speed (KitchenAid speed 8), scrap down the bowl. When the meringue looks glossy, reduce speed to medium low (KitchenAid speed 6 or even 4– this is to push out big air bubbles, producing a cake with tiny holes and thus a more fine texture). Whip until it is soft peak (soft curl tip on the whisk when lifted upside down).
  7. With a silicone spatula, gently fold in whipped egg whites to the yolk mixture in 3-4 batches, be sure there’s no egg white lumps in the batter. Pour the batter into cake pan slowly (this will avoid big air bubbles and last check for any egg white lump in the batter). Tap cake pan once. Bake for 50 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and inverted on a cooling rack until completely cooled.

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