Green tea cheesecake with cream cheese and green tea frosting, decorated with berries
Yesterday was my sister’s birthday which meant, cake time! I know she likes berries and not chocolate so no chocolate cake. I recently bought some maccha green tea powder so I thought it would be interesting to marry cream cheese and green tea. Hmm…I realised I’m into a lot of green lately: My next entry, Kuih Talam is green as well! Anyway, I followed the Japanese Cotton cheesecake recipe from Lily Wai Sek Hong but added the green tea powder and berries to it. The cake made from this recipe (minus the green tea) is gorgeous in its on right. It’s really light as it contains just 1 block (250g) of cream cheese as opposed to 2 -3 blocks in most baked cheesecakes (Ok..well the extra cream cheese went into my frosting) The fluffiness comes from the beatened egg-whites so it’s airy if you eat it fresh from the oven. Leave it to chill in the fridge and it becomes slightly densed but still lovely, especially with that touch of lemon juice and zest. This lighter but delicious version of cheesecake is also different because it is baked in a water bath where the cake tin sits in a roasting pan of boiling water filled to half the height of the cake tin.
Inside the cake, are berries that I’ve sprinkled on with mint sugar which is just mint leaves blended with sugar. But the green tea flavour overpowered the mint so I will omit that next time. Well, the berries were a tad bit sour too although I highly suspect that it was because we ate the cake at the wrong time: right after a heavy dinner and a platter of sugary lebanese sweets at a restaurant so you can guess that overall the cake tasted bland. I reserved two slices from last night to see if it tasted better today and it sure did. YUM!! Nothing like how it tasted last night. The green tea and cheese came through, the berries weren’t overly sour and the sweetness was just right. For me, the fun was in icing the cake. I didn’t want to do the usual whipped cream as I have to transport the cake on a 1.5 hour journey by bus and train to the city. I successfully delivered the cake in one piece, after squeezing passed peak-hour commuters and nearly tripping on their toes trying to get off on my stop whilst juggling the cake box with one hand. Phew….Anyway, so I made a cream cheese frosting laced with maccha green tea powder and it was so much easier to work with; it’s firmer than whipped cream so I know it won’t melt so quickly during transportation. I went nuts with the frosting, using 3 piping nozzles to pipe out some form of garden-twine around the cake and shell and bead borders for the top and bottom respectively. I messed it up many times but because it’s cream cheese, you can just lightly scrape off the piped patterns and start over.
Here’s the recipe.
Note: Japanese Cotton Cheesecake recipe as adapted from Lily Wai Sek Hong.
Additional green tea powder and berries plus the frosting are from myself.
(A) Cream Cheese Mixture
250g cream cheese
100ml thickened cream
(B) Egg Yolk Mixture
60g superfine flour (I just used sifted plain flour)
6 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 teaspoon of lemon zest (I zest 1 whole lemon)
¼ teaspoon salt
70g caster sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons maccha green tea powder
(C) Egg White Mixture
6 egg whites
70g caster sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
(D) Berry Mix
2 – 3 teaspoons caster sugar
5 tablespoons icing sugar (adjust to your liking)
4 tablespoons thickened cream ( to make it more pipeable)
1 1/2 teaspoons maccha green tea powder
Add all ingredients for (A) in a double boiler. If you don’t have one like me, place them in a heat-proof bowl like a pyrex or ceramic bowl and sit it atop a pot filled with simmering water. Melt the ingredients this way, using a whisk to break any lumps.
Set mixture aside to cool. (You can speed this up by placing bowl in an icebath)
Preheat oven to 150°C and line the base and sides of an 8 inch round cake tin with greaseproof paper. Lining for sides should be about 1 1/2 to 2 inches higher than cake tin.
In a separate bowl, mix all ingredients for (B); stir until smooth.
For (D), coat all the berries with the sugar and set aside.
When (A) has cooled, mix (B) into (A).
For (C), place egg whites in a clean, dry deep mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until foamy, add cream of tartar and continue whisking on high speed; gradually add the sugar and continue until soft peaks form (mine was a little more stiff – oops)
With a clean and dry metal mixing spoon or spatula, Fold 1/3 of the beatened egg-white mixture gently into the cream cheese and egg yolk mixture until well mixed. Add the rest of the egg-white mixture and fold until just combined. Do not over-mix
Note: To prevent water from seeping into the bottom of the cake, line or wrap the outside of the cake tin with folded aluminium foil.