Japanese Ricotta cotton cheesecake

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You may like my recipe for Japanese Yogurt cotton cheesecake if you’re a big fan of this soft like cloud cheesecake. 

Last week when buying Ricotta cheese, I tentatively used it for making Lasagna, which is as old as a fairy tale; however, my store-bought Ricotta was too big to use it all since my baking pan was small enough for 4 persons. I quickly used the leftover for our dinner dessert and this cheesecake came to my head, unintentionally. Why ? I was watching Cooking with the Dog (Oh my, am I freely advertising this channel but Francis the dog is so cute that I like watching him again and again ) and thinking of something Japanese.

Not only is Ricotta cheesecake tangy but also sweet flavored. Ricotta itself is not as sour as the regular cheese so that Ricotta does not bring you the vinegar feeling. I like serving this cake with jam (ideally strawberry jam or preservatives) or blueberry or any kind of fruits that you like. Serve warm or cold has its own taste and sometimes, I’m so gluttonous that this cake has no chance to be served when it’s cold.

Ingredients

– 250 g Ricotta cheese

– 7 eggs, separated

– 80 g butter

– 1 tbsp amaretto

– 60 g cake flour

– 100 ml heavy cream

– 130 g sugar

Method

– In a double boiler, melt butter, amaretto, cheese and heavy cream with 30 g sugar until combined. Set the bowl aside for 10 – 15 minutes to cool down.

– Lightly beat the egg yolks then gradually mix in the cheese mixture.

– Sift the cake flour and gently fold in the yolk mixture.

– Use a fine mesh strainer, strain the yolk and cheese mixture to have a very fine mixture.

– Beat the egg whites with 100 g sugar at low speed until the beaten whites reach stiff peak.

– Use a whisk to fold the whites to the yolk mixture.

– Use bread pan (as I used here) or any mold you like to steam bake the cake at 300 F (150 C) for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

– Let the cake sit in the open oven for 5 minutes before unmolding. This technique can prevent the cake from shrinking.

Here’s my tutorial video for making this cake

Homemade Mascaporne cheese

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You know Tiramisu, don’t you? Tiramisu is a cake that every Italian girl makes it in the Valentine’s Day. I’m not distracted in this topic because you’ll see why I wrote this post of mascaporne cheese today.

Well, mascaporne cheese can be called a cousin of cream cheese. Preferably for me, mascaporne has more sweet taste and tangy feeling than its cousin. Of course, there is no sour flavor too in this very  styled Italian cream cheese. My fridge rarely has mascaporne because I know the homemade one could make it up to my work. With only heavy cream and lemon juice, you can easily make this cheese. I had some experiences working with Tiramisu. First you need to beat well the storebought mascaporne before adding it to the egg mixture, otherwise your Tiramisu wouldn’t be set firm to be ready for serving. Secondly, if you can’t remember the first tip, let’s try making mascaporne cheese at home. This easy to follow process would give you a no flaw Tiramisu, even if you forget to beat it well for having a good shaped Tiramisu. Certainly, this homemade cheese is cheaper than the store-bought one.

Ingredients

– 2 cups heavy cream

– 1 tbsp lemon juice (lime juice is okay but try to find lemon juice to have a better taste)

Method

– In a medium heat, heat the heavy cream to a boil.

– Add lemon juice and stir well frequently. You’ll start to see the water separates from the milk curds.

– Stir for another 10 minutes until you see the water is translucent.

– Remove from the boil.

– Use a find mesh strainer or cheese cloth, pour in the cheese. Cover by a plastic wrap and let it sit in fridge overnight for at least 12 hours.

– Press the cheese against the cloth or strainer to remove all the water. Your cheese is ready for making Tiramisu or any type of cake that requires Mascaporne.

Japanese yogurt cotton cheesecake

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I rarely make cheesecake, significantly due to the high calorie from each bite of it. However, the cheesecake craving usually jumps into my daily abstemious food portion at least once a week. That’s why I have to find a way to loose some part of the cream cheese in the cheesecake ingredients, certainly because of the calorie lowering demand. The consuming of this new version Japanese cheesecake went up quickly right after the cheesecake had gone out from the oven.

There’s no need to be verbose in describing Japanese cheesecake. That cake is softer and lower in calorie than the original cheesecake due to the egg white increase and the cheese decline in the cake’s structure. But I still wanna reduce more cream cheese to satisfy my cheesecake craving.

Yogurt can be a good substitute for cream cheese if you know how to use it. Of course, the yogurt’s structure differs from that of cream cheese then many amateur bakers ( similar to me ^^ )feel hard to deal with yogurt in cheesecake baking. My experience is to choose the best store-bought plain yogurt and drain it overnight before using. The yogurt therefore would be no soggy but firm enough to be ready for subbing the cream cheese in this cake. In this recipe, I cut down half the normal cheese required, replaced it by drained yogurt. Because of the significant reduction of cream cheese, the corn flour would be doubled to make the cake more sturdily. The yogurt flavor definitely would be more delightful than that of the cream cheese.

Ingredients (for 7 inch round springform pan or removable pan)IMG_6203

–          150g cream cheese

–          150g plain yogurt

–          80g butter

–          30 ml milk

–          30g sugar for cream cheese and yolks

–          50g plain flour

–          40g tapioca starch or corn starch

–          5 eggs, separated yolks and whites

–          100g sugar for egg whites

–          1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Method

– In a double boiler, melt cream cheese, butter, milk and 30g sugar. Stir until they are smooth then take it out from the boiler.

– Add the yogurt and stir well til combined.

– Add the flour mixture. Use a whisk to fold the flour until it disappears.

– Gradually add the egg yolks and stir until everything is incorporated.

– In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites at low speed until it’s frothy then add the cream of tartar.

– Beat the whites at speed 2 while gradually adding sugar. Beat until the whites reach stiff peak but not dry. Note: you should stop beating as you see the beater is raised.

– Gently fold the beaten whites into the cheese mixture. Pour the mixture into the pan.

– Steam bake for 1 hour at 300F (150 C) at the lowest rack of the oven.

– Let the cake sit for 20 minutes before take it out from the pan.

Serve: you can use the cake when it’s cold or even when it’s warm. I prefer the warm cake with a cup of black coffee.

Here’s my tutorial video for this cake

Fresh Colored Fettuccine with Caramelized Onion and Dill – Mỳ ý sợi dẹt với hành tây và thì là

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You have more than a way to color the pasta. Sometimes this colored fettuccine can lure your baby if she is so picky, especially when she finishes her first birthday. I made this pasta when the refrigerator had only carrots left and in a lazy rainy day, I had no choice. The result amazingly was good, at least my family didn’t leave anything on the plates.

Ingredients

For the Fettucine

– 3 small carrots

– 3 tbsp water

– 2 cups all purpose flour (semolina flour is the best if you have it on hand)

– 3 eggs

For the sauce

– 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

– 1 1/2 inch thick salmon

– 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

– 3 tbsp olive oil

– 2 green onion, chopped

– 4 stalk of dill, chopped

– 3/4 cup pasta cooking water

– salt and pepper

Method

For the Fettucine

– Finely chop the carrots and mix with 3 tbsp water. Use a mesh strainer, strain the carrot and retain only the juice

– Mix well all the carrot juice with other ingredients. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. The dough is a little sticky and you have to rest the dough for 30 minutes.

– Use pasta machine to cut the dough into the fettuccine.

– Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 2 tsp salt. Add the fresh fettuccine and cook for 3 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

For the sauce

– Chop green onion and dill. Note: to get the aroma of the dill, you should use a knife and press the body of the dill. The aroma of the dill mainly is in this part so don’t remove it. We need both the leaves and the body part.

– Sear the salmon with the skin first. Then cover for 3 minutes, flip the salmon and sear for 3 minutes more. Remove the skin and shred the salmon into big chunk.

– Heat the olive oil. Saute the thin sliced onion until it’s caramelized for about 5-7 minutes at medium heat. Then add the fettucine, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese along with chopped green onion, dill. Slowly add the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce. Add more salt to your taste and serve when the pasta is still warm.

Two cheese spaghetti with Bluefish, Caramelized Onion and Anise leaves

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I like any pasta cooked with dry wine. Seafood works well in combination with wine, preferably for me dry red wine with its pungency can delete any trace of seafood’s odor.

Many people get confused when they buy anise from the supermarket. Actually, we should call it the fennel bulb rather than anise to clarify this misunderstanding. Anise star has a much much much stronger flavor than Fennel. We can meet Anise star easily in most of Indian curry or Pho of Vietnamese. Fennel somewhat has a similar flavor like anise star, however it’s really a good idea to combine fennel with spaghetti. Don’t throw away your fennel leaves, which are the green part of the fennel. It’s a really really a unique condiment.

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

– 300 g dry thin spaghetti

– 1/2 cup dry red wine

– 6 green part of anise, remove the firm part and keep the leaves and the soft part only, chopped them well

– 2 green onion, chopped

– 1  1.5 inch thick cut of bluefish

– 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

– 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

– 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

– 2 tbsp unsalted butter

– 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– Salt and pepper

Method

– In a large pot, boil 5 quart water to a boil with 1 tbsp salt. Cook the bluefish for 5 minutes or until it’s just cooked. Don’t over cook it, otherwise the fish would be dry and lose its flavor.

– Shred the fish

– Retain the fish water. Add the pasta and cook until it’s just al dente, about 5-6 minutes. Drain it. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta cooking water.

– Heat a shallow large pan with olive oil. Saute the onion at medium heat until it’s caramelized then reduce the heat, slowly add the dry red wine. When the dry is boiled, add butter.

– Add the pasta along with the cheeses. Stir evenly with the shredded fish, chopped anise and green onion. Slowly add the pasta water up to 3/4 cup to thin the sauce.

– Add more salt to your taste. Sprinkle pepper and serve.

Alfredo spaghetti with Salmon and Lemon

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Salmon has lots of fat on its skin. And seared salmon makes it best to combine with spaghetti. Alfredo itself is so fatty with mainly based on butter. Lemon can balance the overwhelming buttery flavor of Alfredo so well that I even don’t recognize I’m eating Alfredo.

Among cheeses serving with spaghetti, Pecorino Romano has unique pungent flavor. Pecorino means any cheese product that is made with goat milk. I like inhaling the airy flavor every time grating this cheese.

Ingredients (4 servings)

– 7 tbsp unsalted butter

– 4 sprigs parsley

– 1.5 pounds fillet salmon with skin on

– 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

– 1 tsp salt

– 1 pound dry thick spaghetti

Method

– Boil the water with 2 tbsp salt and cook the spaghetti until it’s just al dente (around 11 minutes). Drain the pasta thoroughly and reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

– Chop the parsley finely. Wash the salmon and break it into 4 portions.

– In a smoky pan, sear the salmon with its skin side first. Cover the pan for 3 minutes. Flip the salmon and sear the other side for 3 minutes more with no lid on. The salmon should be just cooked to prevent the dryness

– Heat the butter until it’s super hot but not burned. Add the cheese and stir until it’s smooth. Note: Pecorino Romano has high protein so it’s difficult to melt in low heat. If you don’t do that, the cheese would be no smooth but lumpy

– Toss the pasta in the cheese mixture. Add more pasta water gradually to thin the sauce if you want a thin sauce. Add salt to your taste.

– Serve with salmon, freshly ground black pepper and lots of lemon drops.

Cream cheese Mousse

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I know that mousse has lots of fat, but a portion of it is not so bad. Mousse is the one that costs me time most in eating among other cake, albeit making this is pretty simple. I like mousse with a base of genoise, though this indulgence costs me more time in the kitchen. It reduces the overwhelming of fat in your mouth after several spoons of mousse  if you eat the traditional mousse.

IMG_5644Ingredients ( 9 inch springform pan)

For the chocolate genoise

(adapted from Cake Bible)

– 4 eggs, separated

– 124 g sugar

– 32 g cake flour

– 5 oz bittersweet chocolate

For the cream cheese mousse

(adapted from Chocolately chocolate)

– 1 1/3 cup heavy cream

– 1/3 cup sugar

– 2 tbsp water

– 3 egg yolks

– 1 3/4 tsp gelatin

– 1 8 oz package cream cheese

Decorating

– Chocolate shavings

Method

Chocolate genoise

– Melt the chocolate by using a double boiler or microwave (20 seconds a time, stir and microwave again for 3 times)

– Beat the egg yolk with 2 tbsp sugar until it’s fluffy then add the melting chocolate. Stir until the mixture is smooth.

– In a clear bowl, beat the egg white with sugar until it’s glossy and soft peak. Note: start beating the egg white slowly with the medium speed until it’s frothy then increase the speed to the highest. Gradually add 1 tbsp sugar a time. Beat until the egg white reach triple its original volume and very glossy.

– Add 1/3 egg white into the chocolate mixture to light it. Then sift 1/3 flour and gently fold the mixture. Continue this step for 2 times more.

– Spray the baking oil onto the bottom of the springform pan, except its side. Pour the mixture into the pan.

– Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

– Wait 10 minutes after the cake is out from the oven. Remove it from the pan and let it cool completely before assembling with the cream cheese mousse.

Cream cheese mousse

– Microwave the cream cheese for 30 seconds until it’s warm (not cold).

– Sprinkle the gelatin into 2 tbsp water. Let it sit for 10 minutes then microwave 15 seconds.

– Stir the cream cheese with gelatin. Note: the cream cheese has to be warm enough for adding the gelatin liquid, otherwise, the gelatin couldn’t be dissolved and return to its crystal.

– Heat the sugar with 2 tbsp water until it reaches 234 F. Beat the egg yolks while gradually pouring into a thin stream of hot sugar syrup. Beat the egg mixture until it’s yellow pale and fluffy.

– Stir well the egg yolk mixture with the cream cheese mixture. Let it cool for 30 minutes.

– Beat the heavy cream with 1 tbsp sugar until it reaches the soft peak. Don’t over beat the heavy cream, otherwise it would be separated into butter and buttermilk.

– Pour in the cream cheese mixture with heavy cream. Gently fold until the mousse is smooth.

– Pour the cream cheese mousse onto the chocolate genoise. Keep refrigerate for at least 6 hours then serving with shaved chocolate.