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

Double chocolate Black Forest Cake

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I am chocoholics. No doubt. Black Forest Cake originates from Germany with the buttercream frosting. This recipe version comes from the Cake Bible with a little adaption to pamper my chocolate favorite. All you need to care is to make a perfect Chocolate Genoise. Be careful when you assemble this cake. Its genoise is pretty light so that you need to rest it until it’s cool down totally before frosting.

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Ingredients (for a 7 inch round cake pan)

Chocolate Genoise

– 70% dark chocolate: 5 ounces ( 151 g)

– Boiling water: 2/3 cup (156ml)

– 5 eggs

– 2/3 cup sugar

– 3/4 cup cake flour (sifted).

– 1/4 cup almond meal. If you don’t have almond meal, you can substitute by 1/4 cup cake flour

Syrup for Chocolate Genoise 

– 1/2 cup cherry juice from pitted cheeries

– 1/4 cup sugar

– 3 tbsp brandy or cherry liqueur or your favorite choice

Cake filling

– 1 cup pitted sour cherries

– 2 tsp gelatin powder

– 3 tbsp water

– 2 cup heavy whipped cream

– 3 tbsp sugar

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– Shaved chocolate for decorating

Method

Chocolate genoise

– Beat the sugar with eggs until yellow pale and fluffy (really really fluffy that you can use this beaten egg to write and it slowly disappear back into the bowl)

– Add boiling water into the chopped chocolate and stir until it’s melt down totally. Let cool the chocolate until it reach temperature or a little warm

– Add the chocolate into 1 cup of beaten egg and mix until they incorporate. Add this chocolate mixture back into the remaining beaten egg and slowly fold the two mixture until they incorporate.

– Sift the cake flour 1/2 cup a time and fold into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into the 7 inch round pan.

– Bake at 350 F for 30 -40 minutes until the cake is totally set.

– Let it cool down. Make the syrup by microwave the cherry juice for 1 minutes and add the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and add the liqueur.

– When the cake is cool down, slice it into two layers

– Right before assembling the cake, brush the syrup over the cake generously.

Assemble

– Add gelatin into 3 tbsp water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Microwave for 30 seconds to make the gelatin totally dissolved. Let it cool down to temperature

– Pour half a cup of heavy cream to gelatin liquid and stir to mix well. Add the remaining heavy cream into the gelatin mixture and beat with sugar and vanilla extract until the heavy cream form the soaf peak. Don’t overbeat it or the heavy cream will be dry and could be separated into buttermilk and butter.

– Add half of beaten heavy cream onto 1 syrup soaked cake layer. Add all the cherries except 12 cherries to decorate later. Push the cherries to the cream firmly.

– Put another cake layer onto the cream. Add the remaining cream, except half a cup to pipe the flower cream for decking.

– Pipe 12 cream flowers and place 12 cherries on those.

– Shave the chocolate on the surface. Let the cake cool for at least 2 hours before serving

Baked custard

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There’s a funny story about how you can eat French baked custard in Southern America. When I came to Starkville, it was my big surprise in the eating custom here. No baked custard you can find in any restaurants, even one of my American friends told me that’s his first time try this airy cake.

No reason why Vietnamese call this custard “Caramel”. Maybe it’s due to the thin layer of bitter caramel on top of the custard. My recipe use regular milk as the original style of this cake. You can use heavy cream and milk medley to increase the fatty taste for your custard, however. My American friend was served both 2 types of baked custard and she prefers the fatter one.

Ingredients (for 6 ramekins)

– 3 cups of 2% reduced fat milk

– 4 large eggs

– 1 1/3 cups regular sugar

– 1 tbsp water

Method

– In a little cutie small pan, add 2/3 cup sugar with 1 tbsp water. Keep medium heat and boil until the sugar melts down and becomes dark brown caramel

– Pour the caramel into 6 ramekins. It’s unnecessary to cover all the bottom of ramekins. Don’t worry, the caramel will be melt evenly as it bakes in the oven.

– In another clean sauce pan, heat the milk until it’s hot but not boiled. Beat the eggs with a medium whisk to mix all the whites and the yolks together. Here is the experience in making a smooth surfaced custard. You should avoid beating eggs with stand mixer or hand mixer. This wrong action will bring foam to the eggs, thus your custard will have bubbles on top.

– Pour the half of the hot milk into the beaten eggs, then pour the egg mixture back into the sauce pan .

– Use a mesh strainer, pour the custard liquid into ramekins. Set the oven at 320 F. Bake the custard for 30-40 minutes until the custard is set thoroughly but be careful, don’t over bake it if you try to be lazy. Your overbaked custard should have a taste of baby food. Don’t you like it, do you?

– Keep the custard totally cool down in the refrigerator. To serve, unmold the custard by using a knife and invert it onto a plate. The caramel sauce with the bitter taste combines with the sweet and tangy custard bring you the most perfect flavor you’ve ever had of a dessert.