Of the two batches I baked, these twelve (from one batch) were the successful ones and the other twelve failed to make it in terms of looks.
Basically I used the same recipe since I was happy with the taste and texture of the cake.
But in terms of method and bakeware used, I tried four different mechanisms or forms of control.
Test-bake batch 5 (using 12-hole cheesecake pan with individual removable base)
During one of my previous test-bakes (batch 1), I forgot to cover the pan (underside) with aluminum foil and some water sipped into the pan during baking. Coincidentally, that batch turned out to be the best.
So this time, I decided to divide the pan into two sections, six of the holes were uncovered whereas the other six were covered individually with aluminum foil. The reason why I did that was because during batch 2, I covered the entire pan with foil but the cheesecakes sunk in the middle portion (like hourglass) and I thought perhaps heat could not be conducted properly.
- 5i - 6 holes remained status quo, water sipped in during baking. Cheesecake turned out ok despite slightly wet.
- 5ii - 6 holes covered with aluminum foil (underside). Cheesecake turned out perfect.
- All 12 holes were lined with baking paper (it's a must, point explained and demonstrated previously).
Some people asked me whether normal muffin pan works and hence I decided to give it a try.
Test-bake batch 6 (using 12-hole mini cupcake pan)
I didn't have muffin/cupcake cases of the exact fit to the pan, so used whatever I have on-hand.
- 6i - lined 4 holes with paper cupcake case (a bit too big, the base couldn't touch the bottom of the pan). Cheesecake didn't rise very well, top didn't brown much with some creases. Sides not very smooth, as some of the cake stuck to the paper when tearing.
- 6ii - lined 4 holes with slightly smaller cupcake case (base could touch bottom of pan, but the case has folds around i.e. creased sides). Cheesecake didn't rise very well, top didn't brown much with some creases. Very difficult to remove cake from case as sides had folds.
- 6iii - lined 4 holes with baking parchment cut to exact size. Cheesecake didn't rise very well, top didn't brown much with some creases. Easy to remove from parchment paper, sides were smooth but slightly slated as the muffin pan is slightly slated.
In terms of taste, these cakes were good, a tiny bit drier than batch 5 but tasted great nonetheless. However, they failed aesthetically.
Comparing the results of batch 5 (cheesecake pan) and 6 (muffin pan), the cheesecake pan fares better.
At the end of this whole exercise, my conclusion is, it's not exactly efficient to bake this at home (and certainly not economically viable), because it takes too much energy and effort just to make 12 pieces if I want them to look good aesthetically (like those sold commercially). Each batch of 12 took at least 1.5-2 hrs including preparation (cutting individual pieces of parchment paper and aluminum foil to cover and line the cheesecake pan), baking (one hour bake time) and cool down.
But then again, it's very satisfying to be able to churn out these petite size cakes that melt-in-the-mouth, using ingredients that I'm assured of, and most importantly, my kiddo loves it very much (and friends who tried it claimed that it tasted better than the ones sold at Lavender Bakery, wow!).
Actually if one is not very particular about how the cake looks, it's actually ok to use normal muffin pan and cupcake cases, just that I'm sometimes a tad OCD and perfectionist.
I guess I will bake it from time to time and stash it in the freezer as treats or something (if they can last that long, most of them got snatched up by the kiddo very quickly).
Anyways, the HB just saw a video of the jiggly wobbly cheesecake from Uncle Rikuro in Osaka and said he wants to try it! Ok, it's back to the kitchen for me -_-" Probably it would be easier to bake the cheesecake in whole than individual pieces? Will share my experience if I manage to bake it successfully. Wish me luck!
Petite Hanjuku Cheesecake
(makes 12 petite-size cakes, about 4-4.5cm diameter each)
- 140g cream cheese(I use Kiri brand)
- 20g unsalted butter
- 28g Greek yogurt
- 22g whipping cream/fresh milk
- 21g egg yolk
- 11g corn starch
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 56g egg white
- 35g caster sugar Steps
- Combine cream cheese, unsalted butter, yogurt and whipping cream in a pot/heat-proof bowl over a bigger pot with barely simmering water. Stir till just melted and combined. Do not overcook.
- Add egg yolk and quickly stir to just combine. Do not overcook.
- Remove from heat and add sifted corn starch. Stir till combine. Add lemon juice. Stir till combine.
- Sift the batter to remove any clumps. Set aside.
- In an electric mixer, beat egg whites using whisk attachment on high speed till foamy and gradually add in sugar. Beat till just before soft-peak stage. The meringue lops when whisk is lifted but still flows back. If overwhipped, risk of cake cracking during baking.
- Fold the egg white meringue gently into the batter in 3 additions, till just combined. Do not overfold.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan set inside another deep baking tray. If using pans with removable bottoms, cover each hole of the pan with aluminum foil (individually). Line each hole of the pan with baking paper as well. If using normal muffin pan, line the holes with baking paper.
- Place the entire set of baking pan/tray into preheated oven. Add hot water into the tray till 2/3 height of the baking tray. Bake at 140 degree celsuis top/bottom heat for 50-55 mins. After that, leave the tray inside the oven to cool down till warm to touch before removing from oven. Remove the cakes from the baking pan. The cakes can be eaten warm, at room temperature or best chilled.