Firstly, I apologise for being missing in action since May. This year has been a roller coaster at work and we hit our peak over the last few months. It has all paid off, somewhat – the institution became the first local institution to receive the highest accolade by the awarding body. It was kind of crazy all those nights in. Thank goodness for the crazy people in my division, I think we helped keep each other sane by being insane, though I’m sure we had moments where we wanted to strangle each other, bury our face in our hands and groan in frustration.
But we survived. Crazy.
I think this is the most I’ve ever worked overtime in a year. And also the most I drank in consecutive days and/or weeks. I used to think I only drink when happy, now I know better. Drink. When stressed. Goodness. Now I’m enjoy drinking too much.
I’m proud of the institution and glad to be part of one of its milestones, it’s kind of bittersweet. I had been forewarned that this year was bad due to the major audits; if you asked me what I did over the past 8 months, much of what I can think of is work. The other better moments were my really short Korea work trip, and the Bali trip where my flights got delayed because of nearby volcanic activity. But yup, work. Even though this year’s considered an exception in terms of craziness, everything that happened got me thinking about how I like to spend my time.
Anyway now that it’s all over, I have more time to play!
I first saw this recipe over at Baking Mum, and immediately it got me curious. Condensed milk? I love condensed milk in my kopi and teh, the local coffee and tea, but it isn’t an ingredient I’ve tried much in baking cakes. I’ve seen some Asian food blogs using the milk in butter cakes and its variations, and have always wondered about the flavour.
The condensed milk adds a really nice subtle sweetness to the cream cheese. Condensed milk has its own milky sweetness, it almost reminds me of butterscotch but without the caramel undertones. I think most people won’t realise its condensed milk until you tell them it’s actually in there!
I’ve tweaked the way this recipe is made a little – tried the original three times, and twice it didn’t quite rise properly. It might be because I’m in impatient and don’t want to bake it at a lower temperature for 1 hour 45 minutes :p In the end I made it more like a chiffon cake, separated the eggs, and instead of greasing the pan, I used a pan with a detachable bottom so that the cake could ‘climb’ and rise properly.
The recipe itself is wonderful, do try out the original instructions and see which you prefer. I have a feeling the final product will be a light, creamier cheesecake due to the lower temperature baking. The one I’m going to share below will produce a lighter cheesecake, that still remains soft softness when chilled. At the moment I’m using a 7-inch pan which might be a bit small as the top of the cake rose quite a bit in the oven. It shrinks once it’s out of the oven which resulted in the cracks at the top of the cake. I’ll be testing this with an 8 inch soon, and will see how it turns out!
- 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
- 50g condensed milk
- 50g plain flour, sifted
- 100g cream cheese
- 45g melted butter (the original uses 35ml oil)
- 2 tsp lemon
- 45g castor sugar
1. Preheat oven at 175°C / 350°F.
2. Melt the cream cheese with a double boiler or microwave. Once the cream cheese has melted, whisk it till smooth.
3. Add in the eggs yolks, condensed milk and 1 tsp lemon juice. Whisk until completely smooth.
4. Heat the melted butter in a pan or in the microwave. Pour the melted butter over the flour to make a roux - mix it until it becomes a smooth.
5. Add the roux into the cream cheese mixture, again whisk until smooth. Set this aside.
6. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, then add the remaining lemon juice and the sugar. Continue beating until the egg white forms stiff peaks.
7. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the remaining meringue in 2 batches, careful not to deflate the meringue!
9. Pour the batter into the baking tin.
10. We're be baking this in a waterbath. You can 1) wrap the sides of the baking tin with aluminium foil (so that the water doesn't seep into the batter!) and place the tin in a pan of water, or 2) place the pan of water at the bottom of your oven and bake your cake in the middle rack.
11. Bake for 175 for 45 minutes, before lowering the temperature to 150°C / 300°F and bake it for 15 minutes longer. If the top is browning too quickly, cover the cake with a piece of aluminium foil.
12. Once the 15 minutes is up, turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for about 10 minutes more.
13. Remove the cake from the oven, and leave it to cool inverted on the cooling rack.
14. Remove the cake from the tin once it has been cooled completely.