Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Lite Cheesecake with Longan Jelly Glaze
This cheesecake boasts a light texture with significant less fat than the original, thanks to the lighter version cream cheese and a surprise ingredient that is healthy too. Great for those who are watching their waistline, and will probably win a smile on cheesecake-haters who find cheesecakes too heavy, too rich and/or too sweet.
I am reluctant to reveal the surprise ingredient that lends the wonderful lightness to this cheesecake, knowing that I might raise some eyebrows and provoke a few gag reflexes. If only I can offer a piece of this cheesecake before revealing what’s in it, which is exactly what I did to J, and his response was, “Wow! It’s very light. Can I have another piece?” Success!
The ingredient is tofu. There, I've said it. Tofu in cheesecake sounds so wrong, but it’s so very right. It's not uncommon to find tofu used in Asian desserts. Tofu by itself is bland, almost tasteless. However, the magic happens when it takes on the flavour of whatever it’s cooked in. In this case, the tofu provides a mousse-like quality to the cheesecake, while keeping the flavour of the cream cheese that we love in a cheesecake.
I have added a layer of longan jelly on the cheesecake. The idea is inspired by one of my favourite desserts, Longan Almond Jelly, that you can often find in Chinese restaurant. You can get canned longan from any Asian grocer. However if you can’t find longan, lychee is a good alternative.
Lite Cheesecake with Longan Jelly Glaze
(Adapted from Okashi)
Makes one 20cm diameter cheesecake
90 grams egg whites
80 grams caster sugar
80 grams egg yolks
40 grams plain flour
20 grams corn flour
35 grams unsalted butter, melted
longan syrup (from a can of longan)
Tofu Cream Cheese
230 grams low fat cream cheese
230 grams soft silken tofu
10 grams light brown sugar
70 grams caster sugar
50 grams double (heavy) cream (full fat)
50 grams sour cream (full fat)
100 grams unsweetened soy milk
6 grams gelatin sheets
250ml longan syrup (from a can of longan. Reserve longans for garnish.)
9 grams gelatin sheets
To make sponge cake:
Preheat the oven to 200 degree celcius (or 180 degree celcius fan-forced). Line 28x28cm square cake pan with baking paper.
Whisk egg white until foamy. Add one quarter of the sugar and whisk for a while. Then add remaining sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and egg whites are glossy. Add egg yolks and mix well.
Shift both flours into the bowl and fold using a spactula. Pour melted butter into the batter and fold well.
Pour batter into the prepared pan, spread evenly with a scraper and bake for 15 minutes or until when a toothpick is inserted in the center comes out clean.
When cake is cool, trim cake to fit in a cake pan with removable base (in my case, a 20cm diameter cake pan). Brush cake generously with longan syrup. Set aside.
To make tofu cream cheese:
Make sure all ingredients for the tofu cream cheese are at room temperature.
Place cream cheese, brown sugar and caster sugar in a food processor and blend until creamy. Add tofu, double cream, sour cream and soy milk and blend thoroughly. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing down with the back of a spoon, to remove any lumps.
Soak gelatine sheets in a bowl of iced water to soften them, about 5-10 minutes. Squeeze out excess water from gelatine sheets. Place gelatine in a small bowl and melt over a pot of simmering water. Allow to cool until melted gelatine is about the same temperature as the cream cheese mixture, about 2 minutes. Whisk into cream cheese mixture until well combined.
Pour mixture into cake pan over sponge. Shake cake pan gently to smooth out the mixture. Leave refrigerated until set, about 4 hours, before pouring longan jelly over mixture.
To make longan jelly:
Soak gelatine sheets in a bowl of iced water to soften them, about 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat longan syrup in a saucepan until just below boiling point. Remove saucepan from heat. Squeeze out excess water from gelatine sheets and add sheets to the hot syrup, stirring until dissolved. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully, pour over tofu cream cheese. Leave refrigerated until completely set, for at least 8 hours.
Garnish with longans.