California Style Bakings 1

Good news to announce! My dear hubby took my oven to the service centre and got it repaired within two days! It was a pleasant surprise for me on Friday. Fortunately, the cost of the repair was not too exobitant! Boy, was I glad.

I hadn't been updating much on my wedding cake decoration course. Mainly because I was still struggling with my designs. I've not even decided on the theme yet! Worst was, I was the slowest to cover the dummy cakes on Friday! It really gave me a lot of stressed over past two weeks. Sigh! A bit of regrets taking up this course. Life was actually quite smooth, wondered why I want to make it so "rough" myself. Having said that, all of us were just waiting for our own final presentation. Just wait and see.

Life is a like box of assorted chocolates. You'll have to taste it to experience it. If you don't taste it, you won't know if you like it. Only when you have tasted it, then you can tell others of your experience. Many times, certain things just don't go our way. We got stressed, we got upset. But when we reflect about it, life just has a way of making it better for you!

Actually, attending courses quite be quite addictive, at least for me. I've signed up for BITC's Certificate in California Style Baking. The course is about 4 hours over 4 weekends. I started my first workshop last Saturday.

We started with the California Cheesecake with Mixed Nut Crust. Subsequently, there are financiers, rockies, muffins, brownies and breads. Well, it's not that I don't know how to bake these, but I would like to understand the art and science of using these ingredients for the particular bakes. It's really interesting to learn.

Here's a summary of what was done in class:

1. Chopping up the walnuts and almonds.
2. Pressing the nuts together with the sugar and butter.
3. Roasted nuts.
4. The nut base for the cheesecake.
5. Ingredients for the cream cheese fillings.
6. Well mixed cream cheese fillings.
7. Chilled nuts base.
8. Measuring the cream cheese fillings into the nuts base.

9. Steam bake the cheesecakes with elevation.
10. Baked cheesecake.
11. Transferring the cheesecake into the cake board.
12. Glazing the strawberry for decoration.
13. Decorating the cheesecake.

This is my baked California cheesecake. The cheesecake is really soft, creamy and nice, especially with the walnuts and almonds. The taste together was really good!

So next time, instead of the normal digestive biscuits or sponge cake base, substitute them with the mixed nuts base. It really brings up the value of your cheesecake!

I'd like to share some tips with you on what I've learnt about cheesecakes.

1. Baked cheesecakes must be only 75-80% baked. If it's 100% baked, it will then be too dry. So how do you see if it's only 80% baked? You shake the cheesecake, if the centre is slightly wobbly, it means it's already 75-80% baked. If the cake is firmed, then you would have overbaked it already!

2. Minimum decoration is required for cheesecakes. You can brush the top with apricot gel to give it a shiny look, then decorate it with some fruits.

3. Cream cheese contains some kind of "gum" that helps it to stay in "shape". It means that no matter how you beat it, it will not curdle. This is different for mascarpone cheese.

4. Water bath or steam bake is required for cheesecake. Hot water is used so that it expedite the steam in the baking.

I hope we can all benefit from this few tips. Good luck in your cheesecake baking!


youfei said...
July 19, 2009 at 9:45 PM

hey! this smelled really good hahah! i can imgaine how yummy it'd be =p

Passionate About Baking said...
July 20, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Hi Fiona,
Did you get to smell it? I didn't even smell it while it was baking! Hahaha...

Edith said...
July 21, 2009 at 8:43 PM

you are so lucky to be able to pursue your passion. for me, I still have a long way to go before I can commit to such a course. only can rely on good friends and recipe books. But do keep your post coming and make me envy.

Passionate About Baking said...
July 21, 2009 at 8:53 PM

Hi Edith,
Don't say that. You're already so good in your bakings. In fact, you're qualify to teach already! I can only attend workshops to pick up tips, the science of bakings and hopefully, baking techniques. Well, as far your good friends and recipe books, they are really good as your bakes always turn out so well! :) Thanks for your encouragement too!

petite nyonya said...
July 22, 2009 at 1:23 AM

great tips on baking cheesecake. thanks for sharing them!

Miranda said...
July 22, 2009 at 1:38 AM

Great tips and absolutely lovely cake. Thanks for sharing.

Passionate About Baking said...
July 22, 2009 at 8:37 AM

Hi nyonya pendek melaka and Miranda,
You're most welcome. I hope everyone can benefit from one another in blog sharings. :)

Passionate About Baking said...
May 19, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Hi nyonya pendek melaka and Miranda,
You're most welcome. I hope everyone can benefit from one another in blog sharings. :)

Miranda said...
May 19, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Great tips and absolutely lovely cake. Thanks for sharing.

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