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August 19, 2004

close enough


Monday, August 16

It was another hot and stuffy afternoon. I wanted to have something nice and cold, sweet and smooth - quick. I was thinking about making something else, but ended up with this one: cream cheese baked custard. I had found the recipe (in Japanese) several days before, and was very excited, as cream cheese baked custard is one of my favorite sweets from Cheesecake Factory (in Japanese - it has nothing to do with the American chain of the same name). I had since wanted to try this.
It was a very standard recipe of baked custard, or creme caramel (except it doesn't use caramel and cream cheese was added), and looked a fairly easy recipe, which was great for an occasion like this, when I want something quick.

Like I just mentioned, it was really an easy one. I creamed the cheese (I microwaved it for a bit), added egg yolks and sugar, then milk, vanilla, and liquor - that was it. In the recipe, both heavy cream and milk were used, but I didn't have cream in the fridge so just used whole milk, in a slightly lesser amount than that said in the recipe for the cream and milk combined, to avoid the custard getting too thin. I also used amaretto instead of rum in the recipe.


After 20 minutes of cooking (in a baine-marie, or "water bath" in the oven), the surface of custard in ramekins didn't seem to have all settled, looking still runny - that is the way it should be. Straggling hard with the urge to poke a spoon in the custard, I managed to stick the ramekins in the freezer (yes, freezer, because I wanted them chilled as soon as possible).

I was being patient for what seemed like 30-40 minutes, after which I dragged the custard out of the freezer, pour some thick maple syrup over it, and finally dug in.
It was very smooth and light, sweet to rights. Cream cheese wasn't so pronounced, but I definitely tasted it (he didn't, though).

It was really good, but would have been richer (and even better) with heavy cream, I imagined... next time, I would use heavy cream (or maybe half & half) and add black sesame taste, to make it like sesame cheese baked custard, which is my all-time favorite from Cheesecake Factory (I love it even more than the plain ones - by the way, the ramekins are actually what they put their cream cheese custard at Cheesecake Factory; you pay about $3-4 and get a dainty, plus this cute ramekin will be yours! Not a bad deal, is it?)!



P.S. The custard had thickened its taste by the next day. It got a lot richer and tasted definitely more of cream cheese. I liked it a lot better that way.

15 comments:

Santos said...

those. are. so. cute!

Liwen said...

Making me real hungry now... yum...

Reid said...

Hi Chika,

Looks yummy! I only wish I could smell it too. =)

chika said...

Hi there,

Santos - I've got another set of ramekins in a different shape with the same pattern. Those are cute, too! :)

Liwen - oops, got to eat something!

Reid - it smelled gooooood ;)

Santos said...

was the other shape of ramekin also from cheesecake factory? what was in it?

chika said...

Hey santos,
yep they are from Cheesecake Factory, too, and they had black sesame & creem cheese baked castard. I happened to post about it a long time ago, with a pic at
http://shewhoeats.blogspot.com/2004/05/black-sesame-cream-caramel-sans.html

Estelle said...

I like the spoon a lot! Is it from Japan?

Anonymous said...

Hey~! Was blog hopping and happened to stumble upon your lovely blog! This custard of yours really caught my attention as I was just thinking of making a cool dessert for a gal I know. Sorta like give her a treat. Sadly, as with most guys these days, I have no idea how to operate in the kitchen. Do you think you could help me out by giving slightly more detailed instructions so that I know how to make this for her? I would really appreciate it! THANKS!

- ALA

chika said...

Hi there,

Santos - the black sesame & cream cheese custard is very creamy and smooth, and has a light texture although taste very rich. Does that make sense at all?

Estelle - How did you guess?? I bought two pairs of dessert spoons and folks in Tokyo and I'm glad I did!

ALA - It's really sweet of you, making a dessert for someone :-)
I am sorry I did not reply any sooner. Since the recipe for this particular dessert isn't my original, I am not going to post the exact translation, but I figured it is very close to a recipe for creme brulee - like this one. It's a recipe for white chocolate creme brulee, and in fact the quantities of ingredients are almost exactly the same as the one I made, except that the cream cheese custard uses: 1) approx. 4 oz of cream cheese instead of white chocolate; 2) about 1 cup of half & half (or 2/5 cup of milk and 3/5 cup of heavy cream) instead of 1 3/4 cups of heavy cream; 3) only 3 tablespoonful of sugar and there is no finishing "sugar burning" before serving - serve it with maple syrup instead; 4) an addition of 1 tablespoonful of rum, and 5) cooking time is 15-20 minutes rather than 25 minutes.
I hope I am not making things too complicated for you. The procedure is pretty simple, so there is nothing to worry about really. Good luck!

Estelle said...

How did I guess? Well, I have never seen so nicely designed spoons here! I'm glad I guessed right :)

chika said...

Hi Estelle - you've had a point. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'll try it out tomorrow~! Hope it works out. Hehe :P

-ALA

chika said...

Hi ALA - Hope you and your someone will both enjoy it!

The B&G said...

lovely photos...

chika said...

Hi Me, thanks a lot for your complements! :)