June 9, 2006

accidental birthday cake

June 7th is my sister Yuka's birthday. When I ask her what she'd want for birthday cake, she'd usually request cheesecake, and that was exactly the case last year - I made her some ultra-rich and cheesey New York cheesecake (I didn't do a post about it here, but you can see some photos in my Japanese blog here). This year, she happened to fancy something a little different, which happened to be a little time-consuming for me to whip up on the very day today - so I ended up making something else that I had wanted to try, which happened to be cheesecake.

It's called East End Cheesecake, a recipe by Dan Lepard that my friend and great baker Naoko has tried a little while ago for her own birthday. It's got extra-thick double cream in both the crust and the filling and is thus meant to be rich, but it turned out to be a moist but not so heavy, probably thanks to the addition of a firmly whipped egg white.

I baked the cake in individual-sized heart shapes, and served them with quick raspberry compote, which was basically fresh raspberries tossed with a mixture of pureed raspberries and a bit of late-harvest Riesling. For drawing lines on the plate I used 75% dark chocolate from a New York chocolatier Vere, about which I should be doing a post sometime within the coming weeks.

I'm just so partial to rich and heavy New York cheesecake, but this one sure was a nice change on a slightly lighter side. I was also pleased to see it get a nod from the cheesecake-sucker; it wasn't meant to be her birthday cake, but it's always good idea to keep our birthday girl happy, I suppose.

By the way, the happy b-day girl happily cooperated with me for today's photo shooting session; the white hearts necklace appearing along with the white heart cheesecake is a work of my sister, who is an independent jewelry desginer/artist. Those tiny enameled silver hearts have made a motif in a number of her works including earings and bracelets, and they are always my favorites amongst her other beautiful creations. She's a devoted artisan, occasional surfer, loving wife and many other things to boot... but to me she's a cool sister and great friend whom I am proud of. Here're my best wishes for her ever successful year - Happy Birthday Yuka, good luck with everything... if you're lucky enough, you'll get a "proper" birthday cake this weekend.


Orchidea said...

This cake looks delicious! I checked out some of your sister creations... they are really beautiful...

Posted by Orchidea

Santos said...

happy birthday yuka! the cheesecake is so charming, it looks like it would be done in just a few bites. i love your sister's jewelry; i had been wondering where you got that lovely pendant i saw of you on anthony's blog, now i have a good idea where ;) 

Posted by santos.

MochiCheek said...

Hi Chika,

Like everyone else before me, I think your blog is beautiful, your photographs and entries are addicting. This cake is uber lovely - I know just what to make now for Father's day. Thanks!

Ps: The artistic blood sure runs in the fam! 

Posted by MochiCheek

jared said...

Lovely post, and your photos actually do justice to your creations. thanks 

Posted by jared

chika said...

Thanks all for your kind notes... thank you so much!

santos - ah, that particular pendant is actually from Hawaii. at the farmer's market in Hilo. Great compliment to my sis though. :) 

Posted by chika

Fanny said...

This cake looks so good and the pictures are gorgeous.
By the way, i love your sister jewellery.

And i love the part of the post where you describe how you feel about your sister. Now i really have a smile on my face, because i do feel the same about my little sister.


Posted by fanny

chyuki said...

Wow, your cakes look fabulous! Makes me wanna bake one right now! :O

If you don't mind me asking, what kind of pan did you use to bake these, to get such perfect and unbrowned sides? Because the sides don't looked trimmed or anything...  

Posted by chyuki

Lilys said...

waaaaah! oichi desu ne? :D 

Posted by Lilys

chika said...

Hi there, thanks for more comments...

Fanny - glad to hear someone knows what I meant :)

chyuki - I used a flexipan, a silicone/glass fiber non-stick muffin pan that tends to make cakes brown less. I also covered it with aluminum foil for the cakes to get gentle bake, as instructed in the recipe.

Lilys - yeah oishikatta des :) 

Posted by chika

Saffron said...

Hi Chika,
simply delicious!
a big kiss 

Posted by Saffron

: L U c e e : said...

da cake looks tasty eh~
love cheese cake~ xD
n da shape is juz so cute~ <3
n ur sister's jewelry is beautiful~