Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Taiwanese Cheese Sponge Cake with Parmesan Cheese 台湾古早味芝士蛋糕 Recipe Two NO steam bake

I have been seeing many social media posts showing the Taiwanese style cheese cakes / 台湾古早味芝士蛋糕 are selling like hotcakes in Singapore and Malaysia lately.

Wow!!! And I wonder why???

Prior this post, I have baked a sponge cake that is somehow like the Taiwanese old school cheese sponge cake at HERE and I have to say that I really really really love it. However, my previous bake is not the exact replicate of the popular cakes that are selling in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.

... because the cake that I baked at HERE 1) has no tiny specks of powdered cheese sprinkle on it! 2) is steam-baked and so the top surface of my cake is not thickly baked and deep golden brown like the original cake. 3) is not exactly springy and firm but rather cottony soft and tender.

We don't have any 台湾古早味芝士蛋糕 selling in Melbourne right now. Even if the cake craze arrives in Australia, I don't think I will queue and wait just to taste the cake. So I guess the next best thing to satisfy my curiosity is to bake another cake that is firm and springy with deep golden brown surface and has powdered cheese sprinkle on it.

So... I have baked another Taiwanese old school cheese sponge cake and this time, it is based on the recipe from Sharon's blog (written in Chinese) at here...

Taiwanese old school sponge cheese cake
Taiwanese Gochabi Cheese Sponge Cake 台湾古早味芝士蛋糕
Version TWO with Parmesan cheese and NO steam baked


This cake is MORE LIKE the real Taiwanese Cheese Sponge Cake being firm and springy with deep golden brown surface and has powdered cheese sprinkle on it! Taste-wise, it is more cheesy due to generous sprinkle of Parmesan and so it is a little more salty than sweet.

.... but unlike Sharon's flawless cake, there are cracks in mine. Why? The amount of cheese powder that Sharon used to sprinkle on her cake is not clearly mentioned. Thus, unlike Sharon's cake, I must have sprinkled a little too much Parmesan cheese powder on mine causing the surface to be unevenly weighed, thus resulting these cracks to form due to the uneven rising of the cake.  

To bake a flawless cake, I should sprinkle my next cake with less Parmesan cheese but I'm NOT baking this cake again because my family and I actually like my previous cake with beautiful tender cheesy texture at HERE A LOT MORE!!!!! Oh! Are you surprised? I am!!!!!

Why and what are the differences?

I can't really tell a solid reason why I like my previous cake at HERE more than this one... Maybe it is due to our personal preferences that we like the soft tender cakes more.

If you look at both recipes very closely, you will see that these recipes from HERE and HERE in this post are actually about 95% similar except for these minor differences...

1) the cream cheese from HERE is replaced with the same amount of Parmesan cheese.

2) the cream cheese mixture is cooked until the cream cheese is melted but the Parmesan cheese mixture is cooked to 70°C.

3) the cake from HERE has lemon juice to stabilise the meringue but this cake has not.

4) the egg yolks in the cake from HERE are added first, then the flour but the flour in this cake is added first, then the yolks.

5) the cheese batter in the cake from HERE has been sifted but this step in not included in this recipe.

6) the cake from HERE has no Parmesan cheese sprinkle on it and this cake has 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese sprinkled on it.

7) Both cakes are baked with same oven temperature but the cake from HERE is baked with steam and this cake is NOT!

Thus, resulting the cake from HERE to be flawless with NO cracks, cottony soft and tender vs the cake in THIS post to be more cheesy, firm and springy with deep golden brown surface.

Which one to bake? Both are delicious!!! Although I like the soft tender cake more, I must say that the choice is really up to you... It's all about personal preference!

Taiwanese old school sponge cheese cake
Although I'm a little disappointed that there are cracks in my cake
... I have to say that the cracks are totally harmless and won't ruin its taste and texture!!!

Oh!!! BTW, I have seen cracks on most original 台湾古早味芝士蛋糕 selling in Asian countries too and I asked myself... why do we bother to bake this cake with NO cracks???

Taiwanese old school sponge cheese cake
YUMMY cheese cake with lots of cheesy taste!
Taiwanese old school sponge cheese cake
YUMMY again with spongy springy texture!!!

Here's a video showing how I baked my Parmesan cheese version Taiwanese Cheese Sponge Cake if you are interested. Thanks Bensound for the music in my video.

And here's the recipe that I have adapted from Sharon's blog (written in Chinese) at here.

Makes one 18 cm / 7 inches square cake

For the egg yolk mixture:
70g milk
70g neutral tasting oil like vegetable oil, canola oil or rice bran oil
15g finely ground Parmesan cheese powder

90g cake flour with 8% protein
1/4 tsp salt

90g egg yolk (about 6, please use exact weight)

For the egg white mixture:
200g egg whites (about 5-6, please use the exact weight)
65g caster sugar

To fill:
4 pieces cheese singles

To top:
20g (2 tbsp) Parmesan or less finely ground cheese powder - please note this generous amount of cheese sprinkle MIGHT cause your cake to have some cracks and you might want to reduce this to 5g (1 tsp) if you after a flawless but less cheesy cake. If you don't mind, the cracks are actually harmless!!!

Preheat the oven to 130°C-150°C or the right temperature setting for your soufflé cake baking.

Line the inside bottom of the cake pan (with NO non-stick surface) with baking paper. Do not line or grease the internal side of the cake pan. Wrap the outside bottom and sides of the cake pan with 1-2 layers foil to provide extra insulation around the cake. Set aside.

For A:
Place ingredients A in a large mixing heat proof bowl. Place the mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and make sure the mixing bowl is big enough to sit on the top of the saucepan. Place a candy thermometer into the mixture to monitor the temperature. Heat and whisk until mixture is 70°C. Remove mixture from the heat.

For B:
Sift in cake flour and salt and use a hand whisk to whisk until well incorporated. At this stage, mixture should be cooled enough to touch.

For C:
Using a hand whisk, add egg yolks gradually, one by one into the AB mixture and whisk until mixture is just combined after every addition. Set aside. Mixture will be thick with a jelly-like texture.

For D:
Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites at a low medium speed for at least 10 mins to stabilise the egg white mixture. Increase the whisking speed to the next higher speed. While whisking, add sugar gradually in 3-4 batches and continue to whisk at the next higher speed (medium speed) until SOFT peaks form. Please do not use high speed to avoid forming large and coarse bubbles. To stabilise the air bubbles in the mixture, decrease whisking speed to low speed and beat for another 1 mins.

Using a hand whisk or a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites to the cream cheese mixture in 3-4 portions. It is ok to mix the 1st portion of egg white more vigorously into the cream cheese mixture but the subsequent portions must be folded in very gently. Make sure that most of the white is not visible after folding.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared cake pan. Arrange the cheese slices on top of the batter and pour the remaining batter onto the cheese layer. Use a skewer to draw a zigzag to remove air bubbles only on the surface in the batter. Sprinkle cheese powder evenly on the cake batter.

Bake for 60-80 mins or until the top of the cake is dark golden colour.

Note: Based on my optimised soufflé cake baking at here, I know that my Ariston oven is typically warmer and so I'm baking my cake in slightly lower temperature which is 130°C for 70 mins. Then, 130°C grill only for 10 mins until the top of the cheesecake turns dark golden brown. NO steam bake for this recipe and I can't reduce this oven temperature any further because I'm after a nice golden brown cake top.

Remove cake from oven and immediately drop the cake with the pan on at a height of about 30 cm onto the table top. This helps to prevent the cake from shrinking too much during cooling. Then, unmould the cake immediately. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.

Store uneaten cake in an airtight container at room temperature and consume the cake within the same day of the bake or latest on the next day. Cake won't taste so good if it is stored in the fridge but the cheese in the cake will go off if it is stored at room temperature for more than 2 days.

Happy Baking
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  1. Hi Zoe! I see many sponge cake kiosks coming up lately at shopping malls. Tried one called Ah Mah Traditional Egg Sponge Cake and it was quite nice. No need to queue lah, you homemade sponge cakes are way better. I know, even though I have no chance to taste hee..hee.. Will try your recipes now that my baking mojo is back :)

  2. looks nice, at first I thought it was some kind of bread LOL. but love the recipe. have a nice weekend