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Monday, April 21, 2008

Japanese Cheesecake


A fellow blogger once said, when you feel down, your bakes sink with you. Couldn't agree more. The cake rose close to 3 inches in the oven and ended up standing at 1.8 inches (I know, I measured). Shrunk at the sides too, totally unacceptable. Photobucket Been caught up with work lately and have not been in the best of mood. I found out that if you feel really down, no amount of chocolate you consume can alleviate your mood. Probably just leads you to nose bleeds. I had to go back to the office last Saturday and Sunday. Was planning to participate a blog event but couldn't find time and didn't have the heart to do it. At this point of time, work schedule remains sh*tty, nothing seems to be moving. Photobucket I tried hard not to let work affect my time with the children but clocking 10 hours each day doesn't help. Everday, I wake up with the children, go to work. Come home, play with them for about 15 mins to half an hour, it's time to tuck them to bed. Making matter worse, I worked weekends for 2 weeks in a row. Does Ah Boy see me as a walking pacifier/milk dispenser? Does Ah Girl feel that I'm just a bedtime playmate?

I am kind of feeling burnt out. Maybe, I am getting in age. Maybe my priorities have changed. I have always envied stay-at-home moms. They can be with the kids all the time. I miss my kids when I am at work. But then, knowing my temperament, I would be tearing my hair out if I were to be a stay-at-home mom. Should I then, be grateful that the circumstances don't allow me to stay home? Speaking of temperament, I did the unthinkable on Saturday night. I feel ashamed to be even talking about it. I smacked Ah Girl's mouth for crying and it was not even her fault.

Came back home with a headache and hardly had a wink after nursing Ah Boy. Ah Girl woke up suddenly, still dreaming I guess, started wailing for no reason. She was crying so hard that she coughed. Past experience was that; she would cry and cough till she vomit. Instead of consoling her, calming her down, I got really angry and irritated that her cries woke Ah Boy up. Yes, I was worried that she would vomit on the bed and the cleaning involved if she did. Cleaning up = less sleep. When she didn't stop, I smacked her mouth, which resulted more wailings. That finally got IH out of his vegetative state in front of the TV. I left IH to comfort Ah Girl while I pat Ah Boy to sleep. I'm a terrible mother and felt even more guilty in the morning. Ah Girl couldn't recall the incident and kissed me 'Good-bye' when I went out for work. Photobucket I'm so sorry baby. What was I thinking? Why did I raise my hand to hit her? As much as I try not to let work affect me, I feel that I am fighting a losing battle. I have been losing sleep for a couple of nights over nearing deadlines. Something triggers off and I just snapped. Photobucket I need a break soon, seriously. I do apologise if you do find my post abit too windy and kinda deviated from the title. Let's get down to business then.

To atone myself, despite being tired after work, I decided to bake Ah Girl's favourite cheesecake. You should see her eat this cake (not this one Photobucket) , gone in lightning speed (okay, I exaggerated). No fork for her, no ma'am. She will use her hand, thank you very much. I'm trying out a recipe from here. Made some adjustments as I do not have a digital scale.

Japanese Cheesecake
180g Cream Cheese
100g Fresh Milk
30g Butter

3 Egg Yolks
30g Cake Flour
10g Corn Flour
2 Tsp Lemon Juice
a pinch of Salt

3 Egg Whites
80g Sugar
1/4 Tsp Cream Of Tartar

1) Lightly grease and line a 7 inch round cake pan. Prepare hot water and oven for Bain-Marie (water bath).

2)In a bowl, melt cream cheese and butter using double boil method. Add milk. Leave aside to cool for later use.

3) Sift in cake flour and cornflour. Add egg yolks, lemon juice and salt. Mix till incorporated.

4) In another clean bowl, using a mixer, whisk the egg whites till foamy. Gradually add in sugar and whisk to soft peaks. Add in cream of tartar and whisk till stiff peak.

5) Fold in the egg whites till well corporated. Pour into the lined cake pan. Bang the cake pan on the table. Bake in Bain-Marie at 170 deg.C for 15 mins, cover the top with aluminium foil. Lower the temperature to 160 deg.C, bake for 60 mins. Uncover the foil and brown the top for 10 mins.

6) When the cake is done, open the oven door and leave the cake in the oven for 10 minutes (started to deflate here). Remove from oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 mins before removing to a rack.

*Note : Remember to add hot water to the water bath if it starts to dry up. The top of my cake is rather flat but tiny 'craters' are formed due to bubbles. Guess I should have bang the pan harder next time.

Something must have gone wrong somewhere resulting the above cake. Perhaps it's time to get a digital scale? I am rather sure I did not overfold the egg whites. All in all, the cake is still edible. Soft, moist and smooth. Though it collapsed but it's not hard but there is much room for improvement. How do I make it more fluffy? I'll leave that till later. Now I've got to go back to work.



Anonymous said...

Sorry to read what you're going through, it's never easy to be FTWM. *Hugs* Things will get better along the way, have faith :)

KWF said...

You know, Rei, I can relate so much to your post. There are times when I scolded the children just becoz I'm in a lousy mood and I know it's not their fault. Like hubby says, I have this bad habit, if I'm wrong, I'll scold people even louder, maybe in attempt to cover up? So don't worry, I'm sure you don't mean it. Sometimes our action comes faster than our mind processing, like a reflex.
But girl, I think you really need a break. Rest well when you can. If office allows, have some calming music. Music therapy helps. I'm always there if you feel like having a chat. :)

Simonne said...

Maybe there's rally wrong with the recipe (not sure)..
I'm using Hungry Hamster's recipe (2nd attempt) and result is good.

Unknown said...

I empathsize with you. All mothers whether stay-home or working have good and bad days. So yours is just one of those 'bad days'! Do not go on a guilt trip. For every 'down' there is a 'up'!

Rei said...

Thank you all for your encouragements. Really appreciate it.

Hi Sukkimi, thanks for sharing. Will try out the recipe that you recommnended.

Yuri said...

Hey rei, I'm sure almost every mom can identify with what you went through. I had a short stint as a SAHM, given our temperament, it would be better for all (at least in my case) if I worked. So, I'm back in the workforce for the past 6 years (after taking a 18 mth break).

Kids have this amazing ability to forgive and forget, especially when they are young. My dd is going 13, and son going 10. They appear to be as forgiving as before, but who knows what they think deep down? I've to learnt to control my emotions and not vent on them anymore... though sometimes I cave in, of cuz.

Gambaidei (sorry if spelling is off) :P

Unknown said...

Hi Rei,
I can understand how it can dampens your mood. I've tried making Japanese cheesecake once but fail misearbly. I won't be making it again cos I realise it's not very healthy. Cheer up.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

cheesecakes always fall, so i don't think it's ur recipe. i even called alex goh the chef n cook book writer once when my cheesecake fell to half its risen height n he said tt for the lighter cheesecake, you need to take it out from the tin immediately. but most books say to leave in the oven so tt the temp diff is not so great.

don't beat urself up over smacking ur girl. i've done far far worse, n one of my kids told me i would be in prison if i was living in canada. parenthood is truly very hard, n harder as they grow. if u feel u r at the end of ur rope, u MUST talk to someone n take a short trip, even if it's for a day, so tt u can refresh n face ur challenges. cheer up. remember they are Gd's gifts to you, n u r answerable to Him so take care of them.

Edith said...

Hey girl, i think you are having a burnt out. I do get lousy days and said the most unthinkable and later regretted it.

Guess you need to find support and encouragement from friends that the next day will be a better day.

Take a break and do nothing. It does help.