My friend Erica mailed me a big bag of pickled sakura (cherry blossoms) and I couldn’t wait to try them on my cakes! So last week I used them to decorate my rose and honey cheesecake. The color of my flowers faded a bit too much as I soaked them for too long (I left the house for a few hours after soaking them into water). After consulting my friend, I have included below the correct way of preparing these little cute cherry blossoms.
No-Bake Rose and Honey Cheesecake
makes a 5.5 inch square or 6 inch round cake
For the Vanilla Chiffon Cake
40 g cake and pastry flour
5 g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder (optional)
2 large egg yolks
25 g canola or vegetable oil
25 g milk
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
25 g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
For the Rose Cheesecake Filling
125 g cream cheese
70 g milk
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp rose syrup (with petals)
1 tsp rose water
1/16 tsp red yeast rice powder (for coloring purpose, may be replaced with a few drops of red liquid food coloring)
180 g whipping cream
1 Tbsp (9 g) powdered gelatin
30 g water
For the Sakura Jelly
6 to 8 pickled sakura
120 g water, divided
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp rose syrup (clear syrup without petals)
1 tsp (about 3 g) powdered gelatin
Notes: The eggs I use are about 50 g each without shells.
泡打粉 1/4茶匙 (可不加)
紅麴粉 1/16茶匙 (調色用，可用幾滴紅色色素代替)
魚膠粉 1湯匙 (約9克)
For the Vanilla Chiffon Cake Layer 雲尼拿蛋糕
Sift together the flour, baking powder and 5 g of sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix well and make a well in the center. Add oil, milk, egg yolks and vanilla bean paste to the well and whisk gently until combined.
In another clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites with a hand mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks. Then slowly add 25 g of sugar in batches and continue beating until glossy and firm peaks. Scoop about one third of the meringue to the yolk mixture and mix well to lighten. Then pour this back to the remaining meringue. Fold gently and thoroughly until you see no streaks of white.
Pour batter into a 6-inch round cake pan and smooth top with a spatula. Tap pan against the kitchen counter several times to get rid of any large air bubbles. Bake in 325°F/160°C preheat oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Invert pan and cool on a cooling rack. Once cooled, unmold cake then slice it to 1/2 inch thick. Keep covered until ready to use.
For the Rose Cheesecake Filling 玫瑰芝士餡
Chill mixing bowl and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes before you start. Bloom gelatin by mixing it with water and set aside for 5 minutes. Warm mixture in the microwave or sit the bowl in hot water until gelatin liquefies. Set aside.
With a food processor, process cream cheese, rose syrup (and its petals), honey, rose water, red yeast rice powder and milk until smooth. Pass mixture through a strainer to get rid of any lumps if necessary. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add dissolved gelatin and mix well.
In the chilled mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until thickened and soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the above rose-cream cheese mixture in two to three batches until well combined.
For the Sakura Jelly 櫻花啫喱面
Rinse pickled sakura under running water to get rid of the salt. Soak them in drinking water for 30 to 60 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel gently. Set aside.
Bloom gelatin by mixing it with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside for 5 minutes. Warm mixture in the microwave or sit the bowl in hot water until gelatin liquefies. Add remaining water, rose syrup and honey and mix thoroughly.
To Assemble 組合
Wrap the bottom of the cake ring with plastic food wrap. Trim cake layer so that it is one size smaller than the cake ring then place it on the bottom of the ring. Pour cheesecake filling over the cake layer, making sure the gap is filled. Tap ring on the table counter several times to remove any large air bubbles. Smooth top with a spatula. Refrigerate until set.
Remove chilled cake from the fridge. Place sakura on top then pour sakura jelly mixture over the chilled cake. Arrange the shape of the petals with a toothpick. Chill until jelly is firm. Unmold cake and serve.
I poured the leftover rose-cream cheese filling into three little glasses and decorated the top with sakura and clear jelly.
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