Well it’s not a secret, but it’s not something I get to discuss at length. I super love videogames. I love it so much I once made concept art for a game I had an idea for. (Also something you didn’t know about me, I love to draw!) When I was in high school, I played a ton of RPGs on the Playstation 2. Ahhh memories… The downside to RPGs is that it takes time and dedication to finish, and if you’re a perfectionist like me, you try to finish all the side-quests (eg. Finding all 101 Dalmatians in all the Kingdom Hearts games) and unlock all the bonuses, which takes more time of course. Time– it’s something I no longer have much of these days. The real world kind of sucks that way.
Anyway, I wouldn’t be a proper videogame nerd if I didn’t love Super Mario. It’s one of the most iconic games in the history of videogames. One of my favourite ways to play a Mario game is through the Wii. Ever since the Wii was invented, the Mario-verse hasn’t been the same. It’s become even better! As in make-a-cupcake-as-a-tribute-to-Super-Mario-awesomeness better!
Coming across this recipe was pure luck. I knew I wasn’t going to settle for a simple vanilla cupcake and top it with red frosting; it didn’t feel very Mario. So when I saw this Japanese cheesecake recipe, I knew it was “the one”.
Using the Japanese cheesecake as a base, the cupcakes felt more appropriate as homage since the cool cats responsible for Super Mario are Japanese. Aside from that, Japanese cheesecakes are so wonderfully cotton-soft and sponge-like. They practically melt in your mouth if you make them bite-sized like I did. They don’t have that super rich flavour and texture typical cheesecakes do, instead it’s a little sweeter with a subtle savouriness to it. It most definitely is a very unique type of cheesecake.
Making this cheesecake involves a tad bit more steps than the usual cheesecake as well. It will have you whipping egg whites and folding the batter, but it’s all good in the end. I mean, even the bad guys want a piece of the cheesecake shroom!
Unfortunately for them, the Super Mushrooms and the Mario Brothers belong together.
Okay maybe Mario eats a ton more shrooms than Luigi. In any case, the boys looks like they’ve never seen this mush shrooms in one place! If you’re wondering where I got these adorable boxed Super Mario characters, I actually downloaded them from this site and cut and folded them into shape myself. They’re called Cubeecrafts and I have a whole collection of my favourite videogame characters in Cubee form set up in my brothers’ room. 😀
Ugh this whole thing was just too cute!! I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
Now let me steer your attention towards the recipe for a second. I made my cheesecakes in regular-sized cupcake tins, however they do tend to shrink back on themselves a little bit as time passes, thus turning into bite-sized treats. I’m far from perfecting my technique in making this kind of cheesecake so I don’t have any answers on how to stop this shrinking from happening just yet. However I did not have any problems with cracked tops after following the instructions for the water-bath and the post-baking rituals, so there’s that!
Japanese Cheesecake Super Mushroom Cupcakes
makes 14 medium cupcakes or 23 bite-sized cupcakes
For the Japanese cheesecakes
- 250 grams 9 oz. cream cheese
- 50 grams 2 oz. butter
- 100 millilitres, 3 fluid oz. fresh milk
- 60 grams 2 oz. cake flour
- 20 grams 1 oz. cornstarch
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 6 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 140 grams 5 oz. fine granulated sugar
- 250 grams strawberry jam
- White chocolate buttons
To make the cheesecakes
- 1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line cupcake tray with liners.
- 2. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Use a whisk to break up any lumps. Cool the mixture.
- 3. Fold in the flour, cornstarch, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.
- 4. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.
- 5. Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and gently fold until just combined. Spoon mixture into cupcake liners, filling to about 5/6 or almost all the way full.
- 6. Fill a roasting pan 3/4 full of water for the water bath, then place the cupcake tray inside. Bake cheesecake inside the roasting tray for approximately 30 minutes or until set and golden brown on top. A skewer inserted into the centre should come out with some moist crumbs attached.
- 7. To avoid the cheesecakes cracking or collapsing, turn the oven off right before they are ready and then leave the oven door slightly open so they cool gradually. After 5 minutes, remove them from the oven and let them sit in the tray for another 10 minutes. Remove from the tray and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Prepare the topping
- 8. If your jam is thick, place strawberry jam in a small saucepan and gently heat, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool and set slightly. (I skipped this step.) When your cheesecakes have cooled, spoon a layer of strawberry jam over the top.
- 9. Decorate with white chocolate buttons to make them look like toadstools. If making small cupcakes, break chocolate buttons into smaller pieces and shape into rounds before decorating. Leave to set for about half an hour and then remove paper cases before serving.
- Storage: Cheesecakes can be stored in fridge overnight.
Is it totally not objective to bake something just for all those photos above? Didn’t think so.
PS. This is my first among hopefully many collaborative posts for this awesome new website called JapanLover.me. One of the founders of the site is a friend of mine (yes, in real life) and if you are a lover all things kawaii and Japanese (like me!) then I suggest you pay the site a visit! You can also see this post over there. 🙂