Monday, April 11, 2011

Cherry Blossoms, A Wedding and Mini Japanese Cheesecakes!

(online stock photo not by OEEF)
  • I loved being back home in MD/DC and seeing all of my family and friends! What made it even more special this time was that one of my best friends got married! 

The lovely couple sharing a laugh
among the beautiful cherry blossom trees!
I was also lucky enough to be in town when the cherry blossom trees were in full bloom all over MD, DC and VA. What a wonderful backdrop for an even more beautiful wedding weekend. On the day of the wedding, the bride and groom were blessed with sunshine and beautiful weather. Also the gorgeous cherry blossoms were at their peak of full bloom! The entire bridal party got a leisurely limousine ride into DC and then took pictures among the elegant trees and monuments.

A quick wiki search will reveal that "The Cherry Blossom Festival in DC commemorates the March 27, 1912, gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington DC. Mayor Ozaki donated the trees in an effort to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and also celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations."

The scene in DC was breathtaking; the water rippling from the cool breeze, sun shining, cherry blossom trees in full bloom  and glimpses of the majestic monuments in the background. Beautiful.

With the recent tragedies that have befallen Japan (1 month today) and with the trees all around my hometown as a reminder- I, like many of you, have had Japan on my mind. 

With that, its only fitting to share an elegant Mini Japanese Cheesecake recipe! (made with the mini cheesecake pan given to me as a housewarming present by my BFF!) .

Here is my step by step pictorial guide on how to make Mini Japanese Cheesecakes! Dont let the term "cheesecake" fool you. The Japanese version is super light, creamy and cottony soft. You can totally have a second helping : j

  • (recipe from

  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup white sugar, divided
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • Steps:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease mini cheesecake pan. 
    Then warm the cream cheese and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. 
    Cook, stirring occasionally, until cream cheese is melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and half of the sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer.

Gently mix in or fold the cream cheese mixture into the yolks

Sift the flour and cornstarch.

Stir sifted flour into egg yolk and cream mixture until blended.

In a separate bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites with cream of tartar until  foamy.

Gradually sprinkle in the remaining sugar and continue whipping to stiff peaks.

Fold egg whites into the cream cheese mixture.

Pour into the prepared cake pan. *Instead of a traditonal waterbath, I just poured water into a shallow pan that sat one rack right below my mini cheesecake pan.*
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Continue to bake for 15 more minutes.

 Let the cake cool before removing from the pan.
Run a knife around the outer edge of the cake pan, and invert onto a plate to remove the cake.

Top with freshly made whipped cream and a few slices of fruit. 
The whipped cream was light and the pear slices were perfectly sweet and delicate!

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  1. This looks wonderful, and I love the cherry blossoms! I didn't know you were from the DC area as well! I was just there this past weekend for a conference and crashed at my sister's place. I grew up south of Richmond but my family relocated to Northern Virginia my freshman year of college.

    Btw, thanks for entering the giveaway and tweeting about it!

  2. Wow they are so light and fluffy. I can imagine how they melt in your mouth. Beautiful post!

  3. I love love Japanese Cheesecake! I'm going to be brave and try this... So far the Japanese deserts (Sponge cake) have been fails for me. Do you think this would work in a Silicon cupcake thing with the pan of water below too?

  4. I concur! Absolutely beautiful post! Love the recipe~!

  5. What a most romantic setting for a wedding. Absolutely gorgeous. Your cheesecakes look so airy and match the setting, too. Just beautiful!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous! the photo's are very professionally done nice job!

  7. that looks amazing! and congratulations to your friend! :)

  8. i wanted to go to Dc to see the festival but seemed like the weather was not on our side every time we planned for it.
    Loved the photo of the happy couple under the cherry blossoms.
    the cheesecake look great. thanks fort sharing

  9. These look delicious! And the photos of your friend and the cherry blossoms are beautiful! looks like it was a beautiful day!

  10. Thank you all for the wonderful comments! I missed my kitchen while on vacation but happy to be back and cooking : j

    @Lindsay - I havent worked with silicone pans before (Ive heard they are amazing) but I am guessing that would be ok? Try it out and let us know how it goes! Good luck!

  11. Lovely post! Your cheesecake look absolutely divine!

  12. Hey here FoodBuzz friend! These cheesecakes look wonderful!! Beautiful too! Great post, cheers!! Kelly

  13. This is really beautiful, I love love your pics and cherry blossoms are my favorite in a Spring time! Great dessert too!!!!

  14. Your cheesecakes looks light and delicious! I wish there were cherry blossoms blooming in VT right now!

  15. What fabulous, light and airy cheesecakes! Beautiful!

  16. Those trees are beautiful and you have captured them perfectly. The mini cheese cake is a winner. I never made cheese cake before and I think it's time I try it :)

  17. I loved Japanese cheesecake, so cottony soft!

  18. ooh i've been saving your post in my inbox and finally made it... so glad i did! i love cherry blossoms - they make me so happy... i thought about visiting DC during the season too but then things just got hectic. glad you got to enjoy it - and for a wedding, too! =)

    i actually attempted a japanese cheesecake a few weeks ago too but didn't come out, not sure what happened. yours look so nice and fluffy, i might just try it again with this recipe. thanks!

  19. Congrats to your friends and beautiful mini cheesecakes!

  20. Sounds like it was the perfect wedding day blessed with nature's beauty. I am loving Japanese cheesecakes, I've never heard of them before. Definitely going to give these a try. Have a great weekend!

  21. This is my first time here. Nice blog! I love the cherry blossoms... pretty!

  22. These look so light and delicious, I love cherry blossom too, we have lovely trees here too but I would like to eat cheesecake under them now :-)

  23. Thanks so much for the warm wishes and this beautiful post about our wedding and the fabulous cheesecakes. Can you please send me some ASAP??

  24. Wow these look amazing!!! I have been wanting to japanese-style cheesecakes for awhile now, bc you are right they are so much lighter than the regular version. Yours look lovely, and thanks for sharing some cherry blossom photos!

  25. Thank you to everyone for all the love! Sabitha - will get on that right away : j