Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Good Old Times Part I & Feather Light Cheesecake :)

Have you got a chance in your life where you leave everything that was hanging on your shoulder behind and go thousands of miles away just for a week? And immerse in a world that you once adore so much? I did. Lucky me because I have family that can help me with my kids. Lucky me because my loving husband wants this for us. :) Although partly because there is a matter that require our presence there. :P But I definitely benefit from it, a getaway that I am really looking forward to. Yup, we went back to California for a week. Although i did miss my kids dearly, but I knew they are in good hands. :)

The sunny, yet still cooling summer weather, with plentiful fresh produce and summer sale! I got to do shopping, yes, real shopping in a mall. Sound a little sad isn't it. Haven't done that since February. :P Walking around shopping aimlessly without any time restriction was such a leisure for me
...at some point I felt guilty about it! I even got to meet up with an old friend which I too miss dearly. :) Will get to that later...

Although it was just a week (minus all that boring flight time), I was truly grateful for it. At some point, I was hoping I can capture every moment and post it up for all my dear readers to see. But that will be a way too long post and I don't think I have that kind of time at hand. :P So a little summary, just like last time, hope you guys will take a walk back memory lane with me on my journey back to my good old times back in California.

First stop, Mountain View Farmer's Market in Bay Area. It's there every Sunday, packed full of locals and farmers with produces in season. I was real lucky to be there at this peak season where there is a great abundance of summer fruits & vegetables. Look on...

Yes...summer squash! It comes it several cute shapes and colour but taste wise is pretty much the same. It's such a versatile vegetable, grilled, salad, stir fry or even in baked cakes...yummy! ;)
Sweet Bing cherries...they come only in early summer and I love the dark red ones because it's taste is much more intense, almost like tasting cherry wine. ;) I even managed to "smuggle" some home, so you should be seeing some cherry bake from me soon. :)
Doughnut peaches...you see me right, it's like white peaches but in the shape of a doughnut! Aren't they look the cutest? They taste the same as the usual white peaches but much sweeter and juicier then the yellow ones. It's pretty rare in Asia if I am not wrong. :)
One of my all time favorite fruit, sweet pluots (some call them plums)! I actually have a similar specie, which is a plum tree growing in my very own garden inside my California house. When I was there to see it this time, I actually saw it fruiting! Too bad I'm too shy to ask my tenant for some, lol!
Another wonderful fruit/vegetable in summer is vine ripe tomatoes. They are actually sweet tasting and making pasta sauces and pizza with these babies are just super. :) I remember I will make my own pasta sauces and can them during summer so I have a constant supply during winter time. :)
I love fresh mushrooms! I remember I will always buy a pound or so of variety to either stir fry or add into my pasta, yummy!

These fresh cut flowers are such delight too. Buying home a bouquet every Sunday is always a treat for me. :)
Fresh plum blueberries are just so inviting! Don't get me started on the health benefits on eating blueberries! And I love baking with them....yes, I've packed some home too, lol!
Check out the stuff I bought at the market. Don't the berries look good! Some yogurt and I am good! And since they are in season now, they are pretty sweet. It's too bad I can't bring these back to Singapore, else it would be great to bake a trio berry tart! ;) Also got some plum jam and wildflower honey. ;) Might as well bring some jam back since I can't bring the fruits back. ;)

In the later afternoon, my husband and I drove up to San Francisco and went for a walk near Golden Gate Bridge and Baker's Beach.
Doesn't this place look like some place in Europe? Well, it's Baker's Beach in CA. It always takes me away to peaceful trance with the sound of the crashing waves and cooling breeze. You get to see this wonderful view of Golden Gate Bridge at Baker's Beach, so great right! But watch out for the nudist beach just around the corner....not that there's anything wrong with it of course. :)
Sunset at Golden Gate Bridge....really does made it look golden. I swear I can just watch the sunset right there, but its getting freaking cold! Lol!
Check out those steep slopes...it's like that all over SF. Never park your car neutral if you know what I mean. :P But that is the distinct feature of SF, love it! ;)
Perhaps it's the time difference, but me and my hubby were not that hungry that night. So we decided to head over to Ghirardelli Square to our all time favorite ice cream palour. Yup, call us young at heart or sweet tooth, but we love the idea of just having ice cream for dinner, hahaha! Shhhh! Don't tell my girls! Lol! We really had a blast that day....wish it didn't have to end so soon. :P

Think I should pause for now about my journey back to California. Don't want to overload you all with so much stuff and photos at one time. Will post up Part II later on when I have more time. Now, I want to finish this post by sharing with you all my last bake before I traveled, Feather Light Cheesecake from Alex Goh. There are several blogger out there that has successfully bake this cake and I knew I just have to try it out myself. :)
I made this cake for my girls because I know they will miss my baking when I'm away. This is pretty similar to the Japanese Light Cheesecake I made before. My girls loved it....too bad I did not get a chance to taste it myself. :P Here is the recipe for my reference:

Ingredients for Feather-Light Cheesecake:
250ml fresh milk
20g butter
125g cream cheese @ room temp
50g cake flour
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
80g caster sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder, mixed in 1 tbsp hot water


  • In a saucepan, place cream cheese, milk and butter in it and heat at medium heat. Using a whisk and make sure everything is melted and well combined. Place aside till needed.
  • Grease and line an 8" round pan with parchment paper.
  • Add the egg yolks and vanilla into the cream cheese mixture and stir well.
  • Whisk flour over into the cream cheese mixture till well combined, making sure there are no lumps in it.
  • In another large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites till foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar and continue to whisk. Gradually add the sugar in and beat till stiff peaks.
  • Gently fold the whites into the cream cheese mixture in 3 portions till well combined.
  • Scoop 1/5 of the cake batter out and mix in the chocolate paste. Set aside till needed.
  • Pour the remaining cake batter into the prepare pan and scoop dollops of the chocolate batter over the top. Using a butter knife or toothpick, swirl the batter on top to make marble patterns.
  • Bake in water bath @ 160°C for 50minutes or till the tester comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from oven and let cool completely before chilling it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Since my girls love this so much, think I will come up with a different version next time. Perhaps not using chocolate paste but something else to create the swirls on top.
Hope you all will try out this lovely recipe. It's not that hard to prepare at all and you can bake up this yummy cake at your very home. Have fun!


Kitchen Corner said...

Hi Bee,
I can feel the joy in you for this lovely trip back to CA. Beside, the cheesecake is nicely baked and I can feel its lightness too!

Quinn said...

You really and will definitely miss California HBS, I could tell.The market is very similar to summer in Adelaide. Right smack at the other end of the universe, it's our first winter month and it's freezing!

As for the swirl, try this. A tablespoon of Ribena Syrup mixed into a few tablespoon of the batter and swirl!!!! I'm not quite sure if the light shade of purple will retain its color after baking.....

WendyinKK said...

Oh.. the farmer's market looked so good. Especially the cherries!!! Such a huge pile, and the blueberries, they look really huge compared to those sold here.

I will one day go to US and stay for a while...and I hope to be there during early summer.

I baked the same cake too, but haven't posted it yet. kekeke.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love that markets loaded with fresh fruits and veggies.

Cheesecake....mmm...besides chiffon, I would say that cheesecake is my 2nd favourite sweets. Yours looks very fluffy and smooth.

For the fresh cheese I used to make the dip...yes, cream cheese would be a great alternative. Actually I thought of using a combination of sour cream and cream cheese.

ReeseKitchen said...

Ooh..such a wonderful place, Bee Bee. Wish to be there one day..;) Imagine if you and I were there shopping for those beautiful fresh fruits, then shop & shop & shop...WAH...how nice! Hahaha! (dreaming)@_@
Hey, the cake looks very nice, I'm now having cough and flu, all the food I took was tasteless.:(

Pei-Lin said...

Bee Bee, I love this post a lot!! Though I never get to travel to the West Coast, I felt like as if I were with you right there all along! THOSE BERRIES ARE KILLING ME!!! And you smuggled some back!? Bee Bee! And I heart those dark bing cherries!!! These were the ones I had, which came from California to Minnesota. Boy, they were the sweetest I'd had in my life! I took a shot of them before gobbling them up!


Yea, I miss canning too. My family in Minnesota grows all those fancily shaped summer squash ... I once made some healthy brownies with squash (zucchini) too. So moist! Here's mine:


They're huge fans of morels!! Oh, so much of my memories are left behind too ... Thanks for walking me down the sweet memory lane ... I miss America too! Shall can something in the tropical paradise? Haha! Canning, definitely an American way of life I miss dearly ... I miss my family's home-made preserves with all those home-grown raspberries, currants!

ann low said...

Lovey pictures remind me when I was in CA and San Francisco few years ago.
Your cheesecake looks so light and most. Will bookmark it. Thanks, Bee ;))

Passionate About Baking said...

It's so nice to know that you can always relied on your family members to take care of your children! :) I can relate to that too! You're so fortunate HBS, and I'm so happy for you.
I'm just curious, with all the good food surrounding you (from USA to Malaysia and now in Singapore and all your bakes!!) how do you keep yourself so slim and fit?? I'm just so jealous! ;p

Honey Bee Sweets said...

You said it Quinn. :P But I got to face the facts and know what is more important in life now. Great idea with the Ribena Syrup...can imagine the nice violet swirls! Thanks!

Thanks Grace. Yes, I did have so much fun when I went back...hope it will happen again soon.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Wendy,
Yes, I am sure anyone would love the farmer's market! Hope you get to experience it in the future. :)

Thanks Angie for the tip. I love sour cream, so using it for the dip would be a great idea, yum!

Bakericious said...

oh forgot to tell u the cheesecake looks so light and fluffy, sure to be yummy.

Bakericious said...

HBS, the farmer's market look so good to shop, I like buying fruits as well. Seeing all the beautiful fruits... I wish I can b there too. Thank you for sharing the pics that bringing me back to the sweet memories for my trip to CA & SF many yrs ago, remind me how I miss USA kee kee kee...

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Ai ya Reese! You have to go California at least one time!!Besides the lovely weather and the bounty of fruits and vegetables, Disneyland and yes...shop till we drop. If you want to go which I know your lou kong wants too, quickly plan!! We can go there together! ;)

You are most welcome Anncoo! Glad it brings back sweet memories for you. :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Pei-Lin...whenever I read your comment, I know you are "in tune" with me, lol! Yes, canning is indeed a way of the American's life. ;) Now I am thinking should I use those cherries to bake...seems such a waste not eating it fresh, lol! Cost like S$25/kg here!

Hi Jane,
Hahaha, I am not slim and fit larr. Just that I am tall, so it's a false impression. :) But thanks for the compliment, you made my day, lol!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Jess, glad it brings you good memories. :) Do try out this feather light cheesecake, it's very nice!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Look at all these fresh fruits and vege, I wish I can be there and grap some back home for baking , hehehe..Thanks for sharing all these fresh and lovely photos.

Passionate About Baking said...

Yo yo... tall also can be fat right? Glad I made your day. Now I'm going to make your week. You're still slim and trim to me lah! Haven't share your secret leh. *trying my luck* Heehee...

Honey Bee Sweets said...

You are most welcome Sonia. Glad I can bring some pleasure while you coming by my blog. ;) Have a great day friend!

Hahaha...Jane, no secret! But I do jogging at least twice a weekif I can...not on treadmill though, too boring. Out and about will motivate you to go further. ;) But you know my theory is, so long as lou kong never complain...why worry? Heehee...life is too short to diet btw, so enjoy it!!

Unknown said...

Thank you for this lovely post! Almost like you're taking me on a tour of the place you used to call home.

Every once in a while we need to get away and just do things we enjoy, sounds like this trip was not only enjoyable but therapeutic for you!

Incidentally, my in laws arrived in SF the day you left :)
I think they are having a blast!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

You are most welcome Ee Peng. :) If I can, I would love for you all to be with me over there...we'll have such a blast! I have so much to share with you all...slowly through post by post...hope I won't bore you all, lol! Thanks for dropping by...always delights me seeing your comment. :)

petite nyonya said...

I definitely could love SF if I ever get the chance to live there. I absolutely love the market and all the berries! Amazing!!! Thanks for sharing all your photos and sounds like you and yr hubby had a wonderful trip. And yes, I do love featherlight cheesecake and I must try to make this too!

Pascal said...

Thanks for sharing. This brought back so many good memories to me, the good friends, the never ending discovery of nice places and scenery, the food, the warm and always sunny weather... Life is good with me right now but, in the meantime, I miss all that too.


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Joslynn,
I think you will LOVE SF. ;) Yes, I cannot say enough good things about the farmer's market. Hope you get to go there one time...will pass you the address. :) Do try the feather light cheesecake...very yummy!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

You are welcome Pascal. Don't we all just love SF. :) BTW, I got to meet with Lisa this time and we had such a wonderful time catching up. Yes, she is also doing very well.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Usted es la mayoría la bienvenida a Carolina! Bienvenidos a mi blog y muy contenta de que, como el pastel de queso. Así que lo siento, pero borro accidentalmente haga clic en tus comentarios! Así que ¿Vienen por más! Por cierto, usted tiene un blog precioso. ;) Espero que mi traducción tenga sentido para ti, jeje! hornear feliz!

pigpigscorner said...

I love farmer's markets, there's so much to see! The cake looks so light and soft!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks for dropping by pigpigscorner! ;) Yeah...I can be there at the market the whole day!

tigerfish said...

I was reading your swiss roll post abt blood orange in CA - gosh, I stay so near to Mountain View! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recipe

Cake is so light n yummy but the choc batter tends to drop into the cheesecake mixture when I make the marble patterns.