First, let's make the choux batter. In a pot, combine the water, butter and a pinch of salt, and turn on the burner. Bring it to a boil on medium heat. When the butter is completely melted and it reaches a rolling boil, turn off the burner.
Add the sieved cake flour to the pot. Quickly stir the mixture. When the flour has absorbed the water evenly and the mixture begins to turn gooey, turn on the burner again. Continue to stir the mixture on medium heat until a thin film forms on the bottom of the pot.
Place the mixture into a bowl. Flatten it with a spatula and slightly cool to avoid cooking the egg. Then, gradually add the beaten egg in 4 to 5 steps. When the egg is completely absorbed, begin adding another portion.
Achieving the perfect consistency is essential to making presentable choux pastries. To prevent the batter from getting too thin, add the egg a little at a time when it reaches the final stage. Drop the batter from the spatula as shown to check the consistency. When the choux batter left hanging forms a “V” shape, it is the perfect consistency.
Next, dust the edge of a 5cm (2") diameter cup with any type of flour or starch. Then, as a rough guide, make 12 circles where the choux batter will be placed on the parchment paper.
Put the batter into a pastry bag. Hold the bag 1cm (0.5") above the circle and squeeze the batter into a round shape. Repeat the process, filling each of the markers.
Dampen your finger with water and press each peak of the batter, adjusting the shape. Finally, mist the batter with water thoroughly to help avoid drying.
Place the baking sheet into the oven preheated to 200 °C (390 °F) and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet. Place the choux pastries onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Pastry Cream (net weight 500g/1.1 lb)
Let’s make the pastry cream. Cut the vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise and scrape it with the back of a knife, extracting the seeds. Then, add the seeds and pod to the milk, mix and gradually heat it on low heat. When it begins to boil, turn off the burner.
Next, lightly beat 4 egg yolks in a bowl and add the sugar. Mix the egg yolk with a balloon whisk until it begins to lighten in color.
Combine the cake flour and corn starch, and sieve onto a sheet of paper. Add it to the egg yolk and combine the mixture. Add one third of the milk to the bowl, diluting the egg yolk. Make sure to add the milk film and vanilla seeds.
Then, using a mesh strainer, strain the egg yolk into the pot of the milk. Turn on the burner. Continue mixing the pastry cream until it thickens. When it begins to form bubbles, turn off the burner.
Place the pastry cream into a tray chilled with ice. Cover it with plastic wrap. Pastry cream spoils easily so cool it as soon as possible.
Add the sugar to a bowl of whipping cream. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Lightly mix the chilled pastry cream in a bowl to soften. Add the whipped cream and combine. We recommend adding two thirds of the whipped cream but you can adjust the amount to taste. Mix to combine.
Make a diagonal cut in each choux pastry. Put the pastry cream into a bag. Give it a little squeeze to remove the air inside. Open the pastry and squeeze a generous amount of the cream into it. You can also simplify the filling process by spooning the cream into the pastries.
Finally, sprinkle the powdered sugar over them.
We often add rum or brandy to the pastry cream. This will increase the flavor of the cream so try it out if you like.
Squeezing the batter with a pastry bag will help to make the choux the same size and shape.
Coat the side of the cake pan (15cm/5.9”) with a generous amount of butter. Using a pan with a removable bottom will help to remove the cheesecake. Place a piece of parchment paper cut to fit into the bottom of the pan. Then, cover the outside of the pan with a large piece of aluminum foil.
Bring the cream cheese, sour cream and butter to room temperature and combine them in a bowl with a balloon whisk. Add one egg yolk and mix thoroughly. Then add the other egg yolk and mix.
Sieve the cake flour into the bowl. Combine the mixture until there are no pockets of dry flour.
Add the milk a little at a time and mix thoroughly. Be sure to bring the egg yolks and milk to room temperature also.
Add the vanilla extract and mix. Finally, sieve the mixture into a bowl.
Let’s make the meringue. Lightly beat the chilled egg whites with a hand mixer. Then, add the sugar in 3 steps and beat the egg white for a total of one and a half to two minutes. Avoid over-beating otherwise it’ll be difficult to combine the meringue and the egg yolk mixture, leading to more mixing and eventually breaking the foam.
Just before the meringue is ready, switch to a balloon whisk and check its consistency. Beat until the meringue reaches a firm peak stage and has a glossy texture.
Add one third of the meringue to the egg yolk mixture.
Mix thoroughly. At this stage, you don’t need to worry about breaking the foam. Then, add another one third of the meringue. This time, gently mix and avoid breaking the foam.
Finally, place all the egg yolk mixture into the bowl with the rest of the meringue. Like shown, lift the whisk from the bottom to gently combine the batter. Be sure not to break the foam. Mix until all of the white lumps of meringue have disappeared.
Pour the batter into a pan and place it into a deep tray. The pan has a removable bottom so be sure to cover it with relatively thick aluminum foil to avoid wetting the cheesecake. If your aluminum foil is too thin, you should cover the cake pan with 2 or 3 layers, making absolutely sure to avoid any leakage.
Slash the batter with a spatula to remove any air bubbles. Pour hot water into the tray about 2 cm deep.
Place the cake pan into the preheated oven and bake at 160°C (320°F) for 10 minutes. Then, lower the temperature to 150°C (300°F) and bake for additional 40 to 50 minutes.
Pierce the cake with a bamboo stick. If the stick is clean, it is ready. Remove and place the cake pan onto a cooling rack. Let it sit to cool and then chill the cake in the fridge for over 2 hours.
Remove the soufflé cheesecake from the pan. Gently lift the bottom. Be careful not to damage the side of the cake. Run an icing spatula along the bottom. Remove the bottom of the pan and place the cheesecake onto a cutting board. Dampen the blade of a knife to help make a clean cut and cut a piece of cake.
Place the souffle cheesecake onto a plate. Finally, coat the top with the apricot jam diluted with rum.
Be sure to bring the refrigerated items to room temperature before combining.
The refreshing aroma of lemon also goes great with the cheesecake. If you’re interested, add lemon zest to the batter after straining with a mesh strainer.
Alternatively, you can sprinkle icing sugar on top. It will be visually appealing and also delicious.