Japanese Cheesecake (Or the fluffiest cheesecake ever)

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Drawing skills 10/10.

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This was one of the more convoluted cheesecakes I’ve ever made, but the results are so worth it.

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For those that haven’t tried Japanese cheesecake before, it tastes quite different from your normal non-bake or baked cheesecake. Japanese cheesecakes have an almost souffle-like texture, that melts in your mouth to leave a delicate, gooey light cheese flavour.

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I baked this cake for my cousin’s birthday (her name is Bao).

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Glazing the cake gives it that extra shine and stops it from wrinkling in the fridge.

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Check out that texture.

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I got this recipe from ieatishootipost, a Singaporean blogger who approached this in a really scientific manner. His results looked a lot better than mine (I definitely made my chocolate drawing batter much too thick). If you ever go to Singapore his food reviews are also usually bang-on, and his food photography’s really good as well!

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It’s a really light cheesecake, good for those who don’t really like rich desserts. (I’m looking at you, my entire family)

Ingredients

Yellow team

  • 250g Philadelphia cream cheese (1 block)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 100ml full cream milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 60g cake flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

White team

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 70g caster sugar

Glaze (optional)

  • About 1 tbsp apricot jam

Method

  1. Butter a light-coloured tin liberally, making sure to butter the rim as well. Lightly coat with cornflour. Alternatively, spray the tin with non-stick spray. Line the bottom of the tin with baking paper.

Yellow team

  1. In a large bowl over a double boiler, whisk cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add the egg yolks and whisk.
  3. Add 70g caster sugar and whisk.
  4. Heat up the milk and butter slightly (basically until it’s not cold) and whisk it into the batter. Then, add the vanilla, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  5. Remove the bowl from the double boiler. Sift in the cake flour and cornflour and fold in.

White team

  1. Whisk egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whisk until the egg whites look like clouds (bubbles should be very small, but still visible). Add in the sugar a little at a time until just before soft peaks.
  2. Fold the white team into the yellow team a third at a time. Fold until just incorporated (ie no more white streaks).
  3. Pour the batter into the tin, making sure to leave at least 1.5-2cm for the cake to rise. Tap the tin on the counter to release some air bubbles.
  4. If you want to decorate the cake, leave some batter left over after pouring the batter into the tin. Mix in some cocoa powder to the leftover batter, and then pipe over the cake.
  5. Place a towel in a larger tin and pour some water. Place your tin with the cake in it inside the larger tin, creating a water bath for your cake.
  6. (If using an 8 inch pan) Bake at 200ºC for 18 mins. Then, lower the temperature to 160ºC for 12 mins. Then, turn the oven off for 30 mins. Finally, open the oven door and leave the cake in the hot oven for 10 mins.
  7. Glaze the cake (optional). Heat equal amounts of apricot jam and water, and then sieve it. While the cake is still warm, brush the top of the cake with the apricot jam glaze.
  8. Refrigerate the cake overnight.

Notes

  • Double boiler AKA bain marie AKA water bath. Basically simmer some water in a saucepan, and then place a heatproof bowl over it. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
  • My chocolate decoration was way too stiff, so it did not incorporate with the cake.
  • This cake looks best right out of the oven. It might wrinkle a bit after a night in the fridge, so take all your pictures first.
  • The glaze helps stop the cake from wrinkling. It also makes the cake look pretty.
  • This cake tastes best after a night in the fridge. Resist the urge to eat it straight away.
  • It’s important to use a light-coloured tin for this. A dark coloured tin heats up too fast and might cause your cheesecake to crack.
  • ieatishootipost did not recommend using a springform or loose-bottomed tin, as he says the water from the water bath sometimes still got into the cake. If you don’t have any one-piece tins, make sure to cover the bottom of the tin well with aluminium foil to prevent the water from entering the cake. If you are using a one-piece tin, like I did, the cake comes out really easily, don’t worry.
  • I used Philadelphia brand cream cheese (the one that looks like this) as according the source of the recipe, that brand uses the right amount of binders/stabilisers to make this recipe work. Note that his blog post was sponsored by Philadelphia though, so I’m not sure how much to believe. If you’re feeling adventurous you can try using whatever brand of cream cheese you like.
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