So yesterday I told you I was going to attempt to make a Japanese Cheesecake for the first time. I looked online for a few recipes and found three simple ones which I combined. All three recipes were fairly similar. The main differences were the ingredient portions and the usage of heavy/whipping cream v/s milk.
I am a huge fan of cheesecake, in fact my Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake is second to none. I will award myself that hat. I was also comfortable with making sponge cakes and coincidentally I made one last week. What I was not familiar with was combining the two. I was also a little nervous since I was not strictly following one recipe.
Now on to the task at hand, (are your sweating as much as I am?). These are my ingredients and portions: (Note: you can use whichever brands you like)
- 1/2 cup baking flour
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 6 large eggs
- 4oz cream cheese
- 2/3 cups granulated white sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- 2/3 cups whole milk
I would recommend that you add a tbsp of lemon/lime juice and the zest of one lemon or lime. I love when regular cheesecake has a zingy taste. Whenever I make mine I usually add sour cream, lime juice and lime zest. I didn’t add it to this cake as I couldn’t find fresh limes in the supermarket when I was gathering my ingredients. One of the recipes I looked at didn’t call for lime so I was not too worried about omitting it. The cake will still taste amazing without it but I highly recommend that you add.
Now let’s get cracking!
All your ingredients are to be brought to room temperature. This is very important in particular for your eggs. This will assist the whites to reach peak volume when beaten.
When baking/cooking I usually ensure I have the right portions of each ingredient before I begin. This reduces my chances of making mistakes or forgetting ingredients. I would advise you to do the same as it will be much easier to follow the steps below.
Preheat your oven to 320°F/160°C
Use parchment paper (I used wax paper) and line the bottom and sides of two 7 x 3-inch round baking tins. I believe you can line just one 9 x 3-inch round.
- Separate your eggs (it is easier to separate cold eggs, so if you took your eggs from your fridge separate them and let them sit for a bit until they are at room temperature).
- In a small pot over medium heat, whisk the milk, cream cheese, and butter until smooth. Remove from heat and cool.
- Whisk the egg yolks until smooth, then slowly pour in the cream cheese mixture, stirring until evenly combined. Please be careful not to pour the hot mixture over the eggs as you might end up cooking/scrambling the eggs.
- Sift in the flour and the cornstarch (you could add a pinch of salt here), whisking to make sure there are no lumps.
- Put on a kettle full or water to boil (you will need this later as we will be baking the cakes in a water bath).
- Add cream of tartar to your egg whites (this will ensure maximum volume, you can substitute cream of tartar for a tsp vinegar/lime juice).
- Use your hand/stand mixture to beat egg whites until a soft peak forms. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat the whites until stiff peaks form. Don’t be alarmed as the whites will triple in volume.
- Take about ¼ of the egg whites and GENTLY fold them into the egg yolk mixture, then repeat with the remaining egg whites until the batter is evenly combined. Listen….FOLD GENTLY and try not to over fold. Your batter will deflate slightly which is fine, however, if your over fold or don’t fold properly your batter may deflate entirely. As far as I know, there is no coming back from that (chefs out there lemme know!!)
- Pour the batter into the lined pans and shake slightly to release any large air bubbles.
- Place the filled pans into a larger baking pan or dish (I used a large baking for one cake pan and a deep metal frying pan for the other don’t judge me). Fill the larger pan with about 1 inch of hot water. (I usually put the pans in the oven first and pour in the water then).
- Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes until the cake has risen to almost double its height. (I baked for just 1 hour so the top of my cheesecake wasn’t as brown)
- Remove from oven, and carefully invert the cake onto your hand and peel off the paper. Be extremely careful, as the cake will be hot. The cake is very light so there won’t be much pressure on your hand.
- You can add powdered sugar to the top (this is very popular) and eat with a side of your favorite fruits.
One recipe recommended eating the cake while still warm however, I personally didn’t quite like it. I cooled the cake in the fridge over night and had a slice in the morning. It was divine. The cake was exactly what I had imagined. Light and fluffy with a creamy texture. Trust me it was worth the wait. I am planning on trying it with a dark chocolate ganache!