Japanese cheesecake, also known as “cotton cheesecake” or “soufflé cheesecake,” is a delightful and light dessert that’s a cross between a classic cheesecake and a delicate soufflé. It has a fluffy, airy texture and a subtle sweetness. Here’s how you can make Japanese cheesecake at home:
- 200g cream cheese, softened
- 50g unsalted butter
- 100ml milk
- 6 large eggs, separated into yolks and whites
- 100g granulated sugar
- 60g all-purpose flour
- 20g cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat and Prepare:
- Preheat your oven to 320°F (160°C). Grease and line the bottom of an 8-inch (20cm) round cake pan with parchment paper.
- Melt Cream Cheese and Butter:
- In a heatproof bowl, melt the cream cheese, butter, and milk together over a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
- Add Egg Yolks:
- Once the cream cheese mixture is cooled, whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest if using, and mix well.
- Sift Dry Ingredients:
- In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the cream cheese mixture until no lumps remain.
- Whip Egg Whites:
- In another clean and dry bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form. The egg whites should be glossy and hold their shape.
- Combine Batter:
- Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the cream cheese mixture in several batches. Use a gentle folding motion to maintain the airy texture.
- Pour Batter into Pan:
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Tap the pan gently on the counter to remove any large air bubbles.
- Bake in Water Bath:
- Place the cake pan in a larger baking dish. Fill the larger dish with hot water to create a water bath. This helps the cheesecake bake evenly and prevents cracking.
- Carefully place the water bath and cake pan in the preheated oven. Bake for about 60-70 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set and the top is golden brown.
- Cool and Chill:
- Once baked, remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool in the pan. Once completely cooled, refrigerate the cheesecake for several hours or overnight.
- Carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan, peel off the parchment paper, and place it on a serving plate. Dust the top with powdered sugar before serving.
Japanese cheesecake is a delightful treat with its soft and airy texture. It’s a wonderful dessert to enjoy on its own or with a cup of tea or coffee.