Japanese ‘Cotton’ Cheesecake


I’m intrigued by the Japanese. They have the most advanced technologies, they are forward thinking in so many ways, they have the most amazing sense of packaging (and design), their sense of honour, family and culture is extremely strong, and in light of the recent tsunami disasters – they are the most resilient and united people in the world!

I would love to visit Japan one day soon. Now that we’re back on this side of the globe, that dream is so much more possible. It is still an expensive place to visit, but it’s on the list. We’re working on it. For now, the closest Japanese experience for me is food. Sushi, sashimi, ramen, udon, teriyaki, tempura, teppanyaki, okonomiyaki, matcha ice-cream and I could go on and on….

I haven’t tried many Japanese recipes to date, something I should rectify. I’ll get onto that – starting with this recipe. It’s nothing new to many people who love baking. Japanese cheesecake, unlike its Western counterpart is crustless, soft and fluffy, light on the sugar factor and very dangerous.

It’s dangerous because it’s so easy to forget that you’re eating a cheesecake. This cotton soft wonder is so light that you could eat the entire cake  and not feel a thing. Takes a lot of self control!

It’s fun to bake – however this time round my cake puffed up a lot during baking and when it cooled, it shrank back and caused the top to go all wrinkly. It’s still soft and doesn’t affect the taste at all, but it’s just not as pretty. I like pretty. Let’s hope I get yummy AND pretty next time.

Japanese Cheesecake

140g fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
50g butter
250g cream cheese
100 ml fresh milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
60g cake flour
20g cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 tsp salt

1. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool the mixture. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.

2. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and mix well. Pour into a 8-inch round cake pan (Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof baking paper or parchment paper).

4. Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160 degrees C.