Tuesday, January 22, 2013

japanese cheesecake

A lot has been happening lately, and that includes a lot of baking.

To begin with, my exams have occupied most of my week, so despite having a small bundle of recipes to post and reflect upon, I have to limit myself to one for now. And that would be the earliest of the batch, the Japanese Cheesecake.

Famous for its soufflé-like texture and light taste, I figured it'd be a nice treat to make for my family, since all save mother bird and I lack sweet tooths. The procedures it calls for are a bit more complex, such as double-boiling mixtures and baking the batter in a roasting pan with water, but we managed to make due, mother bird and me.

I think what I liked the most about this cake was that it was airy and spongy. It wasn't as dense or heavy as, say, a New York-style cheesecake. The absence of a crust makes it even lighter. The taste is somehow more delicate than an American cheesecake and frankly, it's addictive. Taking a lick off the fork once I'd finished using it to pry a slice out of the pan for mother bird to try was all it took to persuade me to have a slice of my own, even though I'd told myself I shan't.
Well, that's what cakes do.
This cake happens to be especially good at doing it.

cake -
(recipe adapted from Jo)
  • 10.5 oz cream cheese (I used one 8 oz. package + 2 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg-whites
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup milk 
  • 1/4 cup sugar
directions -
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the egg-whites and place in the freezer to chill.
  3. In a large bowl, melt the butter and cream cheese and whisk to combine. (This can be done in a double-boiler - that is, placing the butter and cream cheese in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water on the stovetop - or, as I did, in the microwave by ten-second intervals.) Your objective in this step is not to get a liquid, melted mixture. It'll be soft and slightly fluffy.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the egg-yolks, 1 tbsp of sugar, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  5. Heat the milk over the stove until it comes to a boil. Careful - milk rises fast when it reaches a boil!
  6. Add it to the egg-yolk mixture from Step 4. Place it in a double boiler/heatproof-bowl-over-boiling-water-on-stove and whisk until it thickens.
  7. Add this mixture to the cream cheese mixture in Step 3 and combine well.
  8. Remove the egg-whites from the freezer. The edges should be frozen. Scrape them into a new, clean bowl and add a small amount of the 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix on medium speed until a soft meringue forms.
  9. Add 1/4 of the meringue into the cream cheese mixture in Step 7 and mix to combine. Add the remaining meringue by gently folding it in with a rubber spatula.
  10. Fill the prepared cakepan and smooth the top with the spatula.
  11. Place the cake pan into a roasting pan and add boiling water until it comes approximately half an inch up the cake pan.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 and reduce the heat to 300 for the next 25 minutes. When the top turns slightly golden, turn off the oven and let it sit inside for another 40-60 minutes.
  13. Take the cake out of the roasting dish and place it on a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate the cheesecake and chill it completely before taking it out of the cake pan.


  1. The size of your font is too small so that I did not bother to read anymore sigh. I would have wanted to know. I would suggest for you to make your font bigger for easy reading.

    1. Thanks for the advice, and sorry for any inconvenience. I'll fix this.

      Have a nice day!

    2. I was looking for a recipe with the conversion....I was not so great at converting grams to ounces. THANK YOU!! I must say that your recipe created a amazing cheesecake!!

  2. no vanilla or lemon extract? Thnx for the recipe, I'll try it.

  3. I followed your recipe perfectly. It ended up having the texture of a souffle and doesn't look anything like yours. I'm not sure what I did wrong. I looked at other recipes and they had flour in it. I redid the recipe with 1/2 cup of flour and the texture was finally what I expected it to be. Are you missing flour from your recipe?

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I can't vouch for the role of flour in this recipe since I've never tried it with flour. This recipe actually belongs to Jo from Jo Cooks (you can find the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiH_uoEaqxI) and hers didn't call for flour, either. Trusting that you followed the recipe exactly, I think the most variable factor would be the refrigeration time; I left mine in the refrigerator for 24 hours before removing it. When baking, you should see it rise like a balloon, and it'll rise quite tremendously but it'll collapse before it's time to take it out of the oven, which is why the top of the cake has the odd singed patch.

      I can say for certain, though, that this recipe does work without flour. I encourage you to give it another try when you find the time to, but if you're completely satisfied with the alternative you've found, then I'm glad it worked out for you! Hope you enjoyed Japanese Cheesecake as much as I did (: