Saturday, March 2, 2013

Japanese cheesecake

I admire the genius minds of the Japanese. I love all things Japanese; Japanese bidet toilets (after an experience in Japan in '10), sushi, tempura, cameras, anything matcha-flavoured, mochi and their breads. Especially with Japanese desserts, they somehow incorporated some French technique, and altered it to the Japanese style (crepes, cream puffs)
The thing I love about Japanese desserts, are that they are so inventive and also not too sweet. This isn't your regular heavy, cheesecake.  So even if you're not a cheesecake fan, try this! The author of Just one cookbook (her website is full of glorious Japanese recipes), does a really good step by step tutorial, so if you're afraid of how water baths work, like I was, it's good to refer to her tutorial.
'Cotton soft' cheesecake', they call it, and it lives up to the name and also the appearance.
 This would probably be a good crowd pleaser! This cheesecake definitely isn't on the sweet side, so decorate with some fresh fruit! I glazed a thin layer of plum jam, combined with water. Then I topped it off with some fresh strawberries. I was also tempted by the sound of 'blueberry cheesecake', so I just defrosted some frozen blueberries in the microwave. They always have this sauce, left behind, so I used that and drizzled over the cheesecake.
Blueberry mess
If there's one thing I can't live without? That's cheesecake.

Japanese cheesecake
Adapted from Just one cookbook

* Makes a 9 inch (23 cm) cake

400 g (14.1 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
60 g (6 Tbsp.) granulated sugar
60 g (about 4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
200 ml heavy cream, at room temperature
10 ml (2 tsp.) lemon juice
1 Tbsp. rum *
80g (2.8 oz/about 8 Tbsp.) all purpose flour
6 egg whites
100g (10 Tbsp.) granulated sugar for meringue
3 Tbsp. Apricot jam + 1 tsp. water *

You need: 9 inch non-stick springform pan, parchemnt paper, aluminium foil, cooking spray, boiled water and a large baking pan that will fit the springform pan.

* Did not use the rum 
* I used plum jam instead of apricot. Feel free to switch it up to any jam of your choice.

1. Before you start preparing, remember to keep cream cheese, butter, egg yolks and heavy cream at room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (320 F). Start boiling water.
3. In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and 60 g of sugar until smooth. Add butter and beat until smooth.
4. Beat egg yolks, then add heavy cream and combine together. You can opt out to switch to use a whisk here.
5. Sift flour twice in a small bowl. Then add to the mixture.
6. Transfer batter out to a large bowl. Wash the stand mixer's bowl and dry completely.
7. In a stand mixer, whisk egg whites and add 100 g sugar in three separate times.
8. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks. When it's done, the peaks should stand straight up and should not slide around. A good trick is to use a spoon, pick up some egg white and turn it upside down. It should not fall.
9. Add 1/3 of the meringue to the batter and mix well first.
10. Add the rest of the meringue to the batter and fold it in.
11. Cut parchment paper for bottom and around the springform pan. Lightly spray oil on the cake pan and place the parchment paper. Spray oil again on the paper and sprinkle some flour on the bottom. Cover the bottom of the pan and fold the extra foil on the side. If you use regular size aluminium foil, make sure to seal the two sheets of foil very tightly by folding two edges and make one big foil. The foil is to prevent water from seeping through the gap to the cake.
12. Pour the batter into the springform pan. Give it a few taps to bring up any air bubbles that may be trapped in the batter.
13. Place the springform pan in the baking pan and pour 1 inch of hot water in a baking pan. Moisture from the water will prevent cracks on the surface of the cake. Place it in the middle rack of the oven.
14. Bake at 320F (160C) for 60 minutes or until light golden brown. Then reduce temperature to 300F (150C) degree and bake for 30 minutes. 
15.When the inserted skewer comes out clean, turn off the oven. Let the cake sit in the oven with the door slightly ajar until it has cooled completely.
16. In a small bowl, combine the jam and water together and microwave a few seconds. Spread the jam on the cake, and refrigerate it for a few hours.
17. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the pan.


  1. Hi Yii-Huei! Thank you so much for giving this recipe a try. Your cheese looks so beautiful! I love how you put the strawberries on top. Thanks for linking back. :)

    1. Thank you! Thanks for the recipe too :) The strawberries go really well with it. The cheesecake tastes so amazing!

  2. Hi Yii-Huei! Thank you for dropping by and leaving a lovely note on my blog. I am already falling in love with your blog. It's serene and like I am traveling with you virtually.

    Your Japanese cheesecake looks heavenly delicious. I like how it is not thick and heavy. I will try to make it for my hubby's birthday, which is coming soon. Thanks for sharing!

    Have a beautiful day!

    1. Thank you Irene, that comment really made my day!I am the newest follower of your blog, and it is absolutely stunning! I sure will try some recipes :)

      Yes, it's definitely not as heavy as the traditional cheesecake, Japanese cheesecake is so delicious! If you are successful with it, let me know.

  3. It's about the same consistancy of a light airy cake, bummed it's called cheesecake (albeit it does have cream CHEESE, hence cheesecake, it is completely different from american cheesecake, should just be considered a cake).


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