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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Japanese Cheesecake

Do you love cheesecake? I do but I prefer Japanese cheesecake a lot more. It's for the main reason that they are soft, light and at one seating, you can eat a few slices and not get grossed out from all that cheese. One of the first few Japanese cheesecakes I've eaten is one with a big cow logo on the box packaging. Do you know where that is from? :) Yes, it's from Fiesta Food :)

There have been many people trying out Japanese cheesecake recipes and giving very good reviews on them. One of which is from Diana's Desserts. The other one is from Just One Cookbook. I've literally compared both recipes and realised that Nami's adapted recipe has a tad more fat content but it would give a lighter and airy cheesecake which is termed and known in Japan as souffle cheesecake. If you have eaten souffles, you would know how light and airy souffles are. But if you haven't, try making this. You won't regret it for sure!

This recipe is adapted from Nami which was translated from Cookpad. My modifications are in blue.

Ingredients:

400g cream cheese
60g granulated caster sugar
60g unsalted butter
6 egg yolks
200ml heavy cream (use one that has at least 35% fat content)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp rum
80g all purpose flour
6 egg whites, refrigerated
100g granulated caster sugar
3 tbsp apricot jam with 1 tsp water

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Start boiling water.
  2. In stand mixer, beat cream cheese and 60g caster sugar until smooth.
  3. Add and beat butter.
  4. Beat egg yolk first and then add to the mixture. Then add heavy cream and combine all together.
  5. Now, using a whisk, mix well after addition of lemon juice and rum until smooth.
  6. Sift flour twice.
  7. Add the flour all in at once and mix.
  8. Put the well-mixed batter into another bowl.
  9. In a clean mixer bowl, whip egg whites until frothy on low speed. Then add 1/3 sugar and increase the speed to medium.
  10. Gradually add the sugar to the egg white mixture.
  11. Once all the sugar has been added, increase the mixer speed to high to ensure the meringue doubles in volume and is stiff and glossy.
  12. Mix 1/3 of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture and fold in well.
  13. Then add all of the remaining meringue into the egg yolk mixture and fold to incorporate.
  14. Cover your springform tin with baking paper after greasing it. Wrap the exterior of the tin with aluminium foil to prevent water from seeping through.
  15. Pour the batter into the springform tin and tap it on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles in the batter.
  16. Place the springform tin in a tray with boiling water.
  17. Bake at 160 degrees celsius for 60 minutes or until lightly brown. 
  18. Reduce baking temperature to 150 degrees celsius and continue to bake for 30 minutes.
  19. When the skewer comes out clean, turn off the oven.
  20. Take out the springform tin and allow to let cool.
  21. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine apricot jam and water. Microwave it for 30-60 seconds until hot and spread the jam over the top of the cake.
  22. Refrigerate the cake for a few hours before you serve.
  23. Cut the cake with a fishing line or warm knife. Before each cut, run the knife over hot water and clean completely.

I was pretty proud of my finished pre-baked product. Yes, you could also tell that I haven't baked Japanese cheesecake in a long long time right? Hehe. I'm seriously getting rusty with this. I could definitely do better with more practice :) My cake did crack a tad badly which was what I suspected due to overbeating. The next time round, I will definitely use my spatula to fold the flour in instead of whisking it into the mixture :( Also, since my oven is pyrolytic and tends to be hotter than usual, I'll bake it at 150 degrees celsius first and then 140 degrees celsius.


After chilling overnight, my souffle cheesecake did look pretty okay. See a picture of the sliced one below.



I had a mouthful of the souffle cheesecake. It was pretty chilled and I think I did like the taste of the cheese in it. Tastewise, it is pretty awesome. I probably just need to improve on the look of the cake.

Nevertheless, I'm willing to try another one more souffle cheesecake soon. That one is getting me excited. Stay tuned for that soon.

Personal notes/tips on baking cheesecake:
  • all ingredients including heavy cream must be room temperature before you start.
  • before adding flour in step 6, ensure that your cheese mixture is smooth and has no lumps. If it has lumps, continue mixing until lumps disappear.
  • To avoid overmixing your cheese mixture, fold in the flour in step 6.
  • make sure your mixer and whisk is clean of any oil by pouring hot water over it and wipe clean before mixing your egg whites.
  • When your cake is baked, do not remove it immediately from the oven. Allow your cake to stay in the oven for at least 15 minutes to 30 minutes with the oven door ajar to avoid extreme temperature differences. With such temperature differences, cheesecake will tend to collapse. Remove your cake when the oven is pretty much cooled. Let your cake cool before putting it in the refrigerator.
  • This cheesecake is best served after it's chilled for a few hours.
  • There are 3 main reasons for cheesecake cracks - overbeating, extreme temperature differences and baking at high temperature.
  • The egg proteins in the cheesecake will tend to curdle from too much heat which eventually shrink when cooled, causing cracking usually in its center or tiny cracks all over its top. Hence, if you heat it up too fast or cool it down too fast, chances are you will also get cracks.
I'm submitting this post to Asian Food Fest #1 Oct 2013: Japan, hosted by Alan from travelling foodies.






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