Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." 
Thomas Edison
Thankfully, I've just found 2 ways that won't work. The ingredients are simple. However, incorporating the cheese mixture with egg white and water bath can be tricky. I banked on  my experience on chiffon cake making and the water bath method I used for chocolate cookies and cream cheesecake. Viola! My first successful Japanese cotton cheesecake!

This was a request from my mama. It's a joy to receive baking requests especially from mama. She ate most of the failed cheesecakes and encouraged me to try again. Oh yes, she's the one who encouraged me to enrol in baking classes to learn the basics. 

This fluffy cheesecake is an alternative to the rich American cheesecakes. It contains lesser fats but tastes wonderfully delish. As light as feather and as soft as cotton, its smooth and fine texture causes it to melt in your mouth almost immediately. 

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake
(Adapted from Diana's Desserts)


- 140g fine granulated sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 50g butter
- 250g cream cheese
- 100ml fresh milk
- 60g cake flour (can also use plain flour)
- 20g corn flour
- 1/4 tsp salt


1. Prepare the 8-inch springform so that no water leaks into it while baking. Place a large 16-inch by 16-inch square of aluminum foil on a flat surface. Place the springform pan in the middle of the foil. Gently fold up the sides of the foil around the pan. Make sure to do this gently so that you don't create any holes in the foil. If there are any holes, water will get into the pan and ruin the crust. Press the foil around the edges of the pan. Place a second large square of foil underneath the pan and repeat, gently folding up the sides of the foil around the pan and pressing the foil against the pan. Gently crimp the top of the foil sheets around the top edge of the pan.

Line the sides of your cake tin. Make sure the baking paper extends higher than the cake tin by about 1.5 inches. If you prepare the batter correctly, you will notice that it rises very well during baking. You need that extra height from the baking paper to prevent possible spillage.

Tenting with a foil. This is recommended as the cake top browns very easily. I use a sheet of aluminium foil and loosely place it over the tin. You have to provide ample room for the cake to rise, it will get stuck onto the foil. Remove it only in the last 30 seconds of baking time, just for it to brown.

2. Preheat oven to 160°C, with rack in lower third of oven. 

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

4. This is totally option, but because I am a perfectionist, I want a lump-free, smooth as silk batter. So once I have combined the filings, I usually strain it using a wire mesh sieve. 

5. Beat egg whites with medium speed until you can see big bubbles, add in cream of tartar. Continue to beat until the bubbles become fine soft peak, gradually add in caster sugar and continue to beat until stiff peak. Change the mixer speed to lowest and continue to beat for 10 seconds. (this is to minimize the air bubbles in the cake)

6. Gently fold 1/3 of the beaten egg white into the cheese mixture, use cut and fold method until well blended. Then pour the batter back to the rest of the egg white and fold until mixture is well blended.

7. Pour batter evenly into the springform pan.

8. Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 35 to 40 mins or until set and golden brown at 160°C.

9. Leave to cool in oven with door ajar, about 30mins to 1 hour. Sudden changes in temperature may cause the cake to cool too quickly and collapse.

10. Unmould the cake immediately upon removal from oven. To prevent the cake from shrinking further. 

11. Once the cake is cooled, keep it in fridge to chill before serving.


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