Thursday, September 18, 2014

Japanese Cheesecake

Inspired by the Japanese Cheesecake fb post by Dr Leslie Tay from ieatishootipost, I made one too. I followed Dr Tay's oven baking direction by putting it on high and bringing temperature slightly lower, then resting it and all and it brought about really good results. The cake rose nicely with no cracks, not much shrinkage when cooled and was cottony soft, so soft that it literally melts in your mouth. I aren't joking.

Hubby ate it first and told me "the cake's good, it is so soft, I prefer this to western style cheesecakes!" I did not believe him lor. And so I tried a slice, and it was gobbled up in no time. It was that nice.

Yup, I haven't eaten store bought Japanese cheesecakes before. I made one long long time ago and it was a flop, it was so heavy and cakey. That was my first and last encounter with baking and eating this cheesecake. It was not until I saw Dr Tay's post on his FB that I decided it was time to give myself and the Japanese cheesecake a second chance.  No regrets trying it out. I did it and will do it again. Different flavour next round!

Japanese Cheesecake
Recipe by Rasa Malaysia
(Makes an 8" or 9" cake)

140g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
50g/2 oz. unsalted butter (I used salted butter)
250g/9 oz. cream cheese
100 ml/3 fluid oz. fresh milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
60g/2 oz. cake flour /superfine flour
20g/1 oz. cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I did not use this as I used salted butter)

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

2. Make the meringue by whisking egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. You can beat with a stand mixer or handheld mixer. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. Take 1/3 meringue and fold into the cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/3 of meringue. After incorporated, pour the batter back to the remaining 1/3 meringue and fold. FOLD GENTLY. (I scooped out 2 tbsp of mixture and added 1 tbsp of cocoa to make some chocolate mixture) Pour the mixture into a 8-inch round cake pan (lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with grease-proof 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 (325 degrees F). (Dr Leslie Tay's baking direction: Preheat to 200C (I used 220C for 30min as my oven temp is slightly lower than other oven) non fan forced. Bake for 20min. Lower temperature to 160C and bake for 10min (I did mine at 180C 20min). Turn off oven, and leave cake in oven with door closed for 30min. Open oven door slightly ajar and leave cake to cool inside for 20min. Finally, take cake out of pan and cool on rack)

Cook’s Notes (Rasa Malaysia):
1. I baked the cake in 9” round tin, did not line the sides.

2. If you use a 8″ pan, it is very important to line the sides of the 8” pan with parchment paper, make sure the parchment paper extends higher than the cake tin by about 1.5”.

3. If springform pan or loose base cake tin is used, wrap the base of your cake tin with 2 layers aluminium foil, to prevent seepage.

4. I baked the cake on the lowest shelf in the oven (to prevent cracks on top and over browning).

5. The purpose of using double boiler is to melt the cheese, butter, and milk mixture. I heated and simmered the water in the double boiler ON the stove. For the water bath, I used hot water.

6. I left the cake to cool down in the oven with the oven door open, about an hour. This is to prevent sudden change of temperature that may cause the cake to shrink drastically. It’s normal that the cake will shrink about ½ inch to 1 inch after cooling, it’s normal. If the cake shrinks a lot, the main reason is over mixing the egg white mixture with the cheese mixture. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, FOLD VERY GENTLY, do not stir or blend.

7. Refrigerate the cake (with or without the cake tin) for at least 4 hours or overnight.

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