Friday, April 13, 2012

Sponge cake + Cheesecake = This

As I mentioned in my mascarpone cheesecake post, I've made many a cheesecake and in the last year or so, I've made more sponge/chiffon cakes than I care to count. So, the only logical next step was that I make something which combines the two, a japanese cheesecake. Actually, I've long known about japanese cheesecakes because I've tried them from the grocery store, but only realized recently that they were made in the style of sponge cakes.

While I used to dislike the idea of a fluffy and spongy cheesecake, I've come around to liking it. I just had to stop thinking of it as a typical cheesecake and start thinking about it as a cream cheese sponge cake. I had trouble deciding whether to categorize this as a cake or a dessert, but the addition of flour and beaten egg whites gives this a texture more similar to cake than typical cheesecake, so I went with the former.

This recipe can be a bit temperamental, but it has worked out for me better than other japanese cheesecakes I've tried. It can be a little tricky to get your cheesecake to turn out fluffy without collapsing, but following the steps below will help. Take the time to let your ingredients come to room temp, bake the cake in a waterbath, and let it cool slowly in the oven. If you don't want your cheesecake to crack, definitely bake it at the low temp of 302 deg F. As for me, I don't mind a bit of a golden crust on top and the rustic look of a cracked top, so I will occasionally bake the cheesecake at 315 degrees F.

Japanese Cheesecake
Recipe Ever so Slightly Adapted from Christine's Recipes

250 ml milk(whole milk is best, but reduced fat will work)
250g cream cheese, room temp
60g butter, room temp
55g cake flour
20g cornstarch
6 large eggs, separated
130g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 302 degrees F. Line a 9 or 10 inch springform pan with parchment on the bottom and sides. Wrap the springform pan in 2 layers of aluminum foil. Place the springform pan inside a larger pan with sides, this will serve as your water bath.

In a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water, mix the cream cheese and milk with a whisk until the cream cheese is melted. Add the butter and when melted, take the bowl off the pot and let cool. Save the boiling water for your water bath, add more if necessary.

Sift the cake flour and cornstarch together three times.

Once the cheese mixture is somewhat cool, add the egg yolks and whisk together. Add in the salt and vanilla extract. Mix in the sifted flour and cornstarch until just combined.

Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whisk on medium-high in a stand mixer until frothy. Slowly stream in the sugar and whip until stiff peaks. Whisk a third of the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk-cheese mixture to lighten.  Then, fold in the remaining egg whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Place the pan-water bath set up into the oven, fill the larger outer pan with the boiling water, about halfway up the springform pan, but not so high that the water spills over the foil.

Bake for about an hour and a half until a cake tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Turn off the oven and let cake cool in the oven with the door ajar for about 40 minutes.

Remove the springform pan from the water bath and let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate for at least three hours before serving. Serve cold or let warm up slightly at room temp. for a softer texture. Cheesecake will last for a few days in the refrigerator.

Note: Cake can also be baked in two loaf pans for about an hour.

No comments:

Post a Comment