For someone who rarely bake a cake or any sweet desserts, I have a few reasons why I baked this Japanese Cheesecake (in Japan we call it soufflé cheesecake), not once but several times this past spring and summer.
The number one reason is that I have so many, I mean, SO MANY requests from readers for this cake. Thank you everyone who patiently waited for this Japanese Cheesecake recipe. I told some readers that I’d share “soon” but it took me a little longer than I initially expected – I’m sorry about my delay. I really wanted to try different recipes and tested them all out before sharing the recipe.
The second reason is that my husband really loves cheesecake available in Japan. It’s light, but still creamy, and fluffy…oh he didn’t mind at all tasting all of my trials and he really enjoyed my rare baking spree.
So at the end, I have decided to share one recipe from Cookpad (a Japanese recipe site) which my friend had recommended me to try. Since it had a lot of positive reviews, I thought Okay, let me give it a try. I had to adapt a little bit because my cake pan is bigger and my oven acts differently from the recipe owner’s, but other than that, I followed the original recipe.
Oh my, it was delicious! I actually made with the same recipe TWICE on top of making other cheesecake recipes. This cheesecake was amazing. Because it has meringue in it, it’s so fluffy and once you scoop and put it in your mouth, it kind of melts. Well, it might be exaggerated but I don’t know how to describe it. It’s light, airy, fluffy, and not so sweet, just like the soufflé cheesecake we can taste in Japan!
Just a little note. Be patient with “cooling down” stage – it’s important to cool down the soufflé cheesecake slowly and minimize the sudden temperature drop. If the temperature drops too quickly, it will cause the surface to crack or collapse. I know you’ll be excited to eat this cake just like I was, but expect to eat it the following day… Enjoy!
Note: For those of you who in the bay area, with the holiday season coming up I highly recommend this French bakery Zanze’s Cheesecake in San Francisco. They are only open Wed-Sat and you should call in ahead of time to place your order.
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- 400 g (14.1 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 60 g (5 Tbsp.) granulated sugar
- 60 g (4 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut into ½" (1 cm) slices, at room temperature
- 6 large egg yolks, beaten, at room temperature
- 200 ml heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
- 10 ml (2 tsp.) lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. rum (optional)
- 80 g (8 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp. Apricot jam + 1 tsp. water
- 6 egg whites, refrigerated
- 100g (8 Tbsp.) granulated sugar for meringue
- Before you start prepping, remember to keep cream cheese, butter, egg yolks, and heavy cream at room temperature.
- Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9" (23 cm) spring-form pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Wrap the base of the cake pan with aluminum foil (preferably with extra-large heavy duty foil) to prevent seepage. If you use regular size aluminum foil, make sure to seal the two sheets of foil very tightly by folding two edges and make one big foil.
- Preheat oven to 320F (160C) degree. Start boiling water.
- In the bowl of the electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth.
- Add the butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add the egg yolk and heavy cream and mix well.
- Add lemon juice and rum and mix until the batter is very smooth.
- Sift the flour twice.
- Add the flour all at once and mix well.
- Transfer the batter to a large bowl. Wash the mixer bowl and dry completely. Make sure there is no oil or water in the bowl.
- To make meringue, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In the bowl of electric mixer, whip the egg whites on medium low speed (speed 4) till opaque and foamy and bubbly. Then add ⅓ of the sugar at a time as the mixer runs. Once all of the sugar has been added, increase the mixer speed to high (speed 10) and whip for approximately 4 minutes, until the meringue has doubled in volume and is thick and glossy.
- To test for stiff peaks, the peaks should stand straight up when you lift up the beaters. The whites should not slide around. If the meringue has not reached the desired consistency, continue whipping at high speed for another 30 seconds, then stop and test again. Once the egg whites are over beaten, they can't be used for the recipe.
- Add ⅓ of the meringue to the batter and mix well first.
- Then add the rest of the meringue all at once and fold it in (not mix this time).
- Pour the batter in the cake pan and then drop the pan from 2-3" (5-7 cm) high to the countertop to remove any air bubbles.
- Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan and pour 1" (2.5 cm) of boiling water in the roasting pan. Place the baking pan in the middle rack of the oven. (The reason why we put hot water in the pan is that steam will help making cake soft and moist and hot water around the cake will gradually cook inside the cake while baking in the oven.)
- Bake at 320F (160C) for 60 minutes or until light golden brown. Then reduce temperature to 300F (150C) and bake for another 30 minutes.
- When a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean without wet batter, turn off the oven. Let the cake sit in the oven with the door slightly ajar for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Take out the cake pan from the roasting pan, and let it cool on a wire rack.
- In a small bowl, heat apricot jam and water in microwave for 30 seconds and spread the jam on top of the cake. When the cake is completely cool, take it out from the pan and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Cut the cake with a fishing line or a warm knife (run a knife under hot water and wipe off completely before each cut).
It should be consumed within 3 days if it's kept in refrigerator. You can also freeze and keep it up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature while covered.
Adapted from Cookpad.