Festive season is over. FINALLY. It’s officially time for soups, salads, joining a new gym (and then never going) but here at home, it’s my hubby’s birthday right after New Year. It wouldn’t seem fair for him not to have a cake, would it? After all, he does live with a baking blogger and I make cakes for everyone else, so this time I indulged myself in one of my favorite things in the world: cheese.
I’ve never been to Japan (although it’s definetely on my bucket list) but I first tryed this cotton cheesecake earlier in 2018 in Kuching, Malaysia, on the northern part of Borneo Island and an amazing destination.
You have probably seen a thousand videos on Instagram or Youtube of the original bakery in Japan and I finally coudn’t resist myself.
I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible to the original recipe, to get the fluffy and giggly texture of the cake, but I have had to adjust times and temperatures to my own oven. There’s enough batter for a huge cake that you’ll eat before you even notice.
JAPANESE COTTON CHEESECAKE
I used a 22 cm round springform pan.
250 g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks + 5 g of cream of tartar (you can use 15 ml of lemon juice if you don’t have any)
140 g powdered sugar
50 g butter
100 ml whole milk
60 g all purpose flour
20 g corn starch
20 ml lemon juice.
1.- In a heat proof bowl, heat the cream cheese over a pan of simmering water (bain Marie or water bath technique). It will soften quite a bit, like on the picture below.
2.- Heat the milk with the butter until it melts (microwave) and add it to the cheese.
3.- Add all the yolks.
4.-Whisk it all together until the ingredients are combined and you have a smooth cream. Add the lemon juice.
5.- At this point, sift the flower and add it bit by bit to the mixture, to prevent it from clotting. Keep wisking for a few minutes over the water bath, the cream will thicken a little.
6.- Set aside.
7.- On your stand or hand mixer, whisk the egg whites. Once they start foaming, add the sugar gradually along with the cream of tartar.
* You need the meringue to form soft peaks and this will give consistency to your cake, but also prevent it from cracking while baking. You need a meringe that forms peaks that fall to one side, don’t beat the meringue till the point when it forms firm peaks.
8.- When the meringue has the right consistency, mix in the batter you had set aside. Do it adding 1/3 of the batter at a time, using a rubber spatula and not whisking it. We don’t want to overbeat it.
9.- Heat your oven up to 200ºC (WITHOUT fan), and get your pan ready. It’s preferable to use a regular pan than a springform pan, but if you don’t have one, cover the bottom with aluminum foil to prevent water from getting into your pan. It would ruin the texture of the cake. Line some parchment paper at the bottom.
10.- Pour your mixture in the pan and place this pan into another one that we will fill with water for a water bath. It needs to cover 1/3-1/2 of your baking pan. Make sure you don’t spill any water in the cake.
11.- Bake for 15 minute at 200ºC and then another 15 minutes at 150ºC. After that, turn the oven off and let the cake cool for 30 minutes. Then open the door an let it cool completely.
12.- The cake tends to shrink a little, which makes removing the cake easier. Just place a plate on top and flip it and then flip it again on the plate you will use for presentation. Don’t be impatient, if the cake is not completely chilled it will crack when you remove it from the pan, so don’t rush it.