Japanese Cotton Cheesecake – a light & fluffy, melt-in-mouth combination of a creamy tart cheesecake and a light & airy sponge.
Keyword Cheesecake, japanese, japanese cotton cheesecake
about 100g egg yolks- from 5 large or 6 medium eggs
about 150g egg whites- from 5 large or 6 medium eggs
1tspvanilla extract or 1 tbsp lemon zest to flavour
Preheat oven to 140 deg. Line the 18 cm spring-form pan with parchment paper at the bottom (preferably sides as well to give room to cake to rise if your pan height is small). Cover the bottom of the spring-form with 2-3 layers of aluminium foil so that the water doesn’t seep inside. Keep a baking tray bigger than pan ready for hot water to be poured into.
In a saucepan over low heat, melt the cream cheese and milk together, whisking it continuously. Once melted, switch off the heat and whisk in the butter till melted. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks till it’s pale and gains volume. Sift the flour, cornflour and salt and mix until no lumps remain. Whisk in the cream cheese-milk-butter mixture. Add vanilla/lemon zest and mix. Keep aside.
In a separate bowl with a hand whisk or a stand mixer with balloon whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until frothy. Gradually add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time and keep beating the egg whites until you get stiff peaks.
Using a spatula, gradually fold in the meringue into the yolk-cream cheese mixture, 1/3rd at a time. Make sure you are gentle in folding as you don’t want to lose the volume.
Gradually pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan 3-4 times on the counter to get rid of any large bubbles.
Place the pan on your bigger baking tray and fill the tray with some hot water just about 2cm in height and not more.
Bake the cheesecake at 140C for 80-85 minutes. Once baked, switch off the oven and open the door slightly to let the cheesecake cool gradually inside the oven. After about an hour, remove it from the oven and unmold. For best results, chill the cheesecake for a couple of hours at least before cutting slices and serving.
Preparing the spring-form pan is an important step. The aluminium foils need to be wrapped right so that no water seeps into the cheesecake. The parchment paper on the sides will support the cake rising in the oven.
The most crucial recipe element is the meringue. It is the meringue that’ll give your cake the beautiful rise since there are no raising agents added to the cake. Also important is the way you fold in the meringue into the mixture. Be very gentle.
Baking at a low temperature ensures a no-cracks top and tall cheesecake. The original recipe was baked at 155 C for 80 minutes, but my oven only takes even numbers so I went with 140 C for 85 minutes and got great results.
Once baked, switch off the oven and open the door slightly to let the cheesecake cool gradually inside the oven. This will help avoid the cheesecake sinking due to sudden changes in temperature. After about an hour, remove it from the oven and unmold.
For best results, chill the cheesecake for a couple of hours at least before cutting slices and serving.
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