The Japanese are known for their ability to re-invent things, and the cheesecake is no exception. In 1969, the owner of a luxury confectionary maker in Kobe was inspired by käsekuchen, a german cheesecake, while on a trip to Berlin. He made his own version back home and soon other bakeries began making it too. Women’s magazines during this time increased its popularity.
And it’s not hard to see why. This very light and airy cheesecake uses less cheese and sugar, making it healthier and more palatable to the Japanese which prefer their desserts much less sweet than westerners. But you don’t need to be Japanese to enjoy this treat. People all over the world have been enjoying it after the chain Uncle Tetsu opened up shops all over the world beginning in the 90s.
The recipe is not difficult, but it is time consuming. You’ll need to be home for about 3.5 hours to complete the recipe, although much of that time is for bringing the ingredients to room temperature, baking in the oven, and cooling the cake to room temperature.
You’ll need a stand mixer or hand mixer to make the meringue, a 7″ springform pan, and aa 9×13 baking dish.
So let’s get to this!
Japanese Souffle Cheesecake
150 g (1/4 cup) cream cheese, room temperature
28 g (2 T) butter, room temperature
90 g (1/2 cup) sugar
3 eggs, separated
150 g (5/8 cup) warm milk
50 g (1/2 cup) cake flour, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest, optional
4 cups hot water, bain-marie
Separate the egg whites into the stand mixer bowl and a small bowl for the yolks and place in refrigerator. Prepare the other ingredients and bring to room temperature. When you are ready to make the batter, preheat oven to 320 F.
Mix cream cheese and butter. Add 1/2 of the sugar and mix well. Add yolks one at a time, mixing well.
Whisk in the warm milk. Whisk in cake flour and whisk until there are no lumps. Whisk in vanilla and lemon juice and zest, if you have some.
Using a stand mixer at the highest speed, whip egg whites for 2 and a half minutes slowly adding the rest of the sugar until it forms a meringue with soft peaks.
Fold in one scoop of the meringue into the cheese mixture. Then add the rest of the meringue, folding in, taking care not to deflate the foam of the meringue.
Heat 4 cups of water.
Place parchment paper in the pan on the bottom of the pan and spray the sides with baking spray with flour. Cover pan with aluminum foil to prevent water from getting in.
Put pan in baking dish. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Pour hot water into baking dish.
Bake at 320ºF for 50 minutes. Turn the oven off for 10 minutes before opening the door and leaving cracked open for 1 hour. Take the cake out from the oven remove springform. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
1. Dust with powdered sugar. Check out the alternative video below done for USC Homecoming with the SC logo!
2. Warm up 1 T. jam and glaze the top. Traditionally, this is done with apricot jam, but feel free to mix it up.
3. Top with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.