Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Japanese Cheesecake (with cream)

Less than two weeks to go before Chinese New Year, and I can see many food-bloggers posting recipes for CNY cookies. I haven't started making any yet, though usually I just stick to making pineapple tarts. My sister just came back from Malaysia and brought over a few jars of CNY goodies which I have started snacking on, and at this rate, there might not be any left by the time CNY comes around. Anyway, I plan to make the tarts closer to CNY so that they are still fresh when I serve them to friends and family. In the meantime, instead of twiddling my itching-to-bake fingers, I decided to try out this cheesecake recipe that was posted by Nami a few months ago on Just One Cookbook.

I halved the recipe, knowing that if I made the whole batch, I'd have no trouble finishing it, and then I would in trouble as that would leave me with little room for feasting during CNY (including the days leading up to it). I've made many versions of cheesecakes in the past. So, what's the verdict on this one? a cloud - light, melt-in-your-mouth creamy and fluffy, just the way I like it. Surprisingly, that little bit of rum added a nice hint of sweetness that made the cake taste extra special.

As the cake tends to firm up a bit in the fridge, I find it best to let the cake sit out for a while before serving. We thoroughly enjoyed this cheesecake and I can't wait to bake it for my mum when she comes to visit. Please find the recipe after the jump.

Japanese Cheesecake
Adapted from Just One Cookbook


400 g (14.1 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
60 g (4 tbsp) caster sugar
60 g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 egg yolks, beaten, at room temperature,
200 ml heavy/thickened cream
10 ml (2 tsp) lemon juice
1 tbsp rum
60g plain flour
20g cornflour
6 egg whites
100g (7 tbsp) caster sugar for meringue
3 tbsp Apricot jam + 1 tsp water
  1. Preheat oven to 160C (320F). Boil some water for the bain marie or water bath and prepare a roasting pan that is large enough to fit the baking pan.
  2. Grease the base and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line the base with baking paper. Prepare 2-3 large sheets of aluminium foil and use them to cover the outside of the pan. This has to be leak-free and waterproof to prevent water (from the bain marie) from seeping into the cake. Alternatively, use a regular (non-springform) baking tin, in which case the foil is not necessary.
  3. Sift the plain flour and cornflour together. Set aside.
  4. Using a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and 60g caster sugar until smooth. Add butter and beat again.
  5. Add yolks to the mixture and beat until well mixed. Then, add the cream and beat again  until very smooth. Scrape the bottom of the bowl as the cheese tends to get stuck there.
  6. Add lemon juice and rum and mix until smooth and lump-free. Switching to a whisk attachment will help break up the lumps.
  7. Sift the flours into the mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated.
  8. In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to high and gradually add sugar. Continue to whisk until just stiff peaks. Do not overwhisk as it may cause the top of the cake to crack while baking.
  9. Add 1/3 of meringue to the batter and mix well. Then, add the rest of meringue and fold in gently with a large flat spatula until well combined.
  10. Pour the batter in the springform pan and level the top. Lightly tap the tin on the table 4-5 times to get rid of any large air bubbles.
  11. Place the springform pan (covered with foil outside) in the roasting pan and place it in the oven such that the top of the cake is level with the middle of the oven. Before closing the oven door, pour the boiling hot water into the baking pan until it reaches 1 inch high. Moisture from the water will prevent cracks on the surface of the cake.
  12. Bake at 320F (160C) for 60 minutes or until lightly golden. Then reduce temperature to 300F (150C) and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  13. Turn off the oven and let the cake sit in the oven with the door slightly ajar (I wedged an oven mitt in between) until it has cooled completely. Remove the cake from the pan.
  14. In a small bowl, combine apricot jam and water and microwave for a few seconds. Sieve the jam to remove bits of apricot. Spread the warm jam on the cake and refrigerate briefly for 1-2 hours before serving.


Mel said...

Hello Fern,
Do you usually make your own pineapple filling or you could get the store bought one at your place? I have browsed thru your previous pineapple tarts and they look really pretty and well done ..... and so does your Japanese cheesecake here! I know you loves cheesecake alot, right?

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Mel: Hi...yes I love eating and baking cheesecakes. It's always gratifying when the cheesecakes turns out well :)
I make my own pineapple jam because I'm not sure where to get them in Sydney. Homemade is probably better too! I just made some jam today, all ready to make the tarts before CNY!

Chef and Sommelier said...

Fern! I really cannot comment how does it taste but your cheesecake looks just perfect! Absolutely perfect!

Janine said...

anything from nami is definitely delicious and i'm quite sure this one is as well. love the last photo showing the texture of the cake - it looks DELICIOUS!

Alayna said...

This is lovely! It came out so even and looks very soft and luscious.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I'm speechless, Fern. You make many fine desserts and food and this is just another perfect food you made! I better now to show it to my husband. He'll ask me to make it right away (even he would offer to go grocery shopping if I say okay... haha). Thank you for trying this recipe and linking back to me. Now can I have a piece please? :)