I’ve seen this around for a few years, made it once before for someone’s birthday, but this time I wanted to try out my smaller springform (7-inch diameter) pan that has been waiting patiently in my cupboard to be used. I initially thought this would be a good size for making a dessert for two, but it’s a tad big for two, I think.
I think what I really like about this type of cheesecake is that it is not dense, like New York style cheesecake. It’s sort of a cross between a cake and cheesecake. It’s soft, yet sturdier than chiffon.
This has various names online. Cotton Cheesecake, Japanese Cheesecake, Uncle Rikuro’s Cheesecake (Japan), and Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake (Canada). I decided to go with the latter one, using this recipe from HERE. Because they are a couple of laid back guys (Alex and Felix) baking stuff and showing it on You Tube. They also have lots of other recipes on their channel.
It might seem like a complicated recipe, but it really isn’t. There’s just a few key things to keep in mind to ensure a successful rise and texture of the cake:
- Bring all ingredients at room temperature. If you can’t wait to bake, use the microwave to warm things up, but be careful not to leave things too long in the microwave. Warming up refrigerated butter should only take a few zaps totaling about 10 seconds. For eggs I usually soak eggs with their shell still on in a bowl of warm water, but only for recipes where I don’t have to separate the yolks and whites. You can still soak, but when it’s warm it’s harder to separate.
- Water bath is important. Try to keep the foil wrapped tightly around the pan, without facing inward as water will sometimes climb into the pan with the batter if facing inward.
- Egg whites fluff up easier when in room temperature, but also make sure you are using clean beaters and bowl, without yolk residue or grease, which will interfere with the air bubbles you are trying to achieve. Also beat on medium speed, not high speed, because you want to develop air bubbles slowly, because that makes them more sturdy.
- The height of the parchment paper can help make it taller, as the batter needs to cling to it to go upward as it bakes. So even if your pan is less than 3 inches, you can make the parchment paper an inch taller and that will help. Just don’t go over an inch from the height of the pan, as it might make it harder for the top of the cake to brown.
- Don’t use fat-free cream cheese. Or even reduced fat. Just don’t.
Since a 7-inch springform pan has roughly half the volume of a 10-inch one, it was convenient to simply half the recipe, which is what I did. If you have a 9-inch springform instead of a 10-incher, you can probably still double what I did here and it will be okay. I added nutmeg and vanilla to the thing, just because I’m a big fan of putting nutmeg with almost any cheese or dairy. Stems from making pasta alfredo. I love the way it pairs with dairy, but if you do not like the little brown specks, just leave it out.
japanese cheesecake (Based on Uncle Tetsu’s recipe via 4 minutes or less with Alex and Felix)
7 ounces cream cheese
3 eggs, separated
1.76 ounces sugar, for egg whites (3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon)
1 ounce sugar, for cream cheese (2 Tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon)
1 ounce (2 Tablespoons unsalted butter)
3.38 fluid ounces heavy cream
1.41 ounces All-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
juice of 1/8 of a lemon
icing sugar and fruit, for garnish
Get ingredients at room temperature by letting it sit on the counter for about an hour before starting. Prepare a 7-inch springform pan by lining bottom and sides with parchment paper. (If you want a larger cake, use a 10-inch springform pan and double the recipe ingredients.) Do not let parchment paper go beyond one inch taller than the height of the pan or the top will not brown. Line the outer part of the pan with foil to prevent water from seaping into the cake from the bottom when you bake it in a water bath. Find another larger pan that the smaller pan with the cake batter will fit into that allows for the water bath to go up about one inch on the sides of the pan. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 320 degrees F.
Cream the cream cheese and the 1 oz. sugar in a medium bowl using a hand held mixer. Cream until fluffy, then add the butter and do the same.
Add the yolks, cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix and scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Add the flour and nutmeg, if using and mix again until incorporated.
In another bowl, and using clean egg beaters with a hand held mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy, about 1 minute.
Beat on medium while starting to add a little of the sugar at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form.
Add roughly 1/3 of the egg whites to the batter and using a rubber spatula, fold gently but swiftly. Add another third and continue to fold, then finally adding the last of the egg whites and incorporating it into the batter until well incorporated.
Pour into pan and add hot water to the larger pan, enough to go up the foil-lined side of the pan about an inch. Even the top with the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula.
Bake for an hour at 320 degrees. Then reduce temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 30 minutes more. Then turn off oven and crack open the oven and leave in there for about 20 minutes. Finally, let out of the pan with the water bath, and let sit on a wire rack on the counter and wait until room temperature before placing in the fridge. You can probably unmold it now or later. I kept mine in the mold until it was room temperature, unmolded it, then replaced it back into the molding and refrigerated it overnight before cutting into slices. If refrigerating before serving, bring close to room temperature if planning to use confectioner’s sugar, otherwise the confectioners sugar will get wet and not look as good. Garnish with fruit of choice, if desired. Enjoy!!