Monday, November 29, 2010

Japanese Cheesecake

I fell in love with this light, wonderful and tasty cheesecake about four years ago while I was still living in Texas.  I even introduced it to a few Texan friends who much to my surprise actually loved it more than the rich American (New York) version.  I thought this cheesecake is more appealing to the Asian palate just because it is so much less sweet, dense, overall lighter but still creamy.  

A couple of months ago my 2 cooking cyber buddies (Don and Lily) revisited this cake with me and got me excited all over again. We were blog hopping all over the world, goggling images, watching Youtubes and scrutinizing recipes of this infamous Japanese Cheesecake.
(Japanese-style cheesecake relies upon the emulsification of cornstarch and eggs to make a smooth flan-like texture and almost plasticine appearance ~ Wikipedia).
It is about time, we just have to quit sitting at the computer and start our quest in making the cake.

Ingredients :

A little over a cup (heaping cup) of Whole/Lowfat milk
3 ounces  or 3 Tbs. butter                                                                  
1 8-ounce packet of Cream Cheese (softened at room temperature)
1 1/2 ounces or 1/3 cup  plus 1 tsp. of all-purpose flour                            
1.2 ounces or 3 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch                                    
7 egg yolks
7 egg whites
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 1/2 ounces or a heaping 1/2 cup sugar                                                                    
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1.    Place milk and butter in a pan and heat up mixture over medium heat just
       before it comes to a boil.
2.    Turn stove to low, use a whisk to add in the softened cream cheese.  Stir
       mixture until it is smooth and creamy.
3.    Mix flour and cornstarch together with a whisk. Add in the flour mixture and mix well.
4.    Stir in lightly beaten egg yolks and vanilla.  This mixture should be thick
       and creamy.
5.    Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
6.    Pre-heat oven at 300 F.
7.    Whisk egg whites in a Mixer or by hand until foamy.  Add in cream of tartar
       and sugar and continue to whisk to `soft peak' stage.
8.    Fold in the egg whites with a spatula in two batches to the cooled cream
       cheese mixture.
9.    Pour cheesecake mixture to a lined 9" square cake pan or 2 loaf pans.
       Place pans in a water-bath/bain marie onto the lowest rack in the oven.
       Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes.
       Note:  (If there are hot spots in your oven and your cake turns brown too
       quickly after 30 minutes, use a piece  of foil to loosely cover the cake pan).
10.  Remove cake from oven and cool cake in pan on a wire rack.
11.  To remove cake from pan, place a piece of cling wrap over the cake pan
       and invert cake tin.  Cake should slide out without much problem.
12.  Chill cake in the refrigerator before serving.
Cake baking in a steam bath/bain marie in oven

Baked Cheesecakes cooling on a wire rack.

It is normal to have a little shrinkage on the sides as cake cools.

A slice of chilled cheesecake ready to be devoured!

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