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September 20, 2022 6 min read

 

When you think of Japanese cuisine, you think of sushi and the infamous wobbly soufflé cheesecake. This light and airy dish is distinguished by its pillowy, soufflé-like texture created by incorporating meringue into the cheesecake batter, which is a dramatic contrast to a traditional dense cheesecake.

While you may not be able to travel to Japan to satisfy your craving, you can make the dessert at home using this simple recipe.

 

What Is a Japanese Cheesecake Soufflé?

 A light vanilla flavored soufflé-style cheesecake

Credit: Phil and Mama

 

This particular recipe is a soufflé-style cheesecake that uses whipped egg whites in the cake batter and is baked in a water bath, giving it a light and fluffy texture. It's a cheesecake-flavored variant of Japanese soufflé pancakes.

It is called cheese soufflé or Japanese cheesecake soufflé because there are different types of cheesecake in Japan. To the world, this is known as Japanese cheesecake. It's also famously called a jiggly cake or Japanese cotton cheesecake due to its distinctive texture.

 

History of the Japanese Cheesecake

 A vanilla flavored soufflé with a light dusting of icing sugar on top

Credit: The Spruce Eats

 

Japanese Cheesecake is also called Cotton Jiggly Cheesecake and its soft and smooth texture has taken the world by storm. Several people have compared its texture to chiffon. It has an airy texture and isn't as sugary as some of the commercially available American cheesecakes. It's a delicious way to end a dinner with dessert.

When it comes to who "invented" this version of the cheesecake, there is considerable debate, but chef Kazuno's account is the most well-known. Tomotaro Kuzuno, a Japanese chef, was influenced by a German cheesecake while traveling to Berlin in the 1960s. He was so enamored that he set out to create his own and market it in his homeland.

Because Japanese people are known for being health-conscious, this chef took this into account when developing the dish, which utilizes less fat and sugar than its foreign equivalents. To ensure that the cheesecake is light, the egg white and yolks are beaten separately in separate bowls. The classic 'bain-marie'(water bath) method is then used to prepare this cheesecake.

 

The Bain-Marie Method Explained

 

A soufflé that is in a bain-marie ready to be put into an oven to cook
Credit: All Recipes

 

A bain-marie is another word for a hot water bath. It's commonly utilized in delicate dishes such as cheesecakes and other cuisines. The basic goal is to get a uniform bake by evenly heating the area around the dish.

A double boiler is another setup that is frequently referred to as a bain-marie. A double boiler is a piece of culinary equipment that consists of a pot of boiling water simmering on the burner and a bowl positioned above it.

You may build your own double boiler by stacking two smaller pots on top of each other and filling the below one with water. A double boiler is a set of two pots that link together and can be found in most culinary stores.

 

How Do You Make a Japanese Soufflé Cheesecake?

 

This popular Japanese dessert cuisine recipe is easy to make. To get started, follow the steps below:

 

Ingredients

 Measured out ingredients ready to make a soufflé

Credit: The Spruce Eats

 

  • 200g cream cheese, room temperature (you can use Philadelphia cream cheese. It can be found in most supermarkets)
  • Yolks from 4 large eggs (organic eggs from your neighborhood farmer's market will suffice)
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp 1/2 lemon zest
  • 40g plain flour/cake flour
  • 100ml milk
  • 100ml heavy cream
  • 10g corn starch

 

For the Meringue

 A bowl of egg whites that have been whisked to a meringue

Credit: Cuisine at Home

 

  • 60g caster sugar
  • 4 egg whites (removed from the yolks of the eggs before)
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar

 

Directions

 A round cake tin prepped and ready for the soufflé mixture

Credit: A Beautiful Plate

 

1)  Use a round cake pan with a 7-inch diameter and a 3-inch height. Set aside in the fridge after spreading unsalted butter thickly and lining the bottom with parchment paper.

2)  Set aside the flour and corn starch after sifting them together.

3)  Separate the yolks and whites from the eggs. In a bowl, refrigerate the egg whites.

4)  To achieve a smooth cream texture, combine the cream cheese with a spatula.

 A bowl of cream cheese being mixed with a spatula

Credit: Handle the Heat

 

5)  In a mixing bowl, add the milk and cream cheese. Add a small amount of the milk and cream cheese mix at a time, stirring thoroughly after each addition.

6)  One at a time, add the egg yolks and add the sugar, stirring well after each addition.

7)  Sift the cream cheese batter into a large mixing basin to avoid lumps.

8)  Mix in the lemon juice and lemon zest until everything is properly combined.

 A cup of flour being added to the mixture to be whisked together

Credit: Food Safety News

 

9)  Combine the flour and cornstarch with the cream cheese mixture after sifting it.

10)  Preheat the oven to 338 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees Celsius).

11)  In another bowl, whisk the whites of the egg to make the meringue until bubbles emerge. Mix in the cream of tartar.

12)  Add 1/3 of the caster sugar at a time and beat the egg whites every time the sugar is introduced. Whip until light and fluffy peaks form.

 Mixture of sugar and egg whites being whisked in the bowl

Credit: BakeClub

 

13)  To stabilize the meringue form, remove the bowl from the stand and manually beat it.

14)  Using a whisk, incorporate a quarter of the meringue into the batter you made before.

15)  Use a spatula and carefully combine everything together.

16)  Fill a circular cake pan with the batter that has been covered with parchment. Fill the tin to approximately 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) below the rim, then tap the tin on a worktop a number of times to remove the air bubbles.

 The soufflé is placed in a bain-marie and then into the oven to cook

Credit: What’s Cookin’ Italian Style Cuisine

 

17)  Place it in a pan of water and cook it in a preheated oven. Reduce the heat to 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius) and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

18)  Reduce the temperature to 284°F (140°C) and bake for another 55 minutes after the timer has expired.

19)  After 55 minutes of baking at 284°F (140°C), turn off the oven. Let the cake cool for a further 30 minutes in the oven.

20)  With the oven turned off, remove the pot of water and keep the oven door slightly ajar to enable the cake to cool.

 The soufflé is then placed in a bowl in the fridge to be chilled overnight

Credit: Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

21)  Place the cheesecake in an airtight container, still in the round tin, and chill overnight.

22)  Take the cake out of the pan and serve!

 

Notes:

 Make sure that the utensils for the meringue are clean and dry

Credit: The Kitch

 

Before you start beating egg whites, ensure your whisk and mixing basin are clean and dry. 

 A Plastic bowl with measuring cups and cupcake holders

Credit: Adobe Stock

 

Avoid using plastic dishes, even if they are clean, as they may contain greasy residue that will prevent the egg whites from whipping properly.

 A glass bowl with egg whites and a whisk inside

Credit: Epicurious

 

Keep the beaters from getting immersed completely in the egg whites by using a wide bowl.

 An oven thermometer is great for measuring the temperature

Credit: Shutterstock

 

Check to see if your oven's temperature is accurate. When preparing Japanese soufflé cheesecake, the temperature is crucial. It will not rise well if the oven temperature is too low.

 A soufflé in a tin that is not recommended for using

Credit: Webstraunt Store 

 

This cheesecake should not be baked in a tin with a removable base. It's unnecessary, as it can cause the bain-marie water to penetrate into the cake, resulting in a mushy base.

 A soufflé lightly dusted with icing sugar and some black berries

Credit: Phil and Mama

 

It may be tough to get this recipe right the first time, so if you're wondering why your Japanese cheesecake crack, be sure to grease the baking tin carefully the next time. If the cheesecake batter is not sufficiently greased as it begins to rise, it will be pulled by the parchment if it clings to it, breaking the top of the cake.

 

How Do You Serve a Soufflé Cheesecake?

 A soufflé that is topped with fresh fruit and syrup

Credit: Gourmet Baking

 

This basic cheesecake is incredibly adaptable. Because there are no additional flavors, you can serve it with a range of toppings:

  • Nutella
  • Sauce Made With Blueberries
  • Sauce de Caramel
  • Powdered Sugar and Fresh Fruits
  • Chocolate Ganache

 

Summary

 

There you have it.  This easy Japanese cheesecake recipe may appear lengthy, but the end result is well worth the effort. This dish will delight your guests or children, and they will not be able to stop at just one slice.

While you're here, do check out Pepe Nero's baking kit for the complete baking set!

 


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