Updated from the recipe originally published on March 3, 2009.
Often described as cotton-soft, Japanese cheese cake is similar to chiffon cake but creamier and almost souffle-like. Traditionally baked in a water bath, I did a little experiment to find out if it was possible to bake it without the water bath. And I found out that it was possible although the bottom and sides turned out to be more brown than it should have been. It was delicious though, never mind the appearance, I posted it anyway.
The second time, I used a water bath but ditched the springform pan in favor of a silicone cake pan.
The inside was the same as that of the cake baked without a water bath. The real difference is in the outside. No brown crusty sides for this Japanese cheese cake. Instead, the sides were the same color as the inside. And the same texture too. Only the top was lightly browned.
The idea of using a silicone pan was a good one. The sides of the cake pulled away from the pan without any prying. However, the bottom was another matter. It’s an even better idea to still line the bottom of the silicone pan with non-stick paper.
How did I take the cake out of the pan? By inverting it on to a plate then re-inverting to another plate. That was what made me realize that I should have lined the bottom of the silicone pan with non-stick paper. Next time, it’ll be perfect.
Based on a recipe found at Red Vanilla.
- 250 grams cream cheese room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter room temperature
- 1/3 cup skim milk plus tablespoon, room temperature
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/8 cup corn flour
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 eggs separated, room temperature
- 3/4 cup white sugar
Preheat the oven to 310F.
In a double boiler, melt the cream cheese, butter and milk. Mix with a wire whisk until the mixture is creamy and evenly blended. Cool.
Sift together the flour and corn flour.
Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar little by little while beating continuously until soft peaks form.
Into the cooled cream cheese mixture, add the egg yolks, sifted flours, lemon juice and vanila. Mix until smooth.
Add half of the egg white mixture into the flour mixture. With a spatula, blend using the cut-and-fold method. Add the rest of the egg white mixture and continue cutting and folding until evenly blended. Be careful not to break the air bubbles in the egg whites because it is these air bubbles the make the cake feathery and light.
Pour the batter into a springform or silicone pan (line the bottom with baking paper!). If using a springform pan, wrap the bottom with two sheets of aluminum foil to prevent the water from seeping in. Place in baking pan inside a larger pan. Pour the larger pan with hot water until the water level reaches halfway up the pan that contains the cake batter.
Bake the cake in a 310F for about an hour and a half. After the first hour and 10 minutes, test the cake occasionally by inserting a thin pointed knife at the center. If it comes out clean before you hit the hour-and-a-half mark, turn off the oven. Leave the cheesecake in the hot oven and allow it to cool slowly.
The cheese cake rises well during baking but shrinks at the center as it cools. Maybe it shouldn’t — I’ll adjust the temperature next time.