After you’ve tasted this impossibly light and airy Japanese Cotton Cheesecake, you’ll never make the ‘normal’ kind ever again!
The very last meal I had before the lockdown was at a little Japanese restaurant at it ended with the most sublime Japanese Cotton Cheesecake. Since that day, I’ve been dreaming about recreating the recipe. Part souffle part cake part cheesecake, this version is ridiculously light and fluffy and simply melts away in your mouth. Most cheesecake recipes are VERY pricey to make (2-3 packs of full-fat cream cheese doesn’t come cheap!) and they’re super rich – especially at the end of a meal. That’s why I LOVE this Japanese Cotton Cheesecake recipe. I’ve used only 1 x 250g pack of cream cheese and added creaminess by including NutriDay’s Double Cream Yoghurt which is so unctuous and velvety.
Because this is relatively unknown territory, here are a few tips and things I learnt along the way that might help you get this perfect texture:
- The technique of melting the cream cheese over a pot of gently simmering water (a bain-marie) is genius – particularly if you’re one of those bakers who never remembers to take their ingredients out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature before baking. This recipe is perfect for you! By warming the cream cheese, you melt away all the lumps and it makes the cheesecake extra velvety.
- Passing the mixture through the finest sieve you have is important. Even a cotton or muslin cloth is a good idea.
- This recipe completely breaks the meringue rules – use cold eggs and a pre-chilled bowl. This gives you a denser meringue and finer air bubbles which help achieve a souffle texture in the oven. So clever!
- While this recipe is delicious served at room temperature, it is even more amazing warm! I pop a slice in the microwave for 15 seconds and then dust it with icing sugar. I had some of this amazing Miso Caramel Sauce leftover and tried it with that – total life-changer!
Feel free to change up the flavour – I adore lemon desserts so that was my obvious choice but orange zest, vanilla seeds, passionfruit, rose water or orange blossom would all be delicious!
- 5 large eggs (250g), refrigerated and separated
- 250g full fat cream cheese
- 50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 85ml cream
- 50g + 85g white sugar
- 85g NutriDay Plain Double Cream Yoghurt
- 60g cake flour
- Zest and juice of ½ lemon (25ml juice)
- Icing sugar, to dust
- Grease a deep 22cm springform cake tin with a little butter. Wrap the outside in one piece of foil to make it watertight. Refrigerate the bowl of your stand mixer or a large metal/glass mixing bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced. Place a roasting dish (that will fit your cake tin) inside the oven and pour hot water until halfway - about 2.5cm deep.
- Fill a medium saucepan with 5cm water and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Place the cream cheese, butter, cream and 50g sugar in a glass or metal bowl over the saucepan and whisk until melted - this is to make sure there are no lumps.
- Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks, one at a time, while whisking in between each addition. Whisk in the yoghurt.
- Sieve the flour over the batter and whisk well. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or sieve.
- Add the zest of ½ lemon and 30ml lemon juice. Set aside.
- Add cold egg whites into the chilled bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on medium until foamy. Add the remaining 85g sugar slowly while mixing then increase the speed to high and beat until medium peaks. Whisk ⅓ of the egg whites into the cheesecake batter then fold the rest into the mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared tin all at once and tap on the counter a few times to remove any pockets of air.
- Place the cake tin inside the roasting dish of water in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 (or 140 fan forced) and bake the cheesecake for 40-45 minutes or until the cheesecake is just set but still wobbly. If you insert a skewer into the centre it should come out clean.
- Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly open for 20 minutes (with the cake inside).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours then dust with icing sugar before serving.
- TIP Cut the cheesecake with a knife dipping in hot water (do this inbetween each slice) to best show off the light and airy texture!
- If you're using a larger cake tin, note that your cheesecake will not be as light or fluffy. For a 25cm cake tin, I would then suggest using a 6-egg recipe with the following amounts: 6 large eggs, 300g cream cheese, 60g butter, 100ml cream, 60+100g yoghurt, 80g cake flour, zest and juice of 1 small lemon. The baking time will increase by 10 minutes.