Souffle Japanese Cheesecake or Japanese Cotton Cheesecake is probably one of the most amazing cheesecakes that I have known in my life. I fell in love with it right at the first time I tried it. And until now, it is still in my most-favourite-cake-of-all-time list.
Souffle Japanese Cheesecake is a special cake because it is the combination of a chiffon cake and a cheesecake. On the one hand, its method is pretty identical to chiffon method, which is to mix the liquids, fats, egg yolks, and flour together, while beating egg whites separately in a different bowl. Once the egg white is ready, we fold it into the egg yolk batter, and then bake. Thanks to the whipped egg white, the cake has a super fluffy, tender and light texture, just like a chiffon cake. On the other hand, the large portion of cream cheese in the ingredients of Souffle Japanese Cheesecake gives it a rich, creamy, smooth and melt-in-the-mouth taste, which is very much similar to the taste of a cheesecake.
- ½ lemon zest (i.e. zest of a half lemon)
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 60g (2.1oz, 4¼ tbsp) butter softened in room temperature
- 35g (1.2oz, 2⅘ tbsp) sugar
- 20g (0.7oz, 2⅕ tbsp) flour (all purpose) , sifted
- 10g (0.4oz, 1⅓ tbsp) cornflour (cornstarch) , sifted
- 250g (8.8oz, 1⅛ cups) cream cheese softened in room temperature
- 35g (1.2oz, 2⅘ tbsp) sugar
- 3 egg whites
- Hot water , about 80C (176F)
- A baking tray or a large non loose-base cake pan to comfortably fit in the cake pan , for water bath
- An oven tray or a baking tray to place a water bath tray on
- 18cm (7″) cake pan
PREPARING THE OVEN
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F).
- Grease the bottom and the side of the cake pan with butter (not in ingredients) and line the bottom with baking paper.
- If the cake pan has a loose bottom, cover the bottom and side of the cake pan with large aluminium foil (or a disposable round aluminium tray) so that the foil continuously covers the bottom and the side to just below the rim.
MIXING THE INGREDIENTS
- Add cream cheese in a bowl and whisk over water bath (not too hot) to soften the cream cheese. Add butter and whisk until the mixture becomes creamy with no lumps.
- Remove the bowl from the water bath and add the remaining Batter ingredients one by one in the order of the ingredients list. Mix every time an ingredient is added. Mix well until the colour of the batter becomes consistent.
- In a new bowl, add egg whites and beat until they become foamy.
- Add sugar in 3-4 batches while beating the egg whites fast. Beat until soft peaks form (note 4).
- Add a third of the meringue to the batter and fold gently using a spatula until white meringue mixes into the batter.
- Now transfer the batter to the meringue bowl and fold gently until the trace of the white meringue disappears.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan. Drop the pan from 10cm (4″) high few times to remove air bubbles.
- Place the cake pan in a deep baking tray or a large non loose-base cake tin. Fill hot water to 1.5cm (⅝”) high (water bath).
- Place an oven tray/baking tray on the middle rack of the oven, place the water bath tray with the cake pan inside and bake for 20 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 140C (284F) and bake further 40 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Insert a thin bamboo stick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out dry, the cake is cooked. If still slightly wet, turn the oven on to 160C (320F) and cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the water bath and gradually cool the cake down for further 20 minutes in the oven by slightly leaving the oven door by sticking the oven mitt or a cloth to the door.
- Remove the cake from the cake tin and place the cake on a rack to cool down to room temperature.
- Better to be served after chilling it in the fridge