If you’ve been trawling through recipe blogs or cookbooks, one of the most popular desserts that you’ve probably come across is the humble cotton soft Japanese Cheesecake. Similar to other fluffy and aerated desserts such as the classic souffle, chiffon cake and iconic pavlova, the Japanese Cheesecake is a dessert that relies predominantly on skills and technique to perfect, making it seem like quite a daunting endeavour for beginner bakers.
Today, we’ll be having a look at the top 5 kitchen appliances that will come in handy if you’re going to attempt baking a Japanese Cheesecake or any other heavenly fluffy desserts, so strap yourself in and read on to find out more! Don’t forget to stay till the end because we’ll also be sharing our favourite Japanese Cheesecake recipe with you!
Stand Mixer / Electric Hand Mixer
The secret to mastering the Japanese Cheesecake lies in how you prepare your meringue. The ideal Japanese Cheesecake is one that is pillowy soft, light-as-air and simply melts in your mouth and this is only achieved when you have mastered the art of making meringue. For this reason alone, purchasing a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer is an absolute necessity. No matter how big your guns are, nothing beats a stand mixer and its capability to make a fluffy and stiff meringue that will form the base structure of your cheesecake and other desserts such as souffle, chiffon cake, mousse and more. If there’s only one appliance that you’re willing to buy, it has to be a stand mixer!
A springform tin (also commonly referred to as a loose base tin), is a cake tin that eliminates the many risks associated with removing cakes from regular, more traditional cake tins. A high quality springform pan is a kitchen essential for creating flawlessly smooth cheesecakes, layered mousse cakes and puddings, as it ensures that your desserts come out perfectly each and every time and with minimal fuss or chances of drops or other damage. The last thing you want is to painstakingly bake up the perfect cheesecake, only to ruin it by turning it upside down and deflating it. There are few things more devastating than a deflated Japanese cheesecake!
It goes without saying that a good set of kitchen scales is a quintessential appliance in any household. Why is this age-old kitchen appliance so valuable to bakers looking to bake fluffy, little treats?
A kitchen scale is a vital tool to the particular process of fluffy baking, as it allows you to measure out ingredients precisely and to the gram. As precision is an integral element to ensuring your fluffy desserts meet their maximum floof potential, a good kitchen scale may mean the difference between a super rounded, fluffed up heavenly cake, and a cheesecake with just a modest puff up.
Weighing your ingredients is also faster, easier, and a lot more fun than using measuring cups. On top of that, measuring all your ingredients in grams will ensure a consistent result time and time again, unlike cup measurements that may differ based on the type of measuring cups you are using and how tightly you pack your ingredients into them. You can never go wrong with grams!
The secret to souffles, japanese cheesecakes and any light and airy dessert is the gentle folding of ingredients that keeps air in your batter and ensures an amazing rise in the oven. The best way to achieve this is with a large silicone spatula. Not only are these soft yet firm spatulas incredibly easy to clean being non-stick, but their ability to move mixtures without gathering them up too much, make silicone spatulas an absolute essential for fluffy baking.
Once you have mastered the art of folding, the rest is…well, a piece of cake!
And now, what you’ve been waiting for — our recipe for the world’s best Japanese Cheesecake!
- 225g cream cheese
- 50g unsalted butter
- 100 ml full cream milk
- 50g cake flour
- 28g corn starch
- 6 eggs (whites and yolks separated)
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 160g fine granulated sugar
- Preheat your oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 9 inch springform tin.
- Melt your cream cheese, butter and full cream milk on your stove top on low heat, or in a bowl in the microwave. Use a whisk to mix well, or until all the cream cheese has melted completely and your mixture is free from lumps. Then remove from heat.
- Sift cake flour and cornstarch into a separate bowl and mix.
- Add the egg yolks, lemon juice and salt to your cream cheese mixture. Whisk to combine well. Add cake flour and cornstarch, then whisk until a smooth batter forms.
- Prepare the meringue by whisking your egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a stand mixer until light, foamy and soft peaks form.
- Add the cream cheese mixture gently into the meringue. FOLD GENTLY until well incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into a springform pan. Tap the cake pan gently before baking.
- Bake the cake using a hot water bath. Bake at the bottom shelf of the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes.
- Leave the Japanese cheesecake to cool down in the oven with the oven door open for about 30 minutes. This will prevent any sudden changes of temperature that may cause the cake to shrink. Note that it is normal for the cake to shrink by about 1/2 – 1 inch after cooling.
- Refrigerate the cake (with or without the cake tin) for at least 4 hours or overnight. Top the cake with powdered sugar prior to serving.
And there you have it — the best recipe ever for a light and fluffy Japanese Cheesecake, and an overview of all the tools you’ll need to master this iconic dessert. All the best, and happy baking!