japanese cheesecake

Japanese Cheesecake


Unlike western countries cheesecakes that we have already known the Asian cheesecake has a lighter in texture and spongy especially in Japanese cheesecake. The ingredient of a cheesecake usually is about 80% cream cheese (soft cheese) but in the case of Japanese cheesecake the usage of cream cheese is not as much, about 1/3 of the western cheesecake content.

Comparing to the density of New York style cheesecake, the Japanese cheesecake is very light and airy and it is also known as Soufflé Cheesecake. In line with its name (soufflé cheesecake), the process is by incorporating meringue into the cheesecake batter. The rise and puffiness of the cake come from the air whipped into the egg whites.  Japanese cheesecake is made without a crust so it is almost like sponge cake, but have the taste of a cream cheese flavor cheesecake. Japanese cheesecake is using very little amount of sugar, so it is good for those who are avoiding too much calories or weight watcher.

The ingredients of Japanese cheesecake are cream cheese, sugar, unsalted butter, eggs, cake flour and cornstarch. Cake flour is a vital ingredient to get the light and airy structure cheesecake as it has lower protein content. If it is not available there is substitutions for it, a mixture of All-Purpose (AP) flour and cornstarch as follows: 1 cup of AP, take 2 tablespoons out of the cup and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. It makes 1 cup of cake flour. Sift several times to thoroughly combine the mixture. Some important additional are cream of tartar, a pinch of salt and lemon or juice.

Same as other cheesecakes that all ingredients should be at room temperature before starts cooking. Preparing Japanese cheesecake required the eggs to be separated white from the yolk. The yolks will be mixed together with cream cheese, a part of sugar, milk and butter, while the whites mixed with cream of tartar, which its function is to help stabilize the whites, and remaining sugar to form the meringue.

The mixing of cream cheese, milk and butter is made in a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. After the cream cheese mixing is completed leavethe mixture to cool before adding the other ingredients.

To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites using a handheld mixer until foamy and add cream of tartar or lemon juice then gradually adding sugar continue to whisk until soft peak form.

Fold meringue into the cream cheese mixture slowly until all combined and then poured into the greased and lined with parchment paper pan or spring-form pan. It is common that a Japanese cheesecake is baked in a water bath for approximately one hour. The same with other cheesecake it needs to be cooled and chilled before serving.

Following is the recipe for Japanese cheesecake. 


For cream cheese mixture

250 grams cream cheese, at room temperature

40 grams caster sugar

60 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 egg yolks (big egg, about 60 grams net weight per egg)

100 ml full cream milk

1 Tbsp. Lemon juice

60 grams cake flour

20 grams corn flour

¼ tsp salt

For meringue

6 egg whites (big egg, about 60 grams net weight per egg)

100 grams caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Line the base of 8 inch round with the sides about 3 inch high cake pan with parchment paper, butter and flour evenly.

Sieve together cake flour and corn flour, set aside.

Place the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk until combined and melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan to cool. When ready, whisk in the egg yolks until smooth, followed by sugar, milk, lemon juice, and salt, whisk to combine. Sieve over the flour mixture, small lumps begin to form as the flour is added continue whisking the batter gently until there are no lumps but do not over mix, set aside.

For meringue; in a clean, dry bowl, whisk with an electric hand mixer the egg whites until foamy on low speed, add lemon juice continue beating. Increase the speed to medium high, then gradually add sugar and turn the speed to high until reaching the soft peak form. This stage is reached when the beater lifted and turned it upside the peaks is curled.

Fold whites into the cream cheese mixture in 3 batches, each time folds with spatula or balloon whisk until blended. Pour into cake pan and tap a few times on the counter to release air bubbles from the batter.

For chocolate decoration, reserve about a tablespoon of the batter and mix well with cocoa powder until thickened but not too thick otherwise it will sink to the bottom, just make it until it's easier to pipe over the cake batter.

Bake for 20 minutes, then lower to 160 degrees C for 40 minutes, turned off the oven and leave the cake inside the oven for 10 minutes with the door closed. Remove the cake from the oven. By this time the cake sides are slightly pulling away from the pan. Removed from the oven and shake it gently from side to side to loosen it before unmold the cake. To unmold cover the pan with a baking sheet, then flipped it over and removed the pan and parchment paper. Place the cake bottom on a cooling rack to cool completely. Refrigerate for 3 hours or best 24 hours prior to serving.

Note: An important note here is that to unmold the cake as soon a it out of the oven or while still steaming hot, otherwise the surface (the beautiful golden color) will stick to anything comes into contact.



Recipe source: Diana's Dessert. Chocolate decoration's idea: Dr Leslie Tay's JCC


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