I am officially on school holidays now and I felt like baking “Japanese soufflé cheesecake”. I shared a recipe for mini Japanese baked cheesecakes about 2 years ago and it is about time to share this jiggly and fluffy Japanese soufflé cheesecake.
Yes it is called “Japanese” soufflé cheesecake. It is extra fluffy and jiggly when it is just baked. Japanese soufflé cheesecake is especially light and cotton soft and tastes so delicious. If you have been a Chopstick Chronicles reader, you would have known that I love baking and was in a baking club when I was a high school student (every student in Japan must be in an after school club…. So I picked pottery club in elementary school, ping pong in junior high school, and baking in high school 😀)
I have made baked Japanese soufflé cheesecake so many times. I bake it often and share it for morning tea with my teacher colleagues and they always complement how delicious Japanese soufflé cheesecake is. But, it is quite difficult to bake it. Well, if you want to make perfectly baked Japanese soufflé cheesecake.
Common failures when baking this soufflé cheesecake are that it did not rise well and the cheesecake top cracked open while it is being baked. They can be avoided if you are careful with the meringue and you know how to operate your oven well.
Prepare the baking tin and grease it well. I have tried with baking paper and without baking paper and I have discovered that not using lining paper is the best option, because if it is not greased well, when the cheesecake batter is about to rise, the batter will be pulled by the lining paper if it sticks to it and it causes the top of the cake to crack.
Carefully separate the egg yolks and egg whites and refrigerate the egg white just before whipping. The equipment to make the meringue must be dry. Any trace of oil and water will impact on the quality of the meringue. Whipping up cold egg whites will make fine meringue and the meringue needs to be soft peaks for Japanese soufflé cheesecake.
The temperature for baking Japanese soufflé cheesecake is important too in order to avoid the cake top cracking open. If the baking temperature is too high, it will crack but if the temperature is too low, it will not rise well. So knowing your oven is important. My oven has been just installed last year after the previous oven broke and since then I have not baked cheesecake and had to test a few times to see which temperature and timing works best.
Nonetheless, Japanese soufflé cheese cake is delicious even if it’s cracked. They still taste great but just not good looking. I am not sure how to fix not raised cheesecake but if is cracked, the cheesecake deflates anyway and will close up the crack…and you can hide with fruits and other toppings like in the photos. I made many cracked cheesecakes while testing my oven and had to eat so many of these cheesecakes.
You may have seen these jiggly and fluffy Japanese soufflé cheesecakes before. They have become quite popular and I often see videos of them on Instagram. Japanese cheesecakes are jiggly and fluffy when they are just baked and still warm but they are best served rested in the fridge overnight. They are moist yet airy and soft and don’t have an eggy taste.
One last but important thing to mention is about using lemon zest. When I have to use citrus skin for cooking, I use locally produced and organic citrus because those have usually NOT been treated with pesticide, post-harvest agricultural chemicals, and wax. If only imported and non-organic citrus is available, I thoroughly wash it with salt and soaked the lemon in sodium bicarbonate water. See notes in the recipe.
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Jiggle and fluffy cotton soft Japanese souffle cheesecake recipe
- 200 g Philadelphia cream cheese this is the brand I used to use in Japan and it is readily available in Supermarkets in Australia and other places worldwide
- 4 egg yolks I usually buy free range large eggs from a local farmer’s market and a whole egg weighs about 50 g. Yolks all together weighed approximately 65g
- 20 g caster sugar
- 100 ml pure cream Whipping cream
- 100 ml milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp 1/2 lemon lemon zest (I finally bought microplanebrand zester. It only zests the yellow part of the skin. Try not to use the white part as it gives an astringent taste)
- 40 g plain flour
- 10 g corn starch
- 4 egg white from the 4 eggs’ yolks separated from. Egg white all together weighed approximately 120g
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 60 g caster sugar
- 30 g apricot jam
- 1 tbsp water or Brandie
Leave the cream cheese at room temperature to soften. *1
Prepare the 17cm(or 7”) in diameter and 7.5cm(or 3”) tall round cake tin. Spread unsalted butter thinly and line the bottom with baking paper and set aside in fridge. *2
Sift the flour and corn starch and set aside
Separate eggs to yolks and whites. Refrigerate the egg whites in a bowl. *3
Stir the softened cream cheese with a wooden spatula to make it a smooth cream texture.
Combine milk and cream. Add the milk and cream mixture a little bit at a time and mix well each time.
Add sugar and add egg yolks one at a time and mix well each time.
Sieve the cream cheese mixture into a large mixing bowl to avoid any lumpy bits.
Add lemon juice and lemon zest to the mixture and mix well. *4
Sift the flour and cornstarch into the egg yolk and cream cheese mixture and combine them.
Start to preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. * 5
10. Make the meringue. Set the stand mixer and whip the egg whites till large bubbles form. Add the cream of tartar and whip.
11. Add 1/3 of the caster sugar (20 g each) in three different times and whip the egg whites each time the sugar is added. Whip till soft peaks form (when the stand mixer’s attachment is lifted, the white egg peak bends a little bit).
12. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand and hand whip to stabilize the meringue form.
13. Fold 1/3 of meringue into the cream cheese mixture with a whisk carefully trying not to break the fine meringue form. Repeat the same one more time.
14. This time, add the cream cheese mixture into the meringue bowl and fold all together carefully with a spatula.
15. Pour the mixture into a prepared round cake tin. Fill the tin about 1.5 cm down the rim of the tin, tap a couple times on a kitchen bench to release the air bubbles. *6
16. Place and bake it in a water bath in the preheated oven. Turn the oven set down to 160 degrees Celsius and bake for 20minutes. *7
17. After baking on 160 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, turn the temperature down to 140 degrees Celsius and bake for a further 55 minutes. (it took about 20 minutes at my oven temperature to get down to 140 degree)
18. Turn the oven off after its baked in 140 degree for 55 minutes. Leave the cake inside the oven for a further 30 minutes to cool the cake down gradually.
19. After leaving the cake for 30 minutes with the oven turned off, remove the water bath and leave the oven door slightly open and let it continue to cool down gradually.
20. Place the cheesecake (still intact in the round tin) in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. *8
21. Remove the cake from the tin.
22. Glaze the top of the cheesecake with apricot jam glaze with a brush and slice it with a sharp and warm knife to serve.
*1 leave the Philadelphia cream cheese out of the box for at least an hour. I usually take it out of the fridge and leave it on the kitchen bench a night before.
*2 This recipe of cheesecake batter is for 17cm x 7.5cm round tin. ( or 7” x 3”)
*3 Cold egg whites make finer meringue so I keep the egg whites refrigerated until just before whipping in the bowl.
*4 If you are concerned about pesticide and post-harvest agricultural chemicals and wax, scrub the lemon with salt then soak in bicarbonate water for one minute (if you leave it longer, it will lose the lemon flavour) and rinse it under the running water.
*5 Bake the cake at 160 degree Celsius(320 degree Fahrenheit) but pre-heat to 170 (338 F)because when you open the oven door the heated temperature will be decreased.
*6 There may be left over mixture but I would not pour more than 1.5cm(0.59 inch) below the rim of the tin, otherwise it will overflow while it is being baked.
*7 The temperature of the water bath should not be boiling water. The temperature of the water I used is about 60-80degree Celsius( 140 F- 176F). The time is an indication only, It took about 2 minutes to get down to 160 degrees Celsius (320 F)for my oven and baked in for 20 minutes. And took about 20 minutes to get down to 140 degrees Celsius ( 284F)
*8 this is airy soft cotton cheese cake, it will be easier to remove and slice when it has settled and set.