Hi everyone! This is my second cake that I made for my friend Lina´s Cake Challenge. The short name for this cake is Cotton Cake and I was very surprised to discover that it is of Japanese origin. Previously, when I thought of Japan, the first thing that came to mind was a cherry blossom. Japan is famous for them.
Honestly, one of the most beautiful sights I have seen is that of cherry blossoms slowly falling to the ground. I actually get a bit emotional seeing the ground scattered with pink flowers.
Then when I think of cherry blossoms, I remember the part in Snow White when the prince and Snow White meet. It was so beautiful.
Yes, I get a bit emotional when I see this too!
Ok, back to the cake!
Before researching this recipe, I certainly did not associate Japan with cheesecake. I was quite looking forward to trying the recipe and I marched out on a chilly Saturday morning to get the ingredients. On way back, I spotted some cherry blossoms and I just had to stop and pick a branch to decorate my cheesecake!
I found the recipe for this on a website called Rasamalaysia and it could not have been easier! Here it is! I put my observations in bold print.
140g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
50g/2 oz. unsalted butter
250g/9 oz. cream cheese
100 ml/3 fluid oz. fresh milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
60g/2 oz. cake flour /superfine flour
20g/1 oz. cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool the mixture. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, salt, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.
- Make the meringue by whisking egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. You can beat with a stand mixer or handheld mixer. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. (Click on the link to see image of how the meringue should look.)
- Take 1/3 meringue and fold into the cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/3 of meringue. After incorporated, pour the batter back to the remaining 1/3 meringue and fold. FOLD GENTLY. Pour the mixture into a 8-inch round cake pan (lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with grease-proof baking paper or parchment paper).
- Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160 degrees C (325 degrees F).
- I baked the cake in 9″ round tin, did not line the sides.
- If you use a 8″ pan, it is very important to line the sides of the 8″ pan with parchment paper, make sure the parchment paper extends higher than the cake tin by about 1.5″. This is very important. I did not extend the parchment as high as I should have and in the end, could not remove the cake from the pan properly. I used a cake pan that has the removeable ring. So, I flipped the cake over and was able to remove the cake pan base and parchment paper that way.
- If springform pan or loose base cake tin is used, wrap the base of your cake tin with 2 layers aluminium foil, to prevent seepage. Important as well! I did this!
- I baked the cake on the lowest shelf in the oven (to prevent cracks on top and over browning). Still, keep an eye on the cheesecake because every oven is different and you do not want the tip to get too brown.
- The purpose of using double boiler is to melt the cheese, butter, and milk mixture. I heated and simmered the water in the double boiler ON the stove. For the water bath, I used hot water.
- I left the cake to cool down in the oven with the oven door open, about an hour. This is to prevent sudden change of temperature that may cause the cake to shrink drastically. It’s normal that the cake will shrink about ½ inch to 1 inch after cooling, it’s normal. If the cake shrinks a lot, the main reason is over mixing the egg white mixture with the cheese mixture. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, FOLD VERY GENTLY, do not stir or blend.
- Refrigerate the cake (with or without the cake tin) for at least 4 hours or overnight.
The results: A beautiful and very fluffy cheesecake! Definitely worth a go if you are keen on cheesecakes in general. My husband and I enjoyed it so much! It wasn´t too sweet and it was lovely with coffee or tea. It was easy to make and it was great to learn something new!