Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

cheesecake     cheesecake2

In the past, I have likened some desserts to a fairy princess, Southern Belle, expensive call girl, or empress.  This dessert is a prima ballerina – light, airy, delicate, but structured and sometimes difficult.  However, if handled correctly, you end up with a masterpiece.   This is a lovely dessert for any occasion.  With the advent of Spring, my heart (and tummy) turned to this dessert with longing.

Unlike heavy cheesy cheesecakes, Japanese cheesecakes are not as sweet and sort of a cross between a soufflé, a chiffon cake, a cheesecake.  “Cotton” in the name should tell you all you need to know.

IMPORTANT STUFF:  NO NO NO substitutions.  Use store-bought cake flour.  Use whole milk.  Butter, and superfine sugar.  If you can’t find any, grind some in your food processor or blender.  Sometimes superfine sugar is known as Bar Sugar.

Fold in well to ensure the whites are evenly distributed through the mixture.  Garnish with fruit or sifted cocoa or green tea powder.   A teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or vanilla can be added to the cooled butter, cheese, and milk mixture.

 

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

9 oz. cream cheese (one 8 oz. brick plus 1 oz. of another brick)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup fresh, whole milk

6 eggs, room temperature – whites and yolks separated

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup extra fine granulated sugar

1/3 cup plus 1 tsp. cake flour

3 tbsp. corn starch

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Melt cream cheese, butter and milk in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Stir occasionally to break up cream cheese and combine the ingredients.  Remove bowl from heat and allow to cool. Mixture will be thick.  If lumpy, use a whisk to vigorously beat the mixture until smooth. Set aside.

 When mixture has cooled, fold in the egg yolks, flour and corn starch.  Fold until thoroughly incorporated.  In a large bowl, whisk egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and mix again, gradually adding the extra-fine sugar a little at a time until soft peaks form.  Note: Soft peaks:  mixture should be white and opaque, and meringue will fall onto itself when the beaters are lifted from the bowl.

Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and fold together until well incorporated.

Pour into an 8-inch round spring-form pan that has been lightly greased and lined (sides and bottom) with parchment paper.  Place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the cake so it does not brown.

Bake in a water bath for 1 hour 10 minutes.  Set timer for 1 hour 10 minutes.  When timer sounds, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes with the oven door cracked.  Carefully remove pan from water bath and let stand until cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Remove spring-form ring,  let cool,  and serve.     Yield:  1 8” cheesecake

63 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shanesbookblog
    Apr 15, 2013 @ 20:29:45

    oh…my GOD! What is this goodness!

    I will have to try and make this, this weekend!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Apr 15, 2013 @ 20:35:27

      Just be sure not to whip the egg whites too dry and be sure you fold in well. Otherwise, you end up with gunk on the bottom. It took me three tries to get it = prima ballerina indeed! Enjoy. Please let me know how it came out for you and how you liked it. > Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 00:29:47 +0000 > To: thspencer51@hotmail.com >

      Reply

      • shanesbookblog
        Apr 15, 2013 @ 22:21:58

        I will, thanks for the tip!

        Been looking for new deserts to make for my mom.

        She is really sick and doesn’t eat on her own so I have to talk her into eating things she really loves
        (which is sweet stuff and deserts)

        So I had to become a baker real fast, but it’s been awesome so.

        This looks incredible, I will let you know this week end for sure!

        Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Apr 16, 2013 @ 07:57:04

          I am sorry to hear about your mom. It’s hard to see these things happen, isn’t it? I’m glad to hear you take the time to try with her. You may try some different types of puddings and custards – nice and sweet but easy to go down. Baking is very rewarding in all kinds of ways and in your case, it seems to reward you both mentally and spiritually. Keep up the good work – both taking care of your mom and your excellent blog.

          > Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 02:21:59 +0000 > To: thspencer51@hotmail.com >

          Reply

  2. Bernice
    Apr 15, 2013 @ 20:35:29

    Looks delicious!

    Reply

  3. foods for the soul
    Apr 15, 2013 @ 20:55:46

    I’ve heard of and seen Japanese cheesecakes before, but I haven’t tried one yet. It took me long enough to try the American version! But I do like desserts, so maybe I’ll add this to my list of foods to make someday. :]

    Reply

  4. trialsinfood
    Apr 16, 2013 @ 00:03:43

    that looks perfect!

    Reply

  5. heykellyg
    May 15, 2013 @ 02:38:46

    ohhh… cotton cheesecake! this makes me wish i had an oven instead of my fish grill, like nothing else ever has.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      May 15, 2013 @ 07:52:48

      I know. Cotton cheesecake is wonderful, isn’t it? I am so thankful for my reliable gas range and oven. If you have friends with an oven, go visit them and make a fun day of it – you will all benefit! 🙂

      > Date: Wed, 15 May 2013 06:38:50 +0000 > To: thspencer51@hotmail.com >

      Reply

  6. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
    May 21, 2013 @ 20:05:07

    I could dive and and get lost in that. If that isn’t comfort yummy, I don’t know what is. 🙂

    Reply

  7. kanzensakura
    Apr 16, 2014 @ 19:17:05

    Reblogged this on kanzen sakura and commented:

    It is spring! Time for a wonderful and delicious Japanese dessert! Please enjoy.

    Reply

  8. Aruna Panangipally
    Apr 16, 2014 @ 21:52:16

    I have never had the courage to attempt any cheesecake, but this recipe is so delicious that I don’t have an option but to try it.

    Reply

  9. Edward Hotspur
    Apr 16, 2014 @ 22:13:21

    I might try it this weekend. Don’t have a springform pan.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Apr 16, 2014 @ 22:22:07

      I would advise you getting or borrowing one. They are a good investment. Use a delicate hand when blending. It is good. If you have matcha to dust on top when it is cooled, even better.

      Reply

      • Edward Hotspur
        Apr 16, 2014 @ 22:36:49

        I have baked, but I am afraid that if I get a springform pan I’ll be called upon to make cheesecakes all the time. I could buy them.

        Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Apr 16, 2014 @ 22:55:42

          Keep it a secret. That’s what I do. Plus I use the excuse I only make them as a gift of love for my husband. That gets me out of it. And when you brag about your success with this particular cheese cake, you csn add how incredibly difficult it was and how you’ll never make another, heaven help you. Or as I frequently will do when asked say, nope. Too busy…. i made the mistake of sharing one once – never again. My husband’s family is rather prosaic about food. They prefer rather plain or take out food.

          Reply

          • Edward Hotspur
            Apr 16, 2014 @ 23:28:38

            My house is a restaurant. There are barely any meals that everyone in the house will eat. They either have to be altered, or switched for something else.

            Reply

            • kanzensakura
              Apr 16, 2014 @ 23:47:00

              I see. My husband grew up in such a home. In my home, you ate what was fixed or did without. There was always enough of amix there was always one thing someone would eat. I would not eat seafood of any kind\way or liver but there were enough vegetables offered along with bread. During the summer, meals were often all vegetables. But the rule was always the same – one meal for all, or drink milk and eat bread and butter. Very few snacks, no take out except as a rare treat. We had neither time nor money to indulge individual whims. There were 10 of us ages 75-5, working, retired, going to school. I grew up as the youngest. My great grand father was the picky one and a pain. Brad has learned to eat all kinds of different foods, including veggies. He even eats and enjoys okonomiaki!

              Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Apr 16, 2014 @ 22:59:51

          I have also lined the outside bottom of the pan with foil, just in case…

          Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Apr 17, 2014 @ 10:25:11

          Let me know ig you made this and how it turned out for you.

          Reply

  10. huntmode
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 00:17:46

    Dear Kanzen, you’ve done it again! Gawd, that is gorgeous!

    Reply

  11. SirenaTales
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 16:27:36

    Ooooo, I adore your descriptions of desserts, including this prima! This looks lovely and delicious–and the lighter quality is so appealing. Hope to bake this soon. Silly question–once I crack the oven door, should I keep the oven on still? Thanks for the recipe. Xoxo

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 16:41:21

      Yes. Keep the oven on. Be sure you blend all ingredients well, but lightly. otherwise, like the first time I made this, I ended up with glop under the light part. it took me three times to get this one right. it really is a prima…but lovely, light, satisfying, and spectacular.

      Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Apr 29, 2014 @ 16:44:03

      As an extra note, I really enjoy Japanese desserts because they are not so sweet and usually lighter. Fruit after a meal is the more common even or a custard such as purin.

      Reply

  12. mihrank
    Oct 11, 2014 @ 21:44:33

    Yummy – so delicious!

    Reply

  13. Crystal Barnes
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 20:07:23

    This looks so good! Definitely a recipe to try 🙂

    Reply

  14. bkpyett
    Nov 21, 2014 @ 23:29:48

    This recipe sounds delicious too! Thank you so much for your follow. 🙂

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Nov 22, 2014 @ 09:51:01

      It is delicious. It can be a bit picky and not a recipe for a day with much humidity but it is delightful. I am happy to follow your blog!

      Sent from Windows Mail

      Reply

  15. nataliescarberry
    Jan 19, 2015 @ 22:50:56

    Thanks for visiting my blog and liking one of my posts! Blessings, Natalie 🙂

    Reply

  16. hitandrun1964
    Feb 24, 2015 @ 17:48:35

    If I could press “like” 100Xs I would. Oh YUMMMMMMMM!

    Reply

  17. Carol Balawyder
    Feb 26, 2015 @ 11:41:02

    Does that ever look good! So fresh and fluffy. 🙂

    Reply

  18. Lucia
    Dec 06, 2015 @ 09:04:15

    Hello! I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe, that I followed (almost) to a T, and I have to say I am very pleased with the result of my first attempt. I said “almost”, because I had the audacity to MAKE a couple of substitutions, that might have compromised the final height of the cake – yes, I know, I should have not! I’m a cheesecake lover and baker, meaning that I bake them all the time for myself, my husband and friends, and even sell a few every once in a while. So, I know it is imperative not to sub key ingredients. Yet, I went ahead and used AP flour instead of cake flour, since I have never really bought the latter, and 2% milk instead of whole milk. My cake baked beautifully and evenly, and the flavor was just delicious, not to sweet and extremely light. As I said, it did shrink quite a bit while cooling off, without looking ugly at all. I gently folded the meringue in the batter, so I wonder whether the fact that it didn’t come out very tall could be due to the ingredients that I substituted? I served it with a white chocolate cream and fresh raspberries and everyone liked it!

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Dec 06, 2015 @ 10:51:24

      It could be or, it could have been the folding. It took me three times to fold in the egg whites to the satisfaction of the cake. Being totally different critter from standard cheesecake, I had to be more delicate with my folding. I don’t think the milk made a difference but cake flour is lighter that AP flour with less gluten. When I buy cake flour, I put what I don’t use in an airtight container in the freezer for future use. Bring to room temp before usung. It helps give this cake its very light texture. I’m so glad it came out well for you and that you and your family enjoyed. I thank you for letting me know how this did you. Best wishes to you and your family.

      Reply

      • Lucia
        Dec 06, 2015 @ 11:56:18

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply and your suggestions! I will definitely try it again very soon because, I have to say, this cake is quite ADDICTIVE! It disappointed quickly in my house! The folding must be the key to the success of this recipe, so next time I’m going to do it ever sooo gently in hopes to obtain a slightly taller and fluffier result. BUT HEY, I’m not complaining, my first one was still absolutely yummy! Thanks again!

        Reply

        • Lucia
          Dec 06, 2015 @ 12:05:34

          *disappeared, not disappointed! That’s on the automatic correction!

          Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Dec 06, 2015 @ 13:14:23

          I am glad disappeared! 😊 And the thing to keep in mind, it is different from your standard heavier cheesecakes. The first time I ever had this was in Osaka and triple sifted rice flour was used. Very hard to find here so the closest is cake flour. Gluten can weigh this cake down – it is truly a fluffier, more cottony cake, hence the name. The Japanese prefer sweets not as heavy and sweet as we do. It is a different taste and texture to get used to but I have never found anyone who doesn’t like this. The cakes are higher – almost like a cross between a cheesecake and angel food cake. If you can, try it with the dusting of unsweetened cocoa or matcha (green tea) powder for a true Japanese experience. Again, thank you for getting back to me on this. It always pleases me when people do give me feedback.

          Reply

          • Lucia
            Dec 06, 2015 @ 15:18:35

            That was a wonderful explanation! I love learning more about different cultures, and I will give it a try with unsweetened cocoa powder, which I am sure is a delicious touch on this delicate cake. And you’re very welcome about the feedback: I don’t usually leave comments on posts or recipes but I had to say thank you for helping me discover another great dessert. Best wishes!

            Reply

            • kanzensakura
              Dec 07, 2015 @ 12:23:07

              Hi. I did an experiment. On my page where you can search, I put in Japanese Recipes. It brings up some other things unfortunately, but if you are interested in different cultures, there are some good Japanese recipes within my blog. Stews, soups, salads, other things. Just had thought. have yourself a good day.

              Reply

  19. cakelover51
    Jan 23, 2016 @ 13:20:51

    Running now to get fresh milk and will bake this afternoon. Thank you so much for this recipe… can’t wait!! Will let you know as soon as I’m done.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Jan 23, 2016 @ 13:31:51

      Great! I hope it isn’t rainy or snowy where you are. That could make it a little sticky. Hope it does well for you.

      Reply

      • cakelover51
        Jan 25, 2016 @ 11:07:57

        Well, I made it and the texture and taste are great, but it cracked and the top is extremely dark. I will try again and I think I need to change temp to 300 instead of 325. Followed the original directions exactly.

        Reply

        • kanzensakura
          Jan 25, 2016 @ 12:00:59

          I’m not sure about your weather, but that can make the cake sticky. Oven temps do vary so your oven may be a little hot. I do not rely on the temp setting of my oven. I invested in an inexpensive temperature guage for my oven and found it ran about 8 degrees hotter than the setting. Cut the top off and sift some cocoa on top. Also, it took me about 3 times to figure out how to correctly fold in the ingredients together – too much makes for cracks and too little is a sticky mess on the bottom. As I said in the post, it is a difficult cake – a prima donna. I’ve been baking for years and was a pastry chef for several restaurants. This cake made me feel incompetent. But I was determined and once I figured out my path with this, I did fine. If you are used to standard heavier cheese cakes, as I was, it takes a re-learning and that is something you have to learn yourself. This is a cake I do not make in the winter or when it is very humid. We had a massive snow so the air and atmosphere is very damp. This cake is psychic – somehow it knows when the weather outside isn’t perfectly dry, even in a climate controlled home. I have always followed, like you, the instructions exactly and third time was the charm. Maybe a bit more cake flour or stiffer whites. I’m sorry it didn’t do well for you. I thank you for getting back with me on this and letting me know. A Japanese friend of mine made this and got it right the first time. I wanted to smack her!

          Reply

  20. Kah Choon
    Jan 28, 2016 @ 04:14:35

    Gonna try this out, it seems delicious!

    Reply

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