Japanese Cotton Cheesecake


I first came across these wonderful cakes when exploring Instagram. I ended up watching video after video featuring Japanese bakeries branding and packaging these wobbly beauties. After this I was determined to make one for myself. I first attempted the recipes by Diana's Desserts and Jennie Tay and discovered that whilst they're not as difficult to bake as you'd possibly expect, they can be temperamental. I think baking is a science, and these do feel like you need a scientific methodology to make them. I should stress the word feel, though. Having looked at these as more soufflés rather than baked cheesecakes, I think I have mastered a successful recipe for making them.

Serves 8

Hands-on Time 40 minutes

Baking Time 80 minutes

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Ingredients

50g (plus extra for greasing) Unsalted butter

250g Cream cheese

120g Caster sugar divided into two 60g amounts

150ml Full-fat milk

6 eggs, medium (separated)

60g Plain flour

30g Corn flour

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/2 Lemon (juice only)

1/4 tsp Cream of tartar

Water (1 full kettles worth)

Equipment

Scissors

Baking parchment

20cm fixed bottom cake tin, at least 5cm deep (If unavailable then use a springform tin*)

*Extra wide and thick tin foil (if you're using a springform tin)

Kitchen paper

Roasting tray/pan with sides at least 5cm high

Saucepan

Heatproof bowl

Whisk

Tea towel

2 large mixing bowls

Small sieve

Spatula

Board (flat chopping board will be fine as long as it's not heavy)

Wire rack

Cut a piece of baking parchment into a circle for the base of the cake tin.

Measure a sheet of parchment which goes halfway around the outside of the tin.

Cut the paper in half, length ways. Both of these pieces will serve for lining the sides.

Place them in the tin. If they stand too tall you may need to trim them. They should only stand taller than the tin by 4-5cm.

Remove the paper.

Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the tin with some butter, and line with the baking parchment.

If you are using a springform tin, place it on top and in the centre of 3 wide squares of foil. Fold up the sides of the foil so the tin is fully encased. You will be baking the cake in a bain marie (water bath) so the tin has to be watertight.

Place 2 squares of kitchen paper, one on top of the other, into the roasting tray and put the tin on top.

Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C (Fan)/325°F/Gas mark 3 and then get on with making the cake!

Fill the saucepan with enough water so it doesn't touch the bottom of the heatproof bowl when placed over the pan.

Remove the bowl.

Put the pan over a medium heat and leave until the water is simmering.

Add the cream cheese, 50g of butter, and 60g of sugar to the bowl.

Place over the simmering water and stir with a whisk until smooth and thick.

Remove the bowl from the heat and dry its bottom using a tea towel.

Add the milk and whisk.

Leave until cool.

In a large bowl add the 6 egg yolks.

Whisk until they're a light yellow and thick in consistency.

Add the cooled cream cheese mixture, again whisking until combined.

Sieve half of the plain and corn flours over the mixture, and gently whisk.

When combined, repeat with the remaining flours, followed by the lemon juice and vanilla extract.

Clean the whisk and add the egg whites to the other large bowl along with the cream of tartar.

Whisk until light and foamy.

Gradually add the 60g of caster sugar and continue whisking until it has all been incorporated and you have stiff peaks.

Using the spatula, add 1/3 of the egg whites to the cream cheese mixture and stir until combined. This will make folding in the rest of the egg whites a lot easier.

Add another 1/3 of the the egg whites, this time carefully folding. I would recommend scooping upwards occasionally as you fold, to ensure the mix combines fully.

Add the remaining egg whites, folding until they have all been incorporated.

Pop the kettle on to boil.

In the meantime, and from a height of at least 30cm, pour the mix into the prepared cake tin.

Tap the cake tin up and down against the bottom of roasting tin a couple of times to get rid of any trapped air.

Pour the boiling water into the roasting tray. It should be at least a few cm deep.

Put the tray into the oven on a low shelf and bake for 10 minutes.

When the time is up, reduce the temperature to 140°C/120°C (Fan)/275°F/Gas mark 1 and bake for a further 70 minutes.

Immediately remove the cake from the oven.

Leave to sit for about 5 minutes until it has cooled a little and the cake has come away from the sides of the tin. It may have shrunk a little in height, this is unavoidable.

Tear the parchment surrounding the sides of the cake in several places, so you're able to fold it all down over the outside of the tin.

Place a piece of baking parchment on a board, and another piece on top of a wire rack.

This is where you need to be a bit brave and a fan of gymnastics.

Place the board over the top of the tin, paper-side down.

Flip the tin and board over.

Remove the tin, followed by the parchment from the bottom and sides of the cake.

Pick up the wire rack, with paper.

Place the paper over the base of the cake.

Turn the wire rack upside down and gently hold it over the cake. You do not want to press down and squash the cake.

Flip the rack and the board over so the cake is upright.

Lift away the paper and board from the top of the cake, if you haven't already.

There you go! You should find you have a smoothly topped cake with a bit of wobble.

Leave the cake to cool.

It's recommended that you leave the cake overnight in the fridge before serving, in order to develop the flavour further. That's if you can wait that long!

Enjoy!

#Cake #Japanese

Baking | Cooking | TayloredBites| tayloredbites@gmail.com | United Kingdom 

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