{made} japanese soufflé cheesecake

9:10 PM sians 0 Comments

i've always had one favorite cheesecake recipe that i loved making since  my college days and even swore it was one of the best ones i've ever tried because of its lightness in flavor and didn't even bother searching/trying/baking another cheesecake recipe. 

well, that changed after my discovery of hanjuku cheese bite-size heavenly cakes from komugi cafe that quickly became an obsession. 

it was only a matter of time before i HAD to find a recipe that mimicked the flavors of one of my top eats of 2013 so i can make it on my own.

after my intense internet browsing, i landed on this very promising recipe and i knew i just had to try baking this japanese soufflé cheesecake. i ain't gonna lie - the deliciously tempting cake photos did all the convincing. 

if i learned anything from cook bloggers, it would be tons of pictures, very short descriptions and notes from the baking experience would get the job done in the best-est way - to keep it concise, simple and interesting. oh, the recipe is at the end of the entry...because you know you want to try it.... :) 

here goes.

all the ingredients gathered and some kept at room temperature as the recipe calls, here are a few helpful tips:

  • the cream cheese, whipping cream, butter, egg yolks need to be at room temperature, ensure that they are removed from the refrigerator and allowed to come up to room temperature a couple of hours before you start baking. it makes the process a whole lot easier.

  • yes, the 'scary' meringue is part of the recipe (it is a soufflé after all). first thing to do is to separate the yolks and egg whites so the latter can be refrigerated while you work on the first half of the recipe.

  • the arch-enemies of a successful meringue are oil and water. that also includes humidity (which you can't really avoid in malaysia). it is important to keep the utensils to make the meringue dry and oil-/grease-free. it also helps to use metal bowls and keeping all the utensils chilled but dry.

  • DO NOT OVER-BEAT YOUR MERINGUE! stop when it's done!!

  • spring form baking pan is recommended especially for cheesecake to allow easy transfer of the cake from pan to a beautiful serving plate.

  • it will be best to invest in the extra large heavy duty aluminum foil to inhibit the water bath seepage into the moist cheesecake from happening.  

  • ensure you have a roasting pan that fits into the oven but also allows the spring form pan to fit comfortably without touching the sides of the roasting pan.

the photo-log of my baking experience starts with the lining of the spring form baking pan, the preparation of the batter, the formation of stiff peaks of meringue, combining the two and finally baking in the water bath (details found in the recipe at the end):

{ lining. } 

{ batter works. }

{ the meringue. }

{ incorporation. most delicately. }

{ almost ready. }

{ baked. }

{ waiting. }

{ fin. }

one of the biggest challenges i had to endure is the waiting. the several stages of 'cooking the cake' took several hours - first, the slow cooling in the oven (it's 15 minutes) so that the cake would not deflate. next, move to the table to get the cake to room temperature and finally in the refrigerator to set the soufflé cake. (!) it's important to minimize the sudden temperature drop since that may cause the cake to collapse. collapsed cake is a sad cake. 

basically, just set your mind and stomach to remind yourself, the fruits of your labor can only be harvested the following day. it's just easier to the soul. heheh.

the best part of this food project is probably taking the first bite. 

the first bite went something like this: 

as i put a forkful of the soufflé cheesecake into my mouth, the sweetness mingled with the familiar tartness of the cream cheese greeted the taste buds as the airy, heavenly cake melts and coats the tongue.  fluffy, moist and light from the addition of meringue  results to an almost-ethereal version of a creamy cheesecake that you can indulge in a huge slice without being overly stuffed. 

best served chilled, it was sinfully delicious and reminiscent of the half-baked cheesecake counterpart. 

despite that, 
o1.  it was so soft that it was difficult to hold up a slice without it falling apart. and yes, it requires a dessert plate or a vessel and a fork to enjoy this dessert. personally, i like the texture but perhaps making it slightly denser. 
o2. some lamented it's too sweet. 
o3. re: extra large heavy duty foil. 
o4. my technique for my parchment paper lining the spring form pan is a tad sloppy that may be the reason of the rustic look of the end product.

as an amateur baker, to achieve perfection means more recipe experimentations but the good news is there will be more cheesecake to share and savor! while it may seem to demand quite a bit of effort, time and will power, this cheesecake is well worth all that and definitely a recipe for keeps.

japanese soufflé cheesecake
recipe taken from justonecookbook 
serves:  9-inch cake

ingredients |
  • 400 g (14.1 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 60 g (6 tbs) granulated sugar
  • 60 g (4 tbs) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" (1 cm) slices, at room temperature
  • 6 large egg yolks, beaten, at room temperature
  • 200 ml heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
  • 10 ml (2tsp) lemon juice
  • 1 tbs rum (optional, i skipped this though)
  • 80 g (8tbs) all purpose-flour
  • 3 tbs apricot jam + 1 tsp water
for meringue
  • 6 egg whites, refrigerated
  • 100 g (10 tbs) granulated sugar

directions | 
  • before you start prep-ing, remember to keep cream cheese, butter, egg yolks, and heavy cream at room temperature
  • lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9" (23 cm) spring-form pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. wrap the base of the cake pan with aluminum foil (preferably with extra-large heavy duty foil) to prevent seepage. if you use regular size aluminum foil, make sure to seal the two sheets of foil very tightly by folding two edges and make one big foil.
  • preheat oven to 320F (160 C) degree. start boiling water. 
  • in the bowl of the electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth. 
  • add the butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated. 
  • add the egg yolk and heavy cream and mix well. 
  • add lemon juice and rum and mix until the batter is very smooth.
  • sift the flour twice
  • add the flour all at once and mix well 
  • transfer the batter to a large bowl. wash the mixer bowl and dry completely. make sure there is no oil or water in the bowl. 
  • to make meringue, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. in the bowl of electric mixer, whip the egg whites on medium low speed till opaque and foamy and bubbly. then add 1/3 of the sugar at a time as the mixer runs. once all the sugar has been added, increase the mixer speed to high and whip for approximately 4 minutes, until the meringue has doubled in volume and is thick and glossy. 
  • to test for stiff peaks, the peaks should stand straight up when you lift up the beaters. the whites should not slide around. if the meringue has not reached the desired consistency, continue whipping at high speed for another 30 seconds, then stop and test again. once the egg whites are over beaten, they can't be used for the recipe
  • add 1/3 of the meringue to the batter and mix well first. 
  • then add the rest of the meringue all at once and fold it in (not mix this time) 
  • pour the batter in the cake pan and then drop the pan from 2-3 " (5-7 cm) high to the countertop to remove any air bubbles
  • place the cake pan in a large roasting pan and pour 1" (2.5 cm) of boiling water in the roasting pan. the reason of baking in the hot water bath is that the steam will help make the cake soft and moist and the hot water around the cake will gradually cook insides of the cake while baking in the oven. 
  • bake at 320 F (160C) for 60 minutes until light golden brown. then reduce temperature to 300 F (150C) and bake for another 30 minutes. 
  • when a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean without wet batter, turn off the oven. let the cake sit in the oven with the door slightly ajar for 15 minutes. remove from the oven. take out the cake pan from the roasting pan, and let it cool on a wire rack. 
  • in a small bowl, heat apricot jam and water in microwave for 30 seconds and spread the jam on top of the cake. when the cake is completely cool, take it out from the pan and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. cut the cake with a fishing line or a warm knife (run a knife under hot water and wipe off completely before each cut).

note | it should be consumed within 3 days if it's kept in refrigerator. it can also be frozen and kept for up to 2 months. defrost at room temperature while covered. 
oh,  tbs = tablespoon and tsp = teaspoon

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.