Japanese cotton cheesecake differs a lot from the classic version, it is incredibly light, airy and spongy. It doesn’t require chilling after being baked and it doesn’t have a base, which saves you quite a bit of time and effort.
I personally love classic cheesecakes, but still I fell in love with this one! Its unique texture reminds me of a light-as-air chiffon sponge cake with a gentle cream cheese hint in there. The name ‘cotton’ fits it so well! I thought I’d have a little slice with my cuppa, but ended up finishing a good half of it, so good it was! 🙂
The recipe makes a 8″/ 20 cm cheesecake, serves 12.
Japanese Cotton Chesecake
! All ingredients at room temperature!
- ¾ c + 2 T/ 7 oz/ 200 g cream cheese
- ½ stick/ 1.8 oz/ 50 g unsalted butter
- 1 T + 1 t/ 20 g white sugar (1)
- 1 t vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
- 1/3 c + 1 T/ 3.5 oz/ 100 g creme fraiche
- ¼ c/ 1 oz/ 30 g cake flour
- 2 T/ 15 g cornstarch
- 1/3 c/ 2 oz/ 60 g white sugar (2)
You will also need:
- vegetable oil for greasing
- boiling water for water bath
- icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 340ºF/ 170ºC. Set a baking tray in the lower third of the oven. Wrap the bottom and sides of a 8″/ 20 cm springform cake pan tightly on the outside with two layers of aluminum foil. On the inside, grease well the sides of the pan and line the bottom with baking paper. This is a very important action that better not be skipped or omitted. After the oven is off and cheesecake is ready, it will shrink a little, that’s why the sides must be greased otherwise the top will just chaotically get stuck to the sides of the pan, which affects the looks of the cheesecake.
Prepare a high-sided solid baking tray for the water bath. Please note it should be bigger than the cheesecake pan.
In a big mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar (1), vanilla extract and salt until smooth and homogenous.
Add the egg yolks in and whip again until incorporated, then add the creme fraiche and whip again. Sift the flour and cornstarch over the mixture and gently stir with a rubber spatula.
Wash the whisk throughoutly and wipe it dry. In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites with sugar (2) on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Carefully and gently stir ⅓ of the whipped egg whites to the batter with a rubber spatula, stirring it in circular motion from top to bottom of the bowl. Add the balance egg whites in 2 additions in the same manner. The batter should look like sponge cake batter.
Transfer the batter to the prepared springform, tap the bottom on the counter top to help release and pop big bubbles in the batter. Put the springform in the prepared baking tray and fill the tray with boiling water just half way up the sides of the pan with cheesecake.
Bake in the hot oven ~1 hour or until done. The cheesecake should visually puff up, top become golden brown and springy to touch when gently pressed with a finger. Leave the cheesecake as it is in the turned off oven for 30 minutes, then for another 15 minutes with the oven door ajar. Remove the pan from the oven, discard the foil. Run the butter knife around the edge of the cheesecake to release its sides.
Dust with icing sugar just before serving. Store in a fridge.