Japanese Souffle Cheesecake
Here, we call it jiggly cheesecake, wobbly cheesecake, cotton cheesecake, or simply Japanese cheesecake, but in Japan, it's known simply as the souffle cheesecake.
Japan seems to LOVE desserts with a wobble, maybe the love affair is in how these heavenly desserts look, maybe it's in the unique and cotton like texture, or maybe it's just that they find the jiggle entertaining... from teardrop cakes and mochi, to souffle pancakes and jiggly cheesecakes, Japan is the king of wobbly, fluffy and fun desserts.
In the past few months, everybody from food bloggers and vlogers, to insider, tasty, and buzzfeed have tried their hand at this jiggly creation, heck, my husband even got to it before I did!
William was obsessed with these Souffle Cheesecakes while we were in Japan, he's always had a deep love and appreciation for the good old classic New York Cheesecake, and this cheesecake, being similar... but fluffier really capture his heart. Upon our return from Japan he swiftly tried his hand at making his own from a GIF recipe he found on Reddit, I don't recall it utilising any cream cheese, just cream, eggs, and sugar. It came out incredibly wobbly, which is what we wanted, but it tasted very eggy. The eggy note did disappear for the most part after the cake was refrigerated overnight, but I thought... we can do better than that!
So with a little guidance on the method from my go to gal on all Japanese recipes (Nami from Just One Cookbook), and a few ingredient adjustments from hubbies trial run, here we have it! My version of a Japanese Souffle Cheesecake.
MY TIPS FOR MASTERING THIS BAKE
#1 I don't know about you, but when I bake, I am ALL over the place, for this recipe, having all your ingredients out and your equipment ready is a must. As you want this cake to be as tall and fluffy as possible, you want it to transition through the steps smoothly and quickly, as every second out of the oven in air bubbles lost! Ensuring your oven is pre-heated, and your water bath is to temperature so your cake can go in the oven as soon as it's poured into it's tin is most crucial.
#2 Almost every recipe I read suggested tapping the cake tin after pouring in your cake batter in order to release any air bubbles. I chose to skip this step, as doing so would have meant a slight loss of body in my cake. The difference would have been minimal, however I chose not to and didn't have any problems with large air bubbles.
#3 For the same reason as above, a soft silicone spatula used in soft folding motions is the best way to use to minimise the amount of volume you loose while mixing your egg whites into your batter. If you don't have a silicone spatula, using the whisk in gentle sweeping motions is the next best thing!
#4 To get maximum volume out of your eggs, use cold egg whites, avoid using silicone or plastic mixing bowls, ensure there is no yolk mixed in with them, and that your beaters and bowl are clean and dry. Even a drop of water or oil can make a huge difference in the amount of volume you get out of your eggs.
#5 The water bath your setting your cake tin in is an important step to ensure your cake bakes evenly, but the moisture in the air as it evaporates will also prevent your cake from cracking. If you don't have a deep dish, a thin layer of water on a baking tray is better than none, and your can place another large body of water on a separate shelf to avoid cracking if you wish.
#5.5 Your thin layer may dry out part way through the baking process, but don't be tempted to top it up, doing so will not only change the temperature around your cake drastically causing it to not cook evenly, but by opening the oven you will also allow the temperature inside the oven to drop, and your cake may sink.
#6 Choosing the right cake tin for this bake. As you will be setting this cake tin in water to bake, a spring form tin is not recommended as the water will seep into your cake tin through the small gaps in the join. If you don't have any other option (as I didn't) simply wrap the outside of your cake tin in tin foil, ensuring it comes up higher than your water level will.
#7Grease the base and sides of your cake tin, then place a circle of parchment paper in the base, and strips around the edges. The butter under the parchment paper will hold it in place and prevent it from slipping when you pour in your batter.
If you’re also worried about your baking paper sticking to the cake a little, you can go one step further by greasing the baking paper and sifting a thin layer of flour onto it.
#7.5 If your tin is less than 4-inches tall, use your baking paper to add extra height to the sides.Your cake is super light, so a baking paper wall will be enough to contain it from spilling over the edge.
#8 Let your cake cool slowly. Your cake is at it's 'jiggliest' just after it's finished cooking, so by all means, grab it out and give it a quick jiggle, but in order to allow the cheesecake to settle evenly and not dip in the middle, leave your cake in the oven (switched off) with the door slightly ajar for half an hour to let it cool slowly.
#9 Once your cake is cooled, you won't have any problem tipping it out into the palm of your hand and onto a cake stand or plate without breaking the surface, however if you're planning on pulling your cake out of the tin straight from the oven to check out the jiggle, your cake is still so soft and fluffy that your hand may go straight through the thin crust. So, I recommend placing two long, thick strips of baking paper that come up over the sides of the cake tin and cross over in the base to allow your (with an extra set of hands) to lift your cake up and out of the cake tin gently. These strips can be placed either on-top or under-neath the circle of baking paper in the base of your cake tin.
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