Japanese sponge Cheesecake

Ingredients :

6 big eggs

1 cup and 2 tablespoons cream cheese

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

7 tablespoons milk

¾ cup cake flour

2 ½ tablespoons + 1 teaspoon corn starch

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ tablespoons + 1 teaspoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

¾ cup sugar [1/4 cup will be added to the cream cheese mixture; ½ cup will be used to make the meringue]

We also need:

One 8-inch x 3-inch OR 9-inch x 3-inch round cake pan

Water bath (bain marie) – you need a baking dish or pan large enough to hold the cake pan (I used a roasting / lasagna pan) and filled it with hot water

Directions :

1. Break the eggs. Place only the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Make sure the bowl is clean, dry and without any trace of fat or water. Set aside to adjust to kitchen temperature. If you have only one mixer bowl place the egg whites in any other clean bowl and set aside.

2.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray an 8-inch x 3-inch round cake pan. A 9-inch x 3-inch round cake pan is also good. Preheat the oven to 325° F.

3. Bend together the cream cheese, butter and milk in the microwave. Stir every 60 seconds and repeat 2 or 3 times until the butter and cream cheese are well melted. Transfer the mixture of cheese cream to a stand mixer bowl use flat beater attachment to get rid of any small remaining lumps of cream. Mix until the texture is totally smooth. 4. Sift the flour, corn starch and salt together.

5. Turn off the mixer. Add the following ingredients to the cream cheese mixture: sifted dry ingredients, ¼ cup sugar (55 g), egg yolks and lemon juice. Start the mixer and, blend the added ingredients well with the cream cheese mixture all at the same time. Keep beating until smooth and devoid of lumps and the batter falls in a ribbon. Set aside. If you have only one stand mixer bowl, move the batter to another large bowl and use hot sudsy water to wash the mixer bowl very well without leaving any trace of fat, to prepare for whipping the egg whites.

6. On medium speed, whisk the egg whites with the wire whip of a stand mixer. As soon as the meringue starts to take shape add the cream of tartar, gradually add ½ cup sugar (110 g). Beat until meringue gets glossy, volume is increased and holds medium peaks.

7. Take a dollop of meringue and use a spatula to fold it in by hand into the cream cheese batter to loosen the mixture. Add a third of the meringue to the batter. Cut and fold the meringue quickly but carefully so that deflating is minimized. In one move, cut the center all the way down to the bottom of the bowl and fold the batter over the meringue. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as you fold up. Make with several strokes until the meringue is mixed. Fold in the next ⅓ of meringue, mixing until blended. Fold in the last ⅓ of meringue making certain all the meringue is completely blended. The batter you get at this stage should be light and airy.

8. After pouring the cheesecake batter into the cake pan, put the cake pan in the larger dish, then enter both in the oven. Pour hot water into the water bath until about half way up the sides of the cake pan are filled. Try not to splash water into the batter. It can spoil everything.

9. Bake for 60 minutes at 325°F. Decrease the temperature to 320°F and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Turn off oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed for 30 – 45 minutes.

10. Transfer the cheesecake from the pan to a cake plate and serve. You can save the cheesecake in the fridge in an airtight container.

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