Cotton cheese cake (also known as Japanese cheese cake) is my favourite cake! I would constantly go into the fridge to have one slice of it. It is the only cake that I would actually eat more than one eighth of the cake. As much as I enjoy baking, I don’t really have a sweet tooth. This cake is smooth, creamy and light, so it creates the perfect balance of satsifaction in my mouth. I baked this cake over the weekend and there’s only one third of the cake left in the fridge. Yummy!
Two techniques to note when baking this cheese cake is the the double boil method and the beating of egg white.
- I just realised recently there’s a difference between double boil and water bath (explained here). Although the recipe calls for double boil method (for cheese and milk mixture), I have been using the water bath method. Either way, this is to ensure that the mixture is not directly in contact with the pot.
- Beating egg whites is a critical step in recipes to trap air and create lightness. Under beating or over beating will result in a dense and flat cake. To know that the egg white is beaten adequately, use a spatula to scoop a small portion up. If it does not drip (like a viscous liquid), it is adequate and you can continue to the next step (adding sugar). A trick is to bring the egg white to room temperature first. You can get more volume with room temperature egg whites.
On my first few times of baking this cake, I realised the surface of the cheesecake always crack after baking, resulting in unpleasant looking cakes. The cake tastes just as well, but from a OCD point of view, it bothers me quite a bit. In my opinion, visual appeal is quite important in serving cakes. I found out that the best solution is to bake it at low temperature for a longer period of time. As all ovens are different, so if the cake rises too high too quickly, reduce the temperature accordingly. Keep an eye on the cake at all times to prevent cracking.
If the surface of the cheese cake breaks, don’t worry! Take the cake out from the oven when it is ready, remove the baking pan from the water bath. Set it aside and let the cake cool inside the baking pan for about ten minutes. The cake should shrink and the cracked surface will close up a bit. After that, remove it from the baking pan to avoid moisture build up at the bottom of the baking pans.
Cotton Cheese Cake
Ingredients (made on a 9-inch springform pan):
For the filling
- 250 g Philadelphia cheese
- 250 g milk
- 90 g butter
- 140 g caster sugar
- 6 eggs (separated)
- 69 g Hong Kong flour
- 20 g corn flour
- 1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Prepare all ingredients and placed them in separate bowls.
- Line the base and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 140’C.
- Double boil cream cheese and milk over hot water.
- Stir occasionally until cream cheese melts completely, or until mixture turns smooth.
- Add diced butter into the mixture until it dissolves completely.Let it cool for a couple of minutes.
- Mix egg yolk and stir quickly to combine well.
- Combine the HK flour and corn flour. Sift the flour into the cream mixture in several additions.
- Mix well between every addition to avoid lumps.
- Stir in lemon peel and leave the mixture to cool.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until fluffy.
- Pour sugar in egg white mixture and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Fold in several tablespoons of egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture for about 10 seconds.
- Pour the mixture in Step 10 into the remaining egg white mixture. Fold until even.
- Poor the mixture into a baking pan. Place the pan into a larger baking tray. Add hot water into the tray.
- Bake for about 60 minutes at 140’C.
- Chill in the fridge for about 3 hours before serving.
Recipe adapte from Christine’s Recipe