A cake that truly feels like cotton in the mouth. It has a texture so light and fluffy that you could eat it in one sitting. This is one of those textures that sounds when you squeeze it and then it returns to its starting position. It is also known as a shaking cheesecake, since one way to know if it has been left with the right texture is to make it tremble after unmolding, I can assure you that it is almost hypnotic! For a lot of reasons it is one of the most famous cakes in the world, but it is also complicated to make, I will not lie to you. I have had to repeat it 3 times, but I have learned a lot during the 3 processes, keep reading I will tell you everything!
Perseverance is a path to success, they say. But this cake can be used as an example of the opposite. In my case it is the story of a bittersweet failure because in my 3 attempts to do it I have had different results and none of them lived up to the quality that I wanted to publish the recipe here. But in the end I decided to share it anyway and stop being so demanding of myself. Extracting the first attempt, which was a great “epic fail”, the second and third in both flavour and texture have been excellent, but I have both suffered an aesthetic problem that is very well hidden in the photos.
My first attempt was a total disaster because water got into the pan. Yes, I used an unmouldable pan but I lined it with aluminum foil. Even so, if any small crack is made, water enters. What I recommend after this first failure, use a one piece pan if you have it. If you do not have, as in my case, put two layers of aluminum foil and make sure it reaches the top of the mold, because the water can jump when it boils and also get through the top of the aluminum foil. But my final recommendation, if you want to save yourself the engineering task of bridges and roads that represent lining the pan properly, is that you use a 1 piece 20 cm diameter tall pan(minimum 10 cm) and preferably aluminum, avoid springform pans and similar.
The second attempt was the best in terms of texture. I almost got perfection and it was so so so good that I ate half a cake in two days (I know, I am sick and fat and I don’t care). But it cracked on the surface and cracked so much that it didn’t feel right to take photos to share the recipe. What went wrong? I think baking temperatures. I used the times in a recipe where I was proposing to bake at 200 ° C for 10 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 160 ° C and bake for another 1 hour. But those 200 ° C for me were the problem in addition to the inertia of the oven, because lowering from 200 to 160 with the door closed does not happen immediately, and just in those first 20 minutes is when it started to crack.
So, since I loved the cake so much and didn’t mind eating another one, and also since I’m the most stubborn person on earth, I decided to make it a third attempt (in the same week :)) and adjust the baking temperatures. And the third one didn’t come out perfect either, hence my frustration. I set the first 10 minutes to 180 ° C instead of 200, but the rest of the baking was done at 160 ° C. Well, it cracked again, but this time towards the end of baking time and the crack was much smaller, acceptable at least for taking pictures and sharing the recipe.
From the three experiences I came to the conclusion that the final baking temperature of 160 ° C is too high for my oven, that’s why in the recipe I have made you do it at 140 ° C if you use a convection oven. I have not experienced it myself, because as you will understand making the cake four times it would have been close to insanity. But I share the recipe anyway because it is incredible, and even if it turns out cracked, it is still extremely yummy. On this third attempt I think some water also got into the pan, because the second one I baked rised a lot more and had more air overall. Anyway, I really tell you to use a one piece pan to save you headaches because at the end when I saw moisture at the base of the cake for the third time I almost set fire to the entire kitchen with rage.
And after sharing this culinary epic with you, I leave you with the recipe and the photo in the purest Asian style, showing my kittens from the Sylvanian family, publicly exposing that I am the mental age of an 8-year-old girl 🙂 The thing about the mental age is true, but the idea of taking them in the photo has come to me from the YouTube videos of Asian ASMR cooking channels that I am very hooked on. They always take super cute toys in the frames and I wanted to pay tribute to them. By the way, I highly recommend them if you do not know them, my favorite channels are “Hidamari cooking” and “Cooking tree”. They make some incredibly beautiful cakes and with the ASMR noises they perfect for a short nap on the sofa 🙂
Japanese cotton cheesecake
Fluffy and light cheesecake, feels like cotton. The best and the fluffiest cheesecake ever.
- 100 ml milk
- 50 g of butter
- 140 g (100g + 40g) sugar
- 250 g of cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 60 g flour
- 20 g cornstarch
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Cover the base and sides of a 20 cm diameter baking pan with baking paper. Unless it is a sealed pan, if you do not have and use a springform pan, cover the entire outside of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent water from entering because the cake has to be cooked in a bain-marie.
In a saucepan heat the milk with the butter until the butter melts, the milk does not need to boil, simply heat until the butter melts and remove from the heat.
In a bowl mix the cream cheese with 100 g of sugar. Incorporate the milk with the melted butter, mixing until there is a cream without lumps.
Separate the yolks from the whites. Pour the yolks one by one into the cream cheese, mixing until everything is well integrated. Add the lemon juice and mix until it is distributed. Finally, sift the flour, cornstarch and salt mixing until there are no lumps of flour.
Whip the egg whites with 40 g of sugar until they form soft peaks. Be careful not to whip them too hard peaks because you will not have the mixture with the necessary consistency.
Incorporate ⅓ of the meringue in the cream cheese dough, mixing in enveloping movements until it is integrated. Now add all the rest of meringue and integrate by mixing in soft and enveloping movements. It is very important that you mix carefully and in enveloping movements using a spatula so that the dough does not lose air!
Pour the mixture into the pan and tap the mold several times against the counter to get air bubbles to the surface. Place the pan inside a tall tray or a larger pan. Pour water between 80 and 90 ° C into the tray up to about 3 or 4 fingers level.
Bake the cheesecake at 180 ° C for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 140 ° C and bake for an additional 1 hour. After an hour, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed for 30 minutes. When those 30 minutes have passed, let cool in the oven with the door half opened (about 3 fingers only) for an additional 30 minutes. It is very important to respect these times of slow cooling in the oven, otherwise the cheesecake would suddenly shrink when taken out.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a rack before unmolding. It is normal for it to shrink a little when it has finished cooling, but if it shrinks too much it is because the dough was overmixed and it did not have enough air or because water has entered the pan.
Before serving, sprinkle the surface with icing sugar.