light, fluffy, and barely sweet: Japanese cheesecake is ideal for those who find the NY version too heavy
Good food, and good recipes are for sharing. At least, that’s how I feel–and fortunately, that’s how most of my friends feel, too. If you’ve missed this excellent discussion regarding the sharing of certain secret family recipesg on Tara Weaver’s blog Tea and Cookies, please click here.
In the comments, my friend Tara asked me the following question:
“Lorna–If I might be so bold to ask: how would you feel if you saw recipes from your new cookbook posted online, people using them without buying the book?”
Given that The Newlywed Kitchen is out in stores now–my neighbor Julie just purchased a copy at the Queen Anne Books–Tara’s question is a timely one.
I’ve always felt that everything in life balances out in the end. That good, kind-hearted and generous people tend to have good things happen to them. And also, that sometimes people take small losses (e.g. the sale of a few cookbooks), but gain intangibles that reward them in ways that might not be immediately apparent.
I would never begrudge a fellow blogger for posting one of the recipes from The Newlywed Kitchen, because I believe that most people who blog are doing so because they want to share food knowledge, or the bit of joy that a tasty recipe can bring. Sure, I know some people profit from their blogs, but most of us don’t. Most of us are just genuinely curious about new-to-us dishes. I have learned so much from reading about new ingredients, new recipes, and new techniques on the internet over the years. It would be lovely for another blogger to relay something they learned from one of my recipes to their audience. It is a very small and indirect way of giving back what I’ve absorbed from better cooks and better teachers over the years.
There are many things in life that we can chose to be petty over. I want to live my life with as little ill-will towards anyone as possible. Seeing my recipe on a blog would be an honor, not something to feel resentful about.
my friend brought some Earl Grey shortbread, too!
After all, where would we be without the sharing of recipes? Last week, a new friend brought over a wondrous piece of Japanese cheesecake. If you’re unfamiliar with this sweet, Japanese cheesecake sometimes contains a bit of flour or cornstarch, and milk for a lighter consistency. Usually, the eggs are separated, with the egg whites whipped and folded in, sort of like what you’d do if you were making a soufflé.
This cheesecake is simply perfect for those days when you want a bit of dessert without that overstuffed feeling. It’s light and creamy, with a silky, cottony texture. It also is a little less sugary than most American cheesecakes.
I asked my friend for the recipe, and she was generous enough to share it. She translated the recipe from a Japanese cookbook–I’ll have to ask her for the title so I can attribute the recipe accordingly. For now, here is the recipe for Japanese cheesecake, in her own words.
Japanese Cheesecake300g cream cheese (this equals to about 10.5 oz of cream cheese) 45g unsalted butter (this equals to a generous 3 tbsp. of butter) 57g egg yolk (this equals to 3 yolks) 20g sugar (this equals approximately 1 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar) 11g cornstarch (slightly less than 1 tbsp) 150g milk (about 2/3 cup of milk) 95g egg white (3 egg whites) 55g sugar (about a 1/4 cup of sugar + 1 tsp)
Use an 18 cm (7 in) cake pan with a fixed bottom.
Cut a strip of parchment that is 3 cm higher than the height of the cake pan. Fold 1.5 cm along the long edge and cut a notch to the fold line every 2 cm to allow the strip to line the side of the cake pan. Slits should point into the center of the cake pan. You want the strip to be at least 1 cm taller than the cake pan. (Basically, the notches are just so you can build a perfectly round collar around the base of the pan.) Cut a parchment paper round to line the bottom of the cake pan.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the egg whites into the freezer so it just begins to freeze around the edges. Sift the cornstarch.
Wrap the cream cheese in clear wrap and microwave until it becomes soft to the touch. You do not want to heat it up. (I did this in about 15 second intervals.)
In a large bowl, melt the butter over a double boiler. Add the cream cheese and whisk well to combine.
In another bowl, combine the egg yolks and 20g of sugar. Mix in the cornstarch.
Heat the milk so it comes to a boil. Add it to the egg yolks and whisk until it thickens in a double boiler over boiling water. Add this mixture to the cream cheese and combine well.
Add a small amount of the 55g of sugar to the egg whites and mix on medium low speed for about 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and beat on medium until a soft meringue forms.
Add ¼ of the meringue to the cream cheese mixture and combine. Add the remaining meringue to the cream cheese mixture and fold to combine. Fill the cake pan and smooth the top.
Put the cake pan in a roasting pan and add boiling water so it comes up 1-1.5 cm up the cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 160°C and continue to bake for 25 minutes until the top turns slightly golden. Turn off the oven and leave the cake pan for another 40 minutes to an hour. (I left mine for 40 minutes.)
Note: The cake will continue to bake with the heat off so do not over bake. Depending on the oven, the cake may not turn golden but should avoid cooking much longer than the suggested time.
Take the cake out of the roasting dish and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate and chill completely before taking it out of the pan. It is best served the second day.
Posted: April 28th, 2010 under Uncategorized.