The Japanese are masters at taking something from another culture and making it their own – their super-light and springy cheesecake is a great example. It’s sometimes called cotton cake, jiggly cake or soufflé cake because it’s so light and fluffy. I’d heard it’s tricky to master, but thought I’d give it a try for our Month of Japanese. The result was a really delicious thick springy pancake, so I’m calling it Japanese Cheesecake Pancake and hoping it might catch on as a new variation! In cooking there are rarely failures – just adaptations, and I hope this recipe will inspire you to view your culinary adventures that way! Many a now great dish was created from a ‘failed’ one. If you do end up with a tall, super-light cheesecake like the ones in all the online photos, I’d love to hear about it!
- 60g cream cheese
- ¼ cup milk
- 30g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons castor sugar
- 20g plain flour
- 20g potato starch, plus extra for dusting
- Pinch salt flakes, crushed
- Icing sugar, for serving
- Remove eggs from the fridge an hour or so before using so they come to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Grease a 19cm spring-form cake tin with butter and dust with potato starch, tapping it firmly on the bench to remove excess. Wrap the base and sides of the tin tightly in aluminium foil.
- Place cheese, milk and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, whisk until just melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside cool.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg whites to form soft peaks.
- With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar and whisk to form stiff peaks. Transfer to another bowl (unless you have 2 bowls to fit your mixer).
- In the bowl of the electric mixer, whisk egg yolks for a minute or so, until frothy.
- With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the cheese mixture, whisking until combined.
- Sift in the flour and the potato starch and whisk just until smooth.
- Gently fold the egg white mixture into the yolk mixture in 2 batches.
- Pour the batter into the tin and tap gently on the bench to release any large air bubbles.
- Place in a large baking dish and pour boiling water around it until it comes about a third of the way up the side of the cake tin.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce temperature to 140°C, and bake for a further 45 minutes or so, until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and set aside in the tin for a few minutes.
- Transfer to a serving plate.
- Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with icing sugar.