Blueberry! Strawberry! Chocolate! Coffee! These are the few among the many flavours of desserts that we hop on these days. One particularly popular form of dessert is the ‘Cheesecake’. Yes, the name itself gets us salivating, I’m sure. Cheesecakes are very popular and top the list of ‘Must taste desserts‘ of almost every individual, in every part of the country. And, if it’s Japanese Cheesecake, you won’t ask for anything else.
HISTORY OF CHEESECAKES
To understand the history of these yummy circular bars, we will have to travel back to 5th century B.C. The first mention of the cheesecake was made by the Greek physician, Aegis. In the initial stage, he discovered this for the religious purpose but later these were introduced as a part of the restaurant menu in the sub-form of desserts. There were three kinds of cheesecakes introduced for post prayer food in the church. They were libium cake, savillum cake, and placenta cake. Among these, the modern cheesecakes have adopted the recipe of the placenta cake, which has a separate baked crust.
The cheesecake acquired an English origin in 1300s as it was first found in an English chef’s cookbook. The dish didn’t, however, transformed into its modern form until 18th century. The modern cheese cream was discovered and added to the recipes only after 19th century.
Currently, there are two different types of cheesecakes prevalent in different parts of the world:
- A baked base cheesecake
- An unbaked cream cheese filled with a crumbled biscuit base.
CONTINENTAL VARIETIES OF CHEESECAKES:
The varieties of cheesecakes are spread evenly across all seven continents of the world. Beneath are some varieties you would find in different parts of each continent:
- South Africa
- Netherlands and Belgium
- United Kingdom and Ireland
- North America
- United States
Let us now delve deeper into one particular type of cheesecake – Japanese cheesecake.
The Japanese cheesecake originated in Hakata, a city in Kyushu, Japan. It is also popularly known as ‘Cotton cheesecake’ and ‘Light cheesecake’ in these regions. These cakes are made of less sugar and cheese, making it low fat dessert. This is the reason; Japanese cheesecakes are not too sweet in nature, compared to the other cheesecakes around the world. The cake was popularized in Uncle Tetsu’s Cheesecake bakery around 1990’s.
The nicknames of the cheesecake make it obvious that the cake would be very soft in nature and would have a sponge attribute. It is mainly differentiated into three types and tastes, however, in the bakeries of Japan, they do not mention ‘Cheesecakes’ plainly anywhere, instead, they would mention:
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- Baked cheesecake,
- Rare cheesecake, and
- Soufflé cheesecake
These are the usual cheesecakes, made with eggs, cream cheese, heavy cream, and flour. These kinds of cheesecakes are baked in an oven. There are two alternate baking methods, one with a biscuit crust and one without a crust.
These are the no-bake cheesecakes, made with cream cheese, sugar and a gelatine mix. It also has a biscuit base crust and no not involve eggs for softening process. Once the mixture is ready, it is kept in the refrigerator at minimum temperature for 50 minutes. For better taste, you can add berries on the top while serving it.
These are the original Japanese cheesecakes and are known all over the world by the name Souffle Cheesecakes or Cotton Cheese cakes.
If you have a sweet tooth but prefer low calorie desserts, you can definitely divert to Japanese Cheese Cake. Here, is the recipe to make the world best cheese cake at your own convince at your home.
INGREDIENTS OF THE JAPANESE CHEESECAKE:
- Corn starch
- Cake flour ( all-purpose flour)
- Cream of tartar
- Cream cheese
- Toppings of choice – chocolate syrup, maple syrup, berries, jam, etc.
RECIPE OF THE JAPANESE CAKE:
The oven should be preheated at 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
A cake pan should to be greased all over with butter of your choice. A parchment paper should be placed at the bottom of the pan. It will help you ensure that the cake base is not cracked from sides and once baked, can be removed smoothly.
Take a large bowl of boiling water.
Take cream cheese in a shallow dish and keep it above the bowl of boiling water. This process would soften the cream cheese.
While the cream cheese is softening, take the eggs and separate the egg whites and egg yolks.
The softened cream cheese should be whisked until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add required amount of milk and butter in the mixture of cream cheese as per your measured cheesecake quantity.
Take the separated yolks and whisk them nicely. Keep adding sugar while the eggs are whisked in order to mix it evenly in the cream cheese.
Remove the cream cheese dish from the hot water bowl.
Pour in corn starch and cake mix into the mixture of cream cheese, butter, and milk.
Take the separated egg whites and whisk them properly.
Cream of tartar and sugar should be added to the egg whites at the time it of whisking. Make sure the sugar is added in small quantities at regular intervals to ensure a smooth creamy mixture at the end of the whisking process. The egg whites should be whisked until they reach the consistency of meringue. However, do not over whisk the mixture. It would spoil the texture of the cheesecake or sometimes the cheesecake.
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The whisked egg whites should now be mixed to the yolks. Make sure you do not add the entire mixture at one time. It would create bumps in the mixture, making it a failure.
One-third of the egg whites have to be taken and mixed slowly with the egg yolks until the mixture is properly absorbed (Tip- The mixing should be done only using a spatula and not a whisk).
After the first 1/3rd of the mixture has been absorbed into the yolk mixture, another half of the remaining egg whites mixture has to be added to the same. Special care has to be taken to not deflate the batter.
Once the egg white and yolk mixture has to be added to the remaining half of the egg white mixture, the whole mixture has to be stirred slowly and softly using a spatula until they form a thick paste.
Now, the mixture has to be poured into the greased cake pan. The mixture should not be filled to the brim as the cake’s layer would bulge inside the oven, vacuuming the hot air particles.
Place a cloth towel on the baking tray. Now, place thecake pan on the baking tray. The cloth towel would ensure that the cake can do not directly come in contact with the hot surface of the tray.
Keep this set up into the preheated oven and pour about one inch water into the tray.
Bake the cake in the oven for around 18 minutes at the preheated temperature of 390 degrees Fahrenheit. After that, reduce the temperature of the oven to 285 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the cake should be cooked for around 30 minutes. After the thirty minutes, please turn off oven. However, do not remove the cake from the oven for another 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes, slowly remove the tray from the oven and check.
Again place the cake pan back into the oven without pouring water in the tray. This time, keep the door of the oven open. This will allow it to cool down gently for another 30 minutes. When the cake is cooled in this manner, please ensure the surface of the cheesecake does not crack.
After the 30 minutes, slowly take the cake pan out of the oven. The cake would have shrunk a bit from the pan edges.
you can touch the cake softly and check if it has cracked base and hard texture
on the top. If not, you turned out to be an amazing baker in the first go.
Now, gently flip the cake onto a small plate and reflip it back on to the serving plate to place the soft surface on the top.
You can serve it with berries, maple syrup or any other topping of choice.
The cake tastes best when served warm. Ideally, it should have a jiggly movement– it is the trademark of the Japanese cheesecake. In fact, in many places, it is called the ‘Jiggly cheesecake’ because of these characteristics.
Okay, now as we you know how to make a yummy Japanese cheesecake, you are all good to go for winning hearts!