Jiggly Japanese Cheesecake
Part super light and fluffy sponge, part delicate soufflé, this Japanese Cheesecake is nothing like its heavy UK and US cousins but every bit as tasty.
Whipped egg whites give the cake its dreamy feather-light structure and signature 'jiggle' - watching this beauty rise in the oven is a most satisfying experience.
Serve with whipped cream and red fruits. Add lemon zest if you want to give it some zing. Cracks on the top are to be expected, but lower the temperature slightly after twenty five minutes (ten degrees should do it) if large cracks start to form.
170g full fat soft cheese
40g salted butter
120ml semi-skimmed milk
40g plain flour
3 tbs cornflour
4 eggs (medium)
100g caster sugar
icing sugar to decorate
heatproof glass bowl
greaseproof paper circle, 18cm diameter (7 inches)
more greaseproof paper
electric hand mixer with balloon whisk attachments
oblong enamelled roasting tin
1. Make a bain marie but putting boiling water in a saucepan over a low heat and placing a heatproof bowl on top.
2. Place cream cheese, butter and milk in the bowl and stir occasionally until melted and smooth.
3. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl to cool while you follow the next steps.
4. Ensure that there is plenty of rising space in the middle of the oven, remove higher racks if necessary. Then preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius fan (284 Fahrenheit).
5. Drop a circle of greaseproof paper into the bottom of the cake tin and line the sides with more greaseproof paper.
6. Cover the base and sides of the tin with kitchen foil to stop the water bath getting into the tin from the base.
7. Sift flour and cornflour into the cooled cream cheese mixture and whisk.
8. Add egg yolks and briefly whisk again until smooth.
9. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites with the hand mixer until soft peaks form.
10. Slowly add spoonfuls of caster sugar, counting to 4 between each spoonful, until stiff peaks form.
11. Fill the kettle and switch it on.
12. Add a third of the egg whites to the cream cheese mixture and fold in. Repeat with the other two thirds of the egg whites until you have pale golden foamy cake batter. Try not to mix too vigorously as you want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
13. Transfer the batter to the tin, and tap the tin gently a couple of times on the work surface to dislodge any stubborn air bubbles.
14. Place the tin inside the oblong roasting tin and fill the roasting tin with boiling water (to a depth of about 3cm).
15. Very carefully transfer the whole thing to the oven and set the timer for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
16. By the end of the baking time, the cheesecake should be domed and golden – don't worry if it cracks. It should spring back when pressed in the centre, but it should still seem moist (listen for a quiet 'sizzle').
17. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly. Leave to cool for 20 minutes in the oven.
18. Bring out of the oven and leave to cool at room temperature (still in the tin, with the tin still inside the roasting dish) for a further 10 minutes.
19. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
20. Peel off the greaseproof paper circle, place on a serving plate and dredge with icing sugar through a sieve or sugar shaker.
21. Enjoy with fruit fruit and whipped cream.