Friday, 16 February 2007

My Favourite Cotton Cheesecake Recipe

There are a lot of Japanese Cotton Cheesecake Recipes online, with a variety of methods and ingredients. What I like about this recipe I found is its simplicity. So far, it appears that this recipe uses the least amount of ingredients, and the least steps. (Can you tell? I like zen-cooking! *grins*)

Made for Christmas 2006

Made for Chinese New Year 2007

This cheesecake tastes great with fruits, so I decorated it with sliced peaches and marachino cherries for Chinese New Year... I figured the colours of the peaches and cherries were excellent for the season, and the abundance of fruits herald a fruitful year ahead.

Another view of the CNY Cheesecake


Cotton Cheesecake

Ingredients
7 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (If you're using the block, divide the block into 8 equal parts. They will be exactly 1 ounce each)
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup superfine sugar (caster sugar; separate the sugar into two 1/4 cups)
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup cornstarch (don't use plain flour!)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 1/2 cups boiling water

For the glazing
2 tablespoons jam (Apricot or Strawberry)
1/2 tablespoon water


1. Preheat oven to 175 deg celsius.
2. Prepare an 8-inch cake tin, line the bottom of the tin with baking paper and grease the entire tin with a bit of cooking oil. (I use Canola Oil Cooking Spray, available from Phoon Huat.)
3. Beat cream cheese with milk to soften.
4. Add half of the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and lemon juice.
5. Beat until smooth.
6. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until foamy.
7. Gradually add remaining sugar and cream of tartar to the egg white, beating until soft peaks form, about 8-10 minutes.
8. Put about 1/3 of the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, stirring gently.
9. Pour the new cream cheese mixture into the egg whites and fold in gently.
10. Pour into cake pan and smooth the surface.
11. Place cake pan into a larger roasting pan and place in lower rack of oven.
12. Pour enough water into the roasting pan to come half way up the side of the cake pan.
13. Bake 40-45 minutes, until a pick inserted in the middle of the centre comes out clean.
14. If the surface becomes too dark while baking cover with a piece of tin foil, but be careful not to open the oven door until it has been in the oven for at least 20 minutes.
15. You can eat like this, or you can put jam/glaze on top of it.

Glaze
1. Put the jam in a sauce pan with the water on a low heat and warm up until it's melted.
2. Then spread the glaze on top of the cake.

The recipe originated from www.recipezaar.com.


The cake will rise and fall a little after cooling, but the texture is light and yummy. I added chopped peaches into the glaze mixture for the CNY version.

27 comments:

Trif said...

Hey cooking mummy,

Am interested to try your cheesecake recipe! But what kind of cornstarch is it? The type we use for thickening gravy?

Brenda said...

Yup. The usual cornstarch. *smiles*

Trif said...

OK! Noted! I can't wait to get my hands on the cheesecake.. yum yum!

Trif said...

Hey Brenda! I tired your cheesecake recipe last night and it was such a success I feel so proud of my end product! :) I baked it in a square tin which I feel is a big too big, resulting in a flatter cake. Am going to get a round tin. I have those spring form round tins but was afraid that water would seep in from the sides.. cheers!

trif said...

Hey Brenda, how do you cut up the cake such that each slice looks nice? I used knife but the edges came out jagged and ugly. In the end, I resorted to running thread through the cheesecake...

Brenda said...

I use a very sharp broad knife and use a sawing motion to cut the cake. You need to be careful not to press down into the cake too hard, which will cause the cake to crumble.

Trif said...

Hey Brenda,

Am seriously thinking of investing in a stand mixer and I've been looking at the Kenwood series of mixers (and they all cost so much!). Any idea how good are their products? I read some forums, but the reviews seem so varied. Heard bout this brand called KitchenAid also..

Brenda said...

I've also read about the KA and Kenwood range. The mixers are really good investments for serious bakers, but at $700++ dollars, I haven't got the spare cash (or the guts) to buy one in the near future. heh.

I've got a Philip stand-mixer which I'd say is passible - for less than $80 dollars; and I've seen one in the Mega-store (United Square basement) which is even cheaper and comes with a cover for the bowl (which the one I have doesn't have).

But I must add that the one I have might not last as long as a Kenwood or KA. So far, the Philips one feels a bit wobbly after only a few months' usage.

Trif said...

Yup.. The Kenwood ones are almost $700! There's another one I saw (looks real retro) but didn't managed to take down the brand. It was going for $400++..

*evaluating if I'm considered a serious baker* :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda

Saw your cotton chessecake recipe, can i substitute the corn starch with japanese flour? will the texture be better?

Tks
cecilia

Brenda said...

Hi Cecilia,

I really have no idea, because I've never used Japanese flour.

Cornflour or cornstarch, is easily available, so I haven't tried using other flour in this recipe.

SL said...

hi brenda,

I tried this recipe last night, I couldnt make the egg whites till soft peaks form, what could be the reason? why need to put the cake pan into a boil water tin to bake together?

Brenda said...

Hi SL, there could be many reasons for the egg white not peaking. You need to make sure that the egg white is not contaminated by the egg yolk or water in the mixing bowl - that's the usual cause of why the egg white don't stiffen.

When you beat the egg white, you can try adding the sugar and ovalette in batches until they're all used up. Also, you need to have patience - it takes about 5 minutes with the mixer for the egg whites to peak. You'll know if the white is ready if you hold the bowl upside down and the whites don't drop down.

Using a water bath (or a baine marie) is to help regulate the temperature for the cheesecake so it cooks through at a constant wet heat. It has to be hot water so that the water doesn't absorb too much of the oven's temperature, thereby lowering the initial oven temperature.

SL said...

Thanks brenda for the reply. What if i cannot make the peak form and will the cake taste not nice? it turns thick and creamy instead of form. :( do we need to chill the cake before serve?
why have to do this steps?
8. Put about 1/3 of the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture, stirring gently.
can't we just pour the whole egg whites to the cheese mixture?

Brenda said...

If you look at the ingredients, you'd realise that this recipe doesn't have a rising agent like baking powder or baking soda. Instead, the rising agent is actually the bubbles that are trapped in the beaten egg white. This is why incorporating the egg white with the cream cheese mixture is a delicate and fast procedure, as we try to keep the bubbles in the mixture as much as possible.

If your egg white don't stiffen, your cake might not rise and give you that cottony texture that characterises this cake. You might have a denser cake instead.

You don't have to chill the cake before serving, but I suppose it depends on your own preference. It's good both chilled and unchilled.

Anonymous said...

Pour the new cream cheese mixture into the egg whites and fold in gently...
you use to stir with wooden spoon or using mixer to beat?

Anonymous said...

you have emphasized that use the lower rack of oven to bake.. is it place the tray to the lower rack or the bottom of the oven itself without any rack? what is the objective behind?

Brenda said...

I use a plastic spatula to fold in the egg white. You can use a wooden spoon if you like. However, you must not use the mixer, otherwise all the air-bubbles trapped in the egg white will be released!

Put the cake on the bottom rack to bake. This is to prevent the top of the cake from overbrowning too fast. Another way to help the top from overbrowning is also to use a piece of aluminum foil to loosely cover the top of the cake.

Anonymous said...

Hi brenda,

I tried the recipe last night, it turns out too mositure.. (the texture abit wet and not dry) what could be the reason? i accidntly put 3 tbsp of lemon juice, could it because of this?

thanks

Brenda said...

It could be the extra tablespoon of lemon, but it also could be the egg white mixture - was it stiff when you began the folding process?

Perhaps it could also be the cake tin - if you used a springform pan it might have water seepage during the baine-marie process.

But do try again without that tablespoon of lemon. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi brenda,

Another thing is i found the cake texture got crack on the surface, quite a long crack and few crack some more. any idea?

thanks

Brenda said...

Are you the same anonymous as the extra tablespoon of lemon? Sometimes the top might crack if the heat is too hot. You might want to lower the oven temp by 10 deg if that is the case. You can also put an aluminum foil over the cheesecake too.

sharon said...

Hi Brenda,

Tried your recipe. It was tasty.. but i found my cake turn out wet after cooling down. the texture is wet, i guess is when i blend the cheese, the testure is not smooth and abit waterly.. anything wrongs with this?

thanks

Irene said...

Hi Brenda
I found this recipe on recipezaar and have been making it.
However I found that the cake sank quite a bit after cooling. I've tried leaving it in the oven for cooling etc, but it still sinks. Any suggestions?
My cake rises to about 5cm and it sinks 2cm to the final 3cm.
I've tried including ovalette, do you put it with the egg whites?

sherina said...

Hi Brenda,

the step 7 .... beating until soft peaks form, about 8-10 minutes.
i am using 200W beater, shall i use medium speed for 8-10 mins to get the soft peak?

i noitce my cake not so high as urs in the picture..:(

thanks

Rachel said...

Hi....Thanks for sharing the recipe...i finally get to bake my own cheese cake for my family and my loved one...

And i have post into my blogs...But the cake was kinda fluffy till i unable to cut the cake nicely..And ideas how to cut it??

Maggie said...

Love you to bits Sista for including this recipe in your blog! Hannah tried the cotton cheesecake in Singapore and loves it much more than New York cheesecake. You're the best!