Cranberry Japanese Cheesecake

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This post is a little late but I made this for Thanksgiving dinner! Since most Thanksgiving dinners are often heavy (and delicious), I wanted to make something light for dessert. Someone was already covering the pie area, and at first I was going to do a regular American cheesecake, which I still haven't attempted yet. But at the last minute I thought a Japanese style would be better.. a light, soft, fluffy cake accented with some tart cranberry sauce.

I've never been a fan of a dense, thick slab of cheesecake but that's just because it inevitably gives me a tummy ache and I never enjoy more than a few bites. My dislike in making it might also have a little bit to do with the fact that I don't like having to deal with crusts. 
Although this recipe contains a good bit of cream cheese, the whipping of the egg whites lightens up the texture considerably. It's also convenient that it uses a smaller amount of sugar since everyone I seem to meet these days is on a diet.

These were gobbled up in a hurry, and even I rather enjoyed them. I feel like they sunk just a little though, they seemed a bit short. Next time, I plan on letting them cool in the oven a bit longer.
I've never been big on cranberries but this year I made my own cranberry sauce to top with it.  It was so easy! 

This cheesecake is extremely versatile. You can serve it with fresh fruit in the summer, turn it into a layer cake with mascarpone whipped cream, or add other extracts/flavorings (green tea cheesecake, anyone?). It's definitely more of a cake than a cheesecake, but that's the magic of it. 

(adapted from here)
Makes about 14 cupcakes (or 8x8 square pan)

140g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
50g/2 oz. butter
250g/9 oz. cream cheese
100 ml/3 fluid oz. fresh milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice
60g/2 oz. cake flour /superfine flour
20g/1 oz cornstarch

Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler and then let cool. 
Fold in the flour, the cornstarch, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well. 
Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. 
Add in the sugar and beat until soft peaks form. 
Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and gently fold until just combined. 
Spoon into cupcake tray, filling to about 5/6ths full. 
Bake in a waterbath at 325 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or till golden on top. 
When the timer is up, turn off the oven and leave the oven door ajar for about 10 minutes so that they cool gradually (to avoid cracking or collapsing)
Let cool completely before serving.

I got the cranberry sauce recipe from here, and I just spread it on top before serving.

Enjoy :)


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