Monday, 19 October 2009

Japanese Sponge Cheesecake

I have been searching for a Japanese Cheesecake recipe for a little while, you know the soft and spongy type, almost like a chiffon, not the usual dense and rich cheesecake. Anyways, I came across this recipe from The Little Teochew. This is my second attempt, but I have yet to achieve a perfect result.

The cake is lovely and light, the sweetness is just right and I love the slight lemony tang, it's great combination with cream cheese. Just what I wanted in terms of taste and texture.

Here's the recipe:
(Or hop over to The Little Teochew - the picture of her cake looks fabulous!)


140g fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
50g butter
250g cream cheese
100ml fresh milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
60g cake flour
20g corn flour
1/4 tsp salt


1. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool the mixture. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.

2. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and fold well. Pour into a 8-inch round cake pan (lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof baking paper or parchment paper). Wrap the base of your cake tin with aluminium foil if you are using a springform tin, to prevent seepage.

4. Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hour 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160 degree celcius.

Both times however, my cake collapsed a little when cooling down. Even when I cooled it in the oven with the door slightly ajar. What did I do wrong? Does anyone has a similar cheesecake recipe I could try?

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Angelin said...

need to clarify, cake flour means those from the box? can we use plain flour? we have one and only kinda here. Need to try this out...

Grace said...

Hi Ange,
Cake flour is a low protein/gluten flour, sometimes sold in supermarkets or some Asian Grocers. I wouldn't worry too much about it. I've used plain flour before. It's totally fine... (may not be as fluffy but difference is miniscule)

Cheers, Grace.

Mom-e said...

I read somewhere that the reason why theY collapse is because there was air in the batter which could be due to overbeating the cream cheese or beating at high speed. Also might need to lower the temp. I am not really qualified to comment since my last baked cheesecake was an absolute disaster. It was like a volcano that erupted and then left a massive crater. Such disasters of course will never happen to you! Can't wait for u to perfect this cake!

Jess said...

Hey Grace

There's a lot of reasons why the cake may have collapsed, but I am a bit suss about method where you add the cheese mixture into the egg white mixture. Because the egg white is so delicate, you risk breaking up the air you whipped into it by adding something heavier into it.
I would fold 1/3 of the egg white into the cheese mixture first to lighten it up, before folding in the remaining egg whites in. Also, try adding a pinch of salt into the egg whites with the cream of tartar as well, it also helps to stabilise the albumin!

In terms of the cake is possible to make it at home by subsituting 2tbsp per cup of plain flour with cornflour and mix thoroughly together, BUT if possible it's always best to use actual cake flour because the subsititution may not always be completely accurate, also cake flour is finer than other flours which can not be substituted.
You can buy cake flour in the supermarket as well (Lighthouse brand, blue box)

Sorry for the long post!


Grace said...

Hi Jess,

Thank you for sharing your tips. I will definitely try out the home-made cake flour that you suggested next time. Oh yes, I did fold in the egg whites into the cheese mixture, as I would for chiffons. I copied the recipe verbatim from The Little Teochew and forgot to change it. Thanks for the reminder! :)

I was also thinking the other day, if I tipped the cake upside down when it's done (that means baking it in an ungreased angel food tin) like I would in the last step of making a chiffon cake, do you think that would prevent it from collapsing a little? Oh well.... will try this next time.


Jess said...

Hey Grace

Tipping it upside down can probably prevent it from collapsing, but because then you can't grease the sides of the pan, you won't get that smooth side as like the original.
If you don't think you've over mixed the batter, I would then consider the possibility of the wrong oven temperature, which is a common cause of cakes collapsing. Do you have an oven thermometer?
It's crucial for my oven because the actual temperature is generally 20-30C hotter than what is indicated on the oven!!


Grace said...

Thank you Jess!

These are invaluable advices. I will try lowering my oven temp.(looking at my very brown cake top, I think the oven temperature was indeed too high.)

Also, maybe I did overbeat the egg whites. Thanks also Mom-E! :)

OK... must give this recipe another go!


Sunny said...

I might try baking this without the baking paper next time and on a lower heat.

Baking it at a high heat for too long made the top half of my cake too spongey and not as cheesey as the bottom.

I was watching a video (link below) of a different recipe for sponge cheesecake. She turned the heat off when the cake was not set yet. But left the cake in the oven to cool. In which time, the cake should not rise anymore and set from the residual heat.

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel

Anonymous said...

Hi I tried this yesterday but it is dense, not sponge. I guess I added salt in my egg white. But I don't see from the instruction when and where should I add in the salt, can you please advise. Many thanks.

Grace said...

Hi there,

I'm sorry it turned out dense for you. I don't think it matters adding a little salt into the egg whites, it does stabilise it a little more. But try not to overfold the batter, the least number of turns the better so the air doesn't get knocked out. Anyways, I have also found another recipe that I now use over and over again: Here's the link

I don't think I've blogged about it yet... maybe next time!

Grace :)