It’s the 15th of the month, that means it’s time for this month’s Baking Partners Challenge.
Previous themes were Super Soft White Bread, Macarons, Pie, Christmas Cake, Kaiser Buns, Cupcakes, and Cookies.
The theme for this month is Cheesecake!
I personally love rich desserts, so I can never say no to cheesecake (not that I ever say no to any dessert). Plus, it’s super versatile and lends itself well to countless different flavours and varieties.
I’ve made a handful of cheesecakes before and they’ve all been delicious, rich, creamy cakes. So I was excited to try a cheesecake of a very different variety: chiizukeiki or Japanese cheesecake.
(Sidenote: How fun is it to say chiizukeiki? Honestly, I’m never going to call it cheesecake again.)
What’s the story?
Chiizukeiki is the Japanese version of cheesecake.
Unlike American cheesecakes which are thick, crusted custards, Japanese cheesecakes have no crust and are made in the style of a soufflé instead, that is, it has a base of eggs yolks and cream cheese and is leavened with whipped egg whites. But, don’t worry, there is sufficient enough flour, sugar, and cornstarch in a chiizukeiki recipe that it won’t deflate like a soufflé does.
As a result of this technique, the chiizukeiki is light and airy unlike any American cheesecake you’ve ever had.
It should look like this (source)
. . . that is, unless you fuck it up like I did and your chiizukeiki ends up with the consistency closer to fudge than soufflé. Wah waaaaaah.
This is what mine looked like . . . not quite right.
I’m not exactly sure where I went wrong with this. Admittedly, I did sub all purpose flour for cake flour (I never have cake flour on hand) and then I accidently forgot to bake the cake in a water bath, so it could have been one of those 2 changes. The chiizukeiki ended up rising quite nicely in the oven, but then when I took it out it fell flat and was super dense.
I’m not sure whether I want to go through the effort to try making this again. I found the flavour a bit egg-y and not as sweet as I’d like, so I’d need to have a nice sweet sauce to pair it with.
Granted, lots of people in the baking partners group did execute this recipe effectively, so maybe it was just me. Maybe it’s totally worth making.
Chiizukeiki – Japanese Cheesecake
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) butter
8 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) milk
2 ounces (generous 1/2 cup) cake flour
1 ounce (1/4 cup) cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 egg yolks, room temperature
6 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
Preheat your oven to 325F and line an 8″ springform pan with parchment paper and wrap the outside with aluminum foil (as the pan will be placed in a water bath before baking).
Combine the cream cheese, butter, and milk in a microwave-safe bowl microwave on high long enough to melt the cream cheese and butter, stopping and stirring occasionally, until you have a homogenous mixture. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together, then whisk that into the cheese mixture.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and salt then whisk that into the cream cheese mixture.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until they’re foamy. Add the cream of tartar and all of the sugar and whip the mixture to soft peaks. With the machine on low, add the cheese mixture and stir until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, place the pan in a water bath, and bake for 45 minutes, until the cheesecake is browned, firm, and set.