The secrets to creating the distinctive cowhide pattern and the smooth and silky texture of the Japanese choco-moo cheesecake have been closely guarded by Mrs Megumi Kaino from Farm Designs, until now. It’s a privilege to have her share this recipe with us, as it is the cornerstone of their successful business. Every Farm Designs cheesecake contains Jersey milk from the cows they lovingly farm themselves in Hokkaido, but if you can’t get hold of it, substitute milk from your own favourite cow – just make sure she’s happy and content.
- 500 ml (2 cups) full cream milk
- 150 g caster sugar
- 110 g sweet chocolate
- 70 ml pouring cream
- 30 g unsalted butter
- 100 g finely crushed black cocoa cookies, such as Oreos with the cream removed
- 200 g cream cheese, at room temperature
- 50 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 10 g cornflour
- 5 drops vanilla extract
- 160 g sour cream, at room temperature
- 120 ml pouring cream
- 40 g milk jam (see note)
- 10 g sweet chocolate
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 1 hour 30 minutes
Chilling time overnight
To make the milk jam, combine the milk and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
To make the chocolate ganache, roughly chop the chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl. Place cream in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat immediately. Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk the mixture together until the chocolate is melted. Cool to room temperature. Roll 1 tsp of the ganache into a ball. Repeat with the remaining ganache. Refrigerate the ganache balls until ready to use.
To make the cookie base, melt the butter (in a microwave is fine) and combine with the crushed cocoa cookie. Press firmly into the base of a lined 20 cm cake tin.
To make the cheesecake filling, knead the cream cheese as you would knead dough, until it is smooth without lumps. Add the caster sugar and whisk until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking each in well before the next is added. Whisk in the cornflour until combined and finally whisk in the vanilla, sour cream, pouring cream and milk jam. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, but do not push through any lumps.
To make the dark mixture, melt the chocolate and mix through ¼ cup of the strained cheesecake filling.
Preheat the oven to 185°C. Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the cookie base, and tap the base firmly so that any bubbles rise to the surface. Drop in balls of ganache and press lightly to submerge under the filling. Using a piping bag or spoon, use the dark mixture to create a cow pattern on the surface of the filling. Place the cake tin inside a larger baking tray, and place in the oven. Pour hot water into the larger tray until it comes halfway up the side of the cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature of the oven to 145°C. Bake for a further 30 minutes. Continue to add boiling water to the larger baking tray, if necessary. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven, then refrigerate overnight. Serve.
• You can use condensed milk instead of the milk jam.