This fluffy, soufflé-style baked cheesecake is hugely popular in Japan for its moist and smooth texture that is far lighter than many baked cheesecakes. Refrigerating the cake overnight will improve its texture and enhance its creamy flavour.
Cream cheese custard
- 1 cup milk
- 250 g cream cheese
- 6 egg yolks
- 25 g caster sugar
- 60 g plain flour
- 15 g cornflour
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 6 egg whites
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for brushing
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 45 minutes
Chilling time overnight
Heat the oven to 180°C. Line a 22cm square baking tin with baking paper and brush the paper with a little melted butter.
To make the cream cheese custard, place the milk and cream cheese in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the mixture is smooth. In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together until the sugar is dissolved then add the cream cheese mixture, pouring in a thin stream, whisking continuously to combine. Sift in the flour and cornflour and whisk to form a smooth custard. Stir through the lemon juice and set aside.
To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then gradually add the caster sugar, whisking constantly until the meringue is firm and glossy. A stand mixer is perfect for this. Whisk a third of the meringue into the cream cheese custard, then gently fold through the remainder of the meringue until the mixture is well combined.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Place the tin in a tall-sided baking tray and pour hot water around the cake tin until it reaches about 2cm up the side of the tin.
Place the cake in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 160°C. Bake for 1 hour, but check the cake after 50 minutes and if the top has not browned, increase the oven temperature to 180°C for the final 10 minutes of cooking. Turn off the oven and wedge a wooden spoon into the door to keep it open a crack.
Allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 45 minutes, then remove. The cheesecake should have shrunk back away from the sides of the tin and reduced in height evenly, without sinking in the middle.
For the glaze, combine the honey, brown sugar and butter and melt the mixture in a small saucepan or by heating in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Brush the top of the cake generously with the glaze.
Allow the cake to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight in an airtight container. Slice and serve.
• Don’t use a removable-base tin for this cheesecake. It isn’t necessary and it can allow the bain-marie water to seep into the cake, leaving you with a soggy base.
Recipe and image from Adam's Big Pot by Adam Liaw (Hachette, $39.99, pbk)