Thursday, April 7, 2011

japanese cheesecake (soufflé cheesecake, a.k.a. salvaged cream cheese frosting)

I was really rushed when making these fresh strawberry Hello Kitty birthday cupcakes for my friend's daughter's birthday.  As a result, I not only messed up on the cupcake batter (that's a whole other story), I also messed up on the frosting.

While making the cream cheese frosting, I had decided to add some pureed strawberries... bad decision.  I normally make my fresh strawberry buttercream using strawberry puree, and the frosting comes out great because my buttercream always needs a bit of liquid to buttercream anyway (usually milk or water).  But I had forgotten that cream cheese frosting is already a very loose frosting, and when I added the strawberry puree it became very goopy.  And un-pipeable.  I tried adding small pieces of cold butter, thinking it would make it thicker.  But it only made it really lumpy.  So I had to start over with a new batch of cream cheese frosting!

After I was finally done decorating the cupcakes, I still had a batch of goopy, runny, lumpy strawberry cream cheese frosting, unused and sitting in my fridge.  I didn't want to throw it out - what could I turn this into?  And then I remembered a recipe for Japanese-style cheesecake that I've been meaning to try out.  I quickly checked the recipe - it called for cream cheese.  Check.  It also called for sugar and butter.  Check, and check - all of those were already in the frosting.  All I needed to add was flour, cornstarch, salt, and eggs!

So I ended up turning my runny frosting into a fresh strawberry Japanese-style cheesecake.  I used this recipe - It requires one-fourth of the cream cheese required in NY-style cheesecake, and the batter is lightened with whipped egg whites.  After I baked it in a water bath and then let it cool, I couldn't wait - I had to try it.  The cake turned out light, fluffy, and lived up to its nickname of "cotton cake".  I usually see this cake decorated with fresh fruit and glaze, but I actually thought it tasted great just plain.  The next time I make it, hopefully I'll have the will power to refrain from cutting into it before it's decorated!


  1. I clicked on your site through Foodgawker for the lemon meringue pie and stayed to peruse your other posts. I really want to try this recipe. I am always turned off by the amount of cream cheese required to make a cheesecake and this lightens it up some. I also love the photos of the pans and equipment you use for your recipes along with the ingredients. It just pulls me in.

  2. How much pureed fruit did you use? I'm very curious to try this, but I'm not sure how much to add to the basic recipe. :)

    1. Hello Alida,

      in case you haven't tried it yoursefl by now. I had a go at a Strawberry Japanese Cheese Cake yesterday. Here is the recipe I used:

      Source: adapted from kitchentigress

      strawberry puree

      180 g strawberry (smashed and pressed through a sieve)
      15 g brown sugar
      30 g lime juice
      1 tsp corn starch/flour

      Mix lime juice with corn starch till no lumps.
      Mix strawberrys, brown sugar and lime juice mixture in a pot.
      Gently bring to a boil on stove top, stirring constantly and cook till reduced to 120 g.
      Press through a sieve again, if there are any lumps left.

      120 g strawberry puree
      30 g butter
      140 g cream cheese*
      90 g egg yolks

      50 g cake flour, sifted (I only had all-purpose on hand)
      20 g cornstarch, sifted
      ⅛ tsp salt

      180 g egg whites
      90 g caster sugar

      In terms of preparation I followed the original recipe:
      Submitting the strawberry puree for milk and swapping the lemon juice with the lime juice included in the puree.
      First adding the butter, and then the cream cheese to the puree right when it came off the stove, too cool it a bit before stirring in the yolks.

      * I used "Magerquark", a slightly sour, almost fat free sort of cream cheese commonly available here in Germany, left in a sieve over night to dry out a bit. Regular full fat cream

      cheese (as in the original recipe) should work as well.

      The cake rose significantly during the last 20 minutes of baking and collapsed to form an even top again after cooling.
      It also shrunk quite a bit from the sides inward. Making it look rather funny.

      Yet, texturewise, as well as tastewise (though maybe a bit on the sweet side, and not as strawberry-fruity as hoped for), I was quite happy with the result.
      I have never had Japanese cheese cake before, though, so can not compare.

      I will try the original recipe next, before having another go at a strawberry version.

      For another strawberry version I would entirely stick to the original recipe, only trying to cook down the puree to 60 ml, and submitting it for the milk.
      (possibly adding in some lime/lemon rind for extra fruityness)

      If you or anyone else have developed a version of your own, I'd love to read about it here.

  3. I've seen your site on Pinterest and now I'm addicted. Such a great baking site ever

    1. @Manda Muslin - aww, thanks for such a sweet comment! so glad to hear that you are addicted! ;)

  4. Wow!!!! Sounds great. Could you please post the full recipe for this cake? If we use
    how much strawberries we need and at which point we could add strawberries? Please give us a clear recipe. Thank you for your generosity in sharing the recipe. lovely blog. Keep up the good work.