Japanese Cheesecakes

Jiggly, sweet clouds of cheesecake. # 120: Japanese Cheesecakes

You know those sped-up recipe videos where you watch someone create a cake in under 2 minutes? It annoys me a lil that they edit out the reality of prepping, baking and cleaning… But hey, they’re fun to watch and truly perfect for our short attention spans.

These fluffy clouds use whipped egg whites to achieve their airy structure. I don’t think I’ll ever make them again, but from a chemistry perspective it was pretty cool! It is considered a “foam cake” since it is air-leavened. Who needs baking soda/powder when you can have thousands of tiny bubbles?

Similar to unflavored sponge cake, it smelled like sweet scrambled eggs.

Alllll the dairy. Milk, cream cheese and butter. Bizarrely, the recipe called for 8 egg yolks and 13 egg whites and I just happened to have 5 egg-stra egg whites from a bake the day before! Sometimes life just works out.

It took awhile to melt the cream cheese. There truly is a reason to why you should let all your ingredients come to room temperature before mixing – cold cream cheese does not get along with warm milk.

Snow in March! A wild sight for the Bay Area.

Whipping 13 egg whites is quite an arm workout! I generally like to use a hand mixer for egg whites so I have more control over how stiff they get. Plus it means you can skip arm day at the gym!

Velvety soft peaks. Velvet is one of those words that sounds like what it is – doesn’t it just sound soft and rich? I hope you all just said “velvet” under your breath and got weird looks from the other people in the room. Let them think it’s a secret password!

I stuck with the figure-eight folding method so my egg whites wouldn’t deflate. Sweep the spatula around the edge of half the bowl, then gently cut through the middle and swoop back around the edge of the second half, and repeat until fully incorporated. If you ever took ice-skating lessons, you’re way ahead of the game.

If you’re lucky enough to have a friend helping you bake, let them have the fun task of lining the pans with parchment paper. I’m no architect and the paper never wants to stay no matter how much butter or spray oil is involved. (Thanks Emily!)

And off the oven we go! Like any cheesecake, they requested the spa treatment: a steam bath to prevent cracks on the top. Wouldn’t we all like to be a cheesecake sometimes?

Voila! The jam swirled into a few of the cakes hampered their rise, but the flavor made up for it.

A light dusting of powdered sugar for a little added sweetness.

Look at the itty bitty piece! Not practical, but super adorable.

Happy munching!

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