Light & Fluffy Cheesecake

 

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Sometimes I crave cake but just want something light and simple. This is the perfect light and fluffy cake to satisfy my cake cravings. It is airy in the middle but the cheesecake flavors add some density to the cake. This cake reminds me of the mini Japanese cheesecakes they sell at Asian bakeries. They usually come in a long rectangular shape and individually wrapped. This is similar to a sponge cake with a hint of cheesecake flavor. However, most cheesecakes are really heavy so I prefer this sometimes. I added some matcha powder and blueberries on top but it taste just as good by itself!

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I recommended India Tree’s caster sugar on my previous macarons post. I recently discovered a cheaper caster sugar made by King Arthur Flour that is just as good for baking. Caster sugar also known as Baker’s sugar is a super fine sugar often used in cakes and macarons. You get significant savings from buying this brand over India Trees 50g package ūüôā

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A couple hours before baking, separate 5 egg yolks and whites in two bowls uncovered and let it sit on your kitchen counter.

When the eggs have reached room temperature you can begin baking! Put the cream cheese, butter, and milk in a large metal bowl. Melt these ingredients over a pot of boiling water, whisking constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool. The melted mixture should be smooth like this picture above.

When the mixture is cool, add the egg yolks, cake flour, and corn starch and mix until well combined.

Preheat the oven to 325F.  Fill a large baking pan with some hot water to create a water bath. Place it in the oven while it preheats.

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Using an electric mixture, whisk the white eggs until it reaches a semi firm peak. Gradually add caster sugar and cream of tartar as you continue to whisk the egg whites. If you have a KitchenAid mixer, beat the egg whites at speed #4 for 2 minutes while adding the caster sugar and cream of tartar then increase the speed to #7 for another 2-3 minutes. When the egg whites reach a firm peak, it should look like the picture above.

Combine the whisked egg whites and cream cheese and egg mixture together. Mix until you do not see any egg whites and when the batter turns into a light yellow color. Do not over mix!

Line the cake pan with a piece of parchment paper. Press the parchment paper down on all edges to make sure that it is even around all sides. Pour the filling over the parchment paper in the cake pan. Fill up the pan and leave about an inch of the room as the cake will rise a bit.

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Place the cake pan in the water bath in the oven and cover the top with a piece of aluminum foil. Water baths are crucial for cheesecake as it keeps the cake moist and prevents it from cracking.

Bake the cake at 325F in the water bath for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Then bake with the oven slightly ajar for an additional 10-15 minutes.

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Stick a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean the cake is done. Remove the pan from the water bath and let it cool on a wire rack for a few hours before serving.

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Matcha powder and fruit go really well with this cake. Although I enjoy this cake without any toppings just as much!  Depending on how you like your cake, you can keep it in an airtight container in room temperature for a few days or put it in the refrigerator for a chilled, light cheesecake.

 

Makes one 8-inch cake

8 oz cream cheese
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 c whole milk
5 eggs, room temperature, yolks and whites separated
1/2 c +2 Tbsp caster sugar (baker’s sugar)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 c + 1 tsp cake flour
3 Tbsp corn starch
parchment paper
aluminium foil
electric mixer

1. Put the cream cheese, butter, and milk in a large metal bowl. Melt these ingredients over a pot of boiling water, whisking constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.

2. When the mixture is cooled, fold in egg yolks, flour, and corn starch. Mix until well combined.

3. Preheat the oven to 325F. Fill a large baking pan with some boiling hot water to create a water bath. Place the baking pan in the oven while it preheats to keep it warm.

4. Using an electric mixture, whisk the white eggs until it reaches a firm peak. Gradually add caster sugar and cream of tartar as you continue to whisk the egg whites. If you have a KitchenAid mixer, beat the egg whites at speed #4 for 2 minutes while adding the caster sugar and cream of tartar then increase the speed to #7 for another 2-3 minutes. Whisk until the egg whites have reached a firm peak (if the egg whites do not drip down when you lift up the whisk attachment, your egg whites are ready).

5. Mix cream cheese and egg white mixture until combined. Do not over mix!

6. Line the cake pan with a piece of parchment paper. Press the parchment paper down on all edges to make sure that it is even around all sides.

7. Pour the filling over the parchment paper in the cake pan. Fill up the pan and leave about an inch of the room as the cake will rise a bit.

8. Place the cake pan in the water bath in the oven and cover the top with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake the cake in the water bath for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Then bake with the oven slightly ajar for an additional 10-15 minutes.

9. Remove the pan from the water bath and let it cool on a wire rack for a few hours before serving.

 

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