Japanese Cotton Cheesecake
From Joanne Chang's Pastry Love
Serves: (1) 8" cheesecake
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (225 g) cream cheese
  • ½ cup (120 g) crème fraîche
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (100 g) plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • ½ cup (65 g) cake flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
  1. Place rack in center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-by-3-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and butter only the bottom of the pan.
  2. Separate the eggs and place the whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; place the yolks in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Place cream cheese in a large metal bowl or double boiler insert and place over a pot filled with 1 inch of simmering water.
  4. Stir until cream cheese is melted and smooth. Whisk in crème fraîche and 3 tablespoons butter until well combined and smooth.
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon zest, vanilla and salt.
  6. Whisk in egg yolks and 3 tablespoons(40 g) of the sugar.
  7. Sprinkle cake flour evenly over the top, then whisk it in gently.
  8. Beat the egg whites on medium speed until you start to see the wires of the whisk leave a trail in the whites. Slowly add the remaining sugar, a tablespoon at a time while beating. Continue to beat until whites are fluffy and hold a soft peak when beaters are lifted.
  9. Gently fold about one-quarter of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Then gently fold in remaining whites, taking care not to deflate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
  10. Place cake pan in a roasting pan or other pan that is at least as deep as the cake pan, and transfer to the oven. Fill the larger pan with enough hot tap water to come one-quarter of the way up the sides of the cake pan. (The cake is really light, so if you pour in too much water it may float.)
  11. Bake until top of the cake is golden and doesn’t give when you press it gently in the middle, 35 to 40 minutes.
  12. Turn off oven and crack the oven door so that it cools off. Leave cheesecake in the cooling-off oven for 2 hours so it cools slowly, which keeps the top from cracking.
  13. Lift cheesecake pan out of water and place on a wire rack. Let cool for another 2 hours. Cheesecake will deflate slightly.
  14. Run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake to loosen it from sides of pan. Remove sides of springform pan. If you used a regular cake pan, invert the cake onto a plate, lift off pan, peel off parchment, then invert it right side up on a serving plate.
  15. Chill cake for at least 2 hours before serving. Cake can be stored, well wrapped, for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Sift confectioners’ sugar over top of cake just before serving.
Recipe by Dessert First at https://dessertfirstgirl.com/2020/01/chinese-new-year-cotton-cheesecake.html