To make this light and fluffy Japanese cheesecake (aka a cotton cheesecake) the first thing you need to do is separate your egg yolks and whites into two separate bowls. Place the egg whites into the fridge to keep cold for later. Pre-heat your oven to 150C Fan, or equivalent, and grease and line an 8” (which is 4cm tall) cake tin. You will need to make three separate parts of grease proof paper;
- Two long strips which go into the cake tin first and make a cross shape along the bottom. They will need to be long enough so that they hang over the edge of the cake tin as these will help you get the cheesecake out.
- A circular base
- A strip long enough and wide enough to go around the side of the tin
The above all need to be greased on the side that the batter will touch. This will ensure the cheesecake comes out easily as it will be very delicate.
Place a heat proof bowl on top of saucepan filled with a small amount of simmering water. Add in the cream cheese, unsalted butter, double cream, and granulated sugar. Once everything has melted, whisk together, and remove from the heat. Gradually whisk in the eggs yolks a small amount at a time, then sieve in the flour and cornflour. Gently whisk everything together until well combined. You are then going to pass this mixture back through the sieve, into a clean bowl, to make sure there are no lumps and the mixture is nice and silky. Add in the zest and juice of ½ a lemon. Next up is to make a water bath. Fill a roasting tin with 1” of hot water and place it on the middle self of your oven, leave it in there whilst you finish the cheesecake. Grab the egg whites from the fridge and whisk with an electric hand whisk for 2 minutes. Gradually add in the sugar and continue to whisk until soft to medium peaks are formed, this may take up to 5 minutes. Using a whisk, gently fold the egg whites into the yellow mixture 1/3 at a time. When you have 1/3 of egg whites left, pour the yellow mixture into this bowl and fold everything together until you are left with a smooth cheesecake batter. Pour this in to the cake tin and carefully place into the water bath in the oven. Bake for 70-75 minutes, until it is golden brown on top and a skewer comes out of the middle clean. Turn the oven off and open the door slightly, leaving the cake inside to allow it to cool down gradually for 15-20 minutes. To make the apricot glaze mix the jam and hot water together then gently brush this over the top of the cheesecake. Now when it comes to removing the cheesecake from the tin, you will need an extra pair of hands to help. Carefully lift all four strips of grease proof paper (which are hanging over the edge) up at the same time and lower the cake on to a plate/board. The strips will easily slide out from underneath the cake. Remove the rest of the greaseproof paper, be gentle as the cheesecake is very delicate. Finish with a dusting if icing sugar. You are now ready to enjoy this delicious soufflé like cheesecake, which tastes even better when cold.