Japanese melty iceboox cheesecake
I’m sitting here, struggling with how best to explain to you all why this Japanese version of the burnt basque cheesecake is superior than the original in every single way possible, mentally auditioning all the angles I could cut into this subject that I think is going to change the way you think about cheesecakes in general. How it’s possibly the easiest cheesecake your kitchen-incompetence will ever behold… how it has complexities in its flavors that reminds me of a caramel flan… how its play between temperature and texture is brilliant… how the outer layer is rich yet airy while the center remains creamy and gooey, melting almost instantly around the heat of my tongue… A R-rated story on how cheesecake and ice cream had a baby? I considered that, too.
But it dawned on me that these are all just supporting facts, facts that you will witness, I’ve no doubt, as soon as you make one yourself in your kitchen. What really stands in between you and making this cake is not the certainties, no. It is the doubt, one single doubt really, the only elephant that needs to be removed first and swiftly before everything else could just fall into place. Because I know what you’re all thinking. Here, I’ll say it with you.
Isn’t this just an undercooked mistake?
No, no it is not. It is fucking not.
Is soft-boiled egg a mistake?
There. I don’t know how much simpler I could put it.
Now, welcome to the only cheesecake you’ll ever bake for the rest of your life.
if cheesecake and ice cream had a baby.
- 1 lb (450 grams) cream cheese
- 2/3 cup (140 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 grams) Greek yogurt
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded
- 3 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup (180 grams) heavy cream
- 1/2 heaping tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven on 435 F/225 C, fan-on if available. In a stand-mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, granulated sugar and Greek yogurt, seeds from 1/2 vanilla beans on medium-high speed, scraping once in between, until extremely smooth, lump-free and silky, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs and yolks all at once, and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, scrape once, and beat for another 15 seconds just until the eggs are evenly incorporated. Careful not to over-beat the eggs that it becomes "fluffy". We don't want an airy batter. Add heavy cream and sea salt, and beat for another 15 seconds just until even. Sift the flour into the batter, and beat again on low for 15 to 20 seconds until even. Remove the bowl and scrape and fold the batter with a spatula to make sure everything is smoothly mixed, set aside.
- Butter the insides of a 7"/18 cm springform cake-pan (so the parchment sticks well to the pan). Cut a parchment paper into a circle the same size as the diameter of the pan, and line the bottom of the pan. Then line the sides of the pan with parchment paper that is twice the height of the pan. Pour the batter into the pan, then cut the side-parchment down so it's 75% taller than the batter (not double). Firmly tap the pan a few times to eliminate large air bubbles, place it on a small baking-sheet and set on the lower 1/3 rack of the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the baking-sheet 180 degrees, and bake for another 10 minutes. Turn off the oven at this point, opening the door for 30 seconds to lower the oven temperature, then close it and let the cake sit inside the oven for another 5 minutes. The exterior of the cake should be deeply browned, burnt almost, but still jiggly in the center. Let the cake cool slightly on the counter for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, clear a level in the freezer to allow generous room for the cake pan and set a pot holder/heat matt inside. Transfer the cake-pan into the freezer (don'y worry the hot pan won't break your freezer) and freeze for 3 hours. Remove the cake from the pan and parchment papers and serve, or you can keep individual slices frozen and let sit in room-temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
* UPDATE NOV 1/2019: A few feedbacks are saying that their cake did not brown as deeply in their oven as mine. If your oven tends to under-brown or under-heat, I would suggest baking the cake at 240~250C/465~500F (which is the highest most home oven goes). Also, try trimming the parchment paper lower so the batter is exposed more. If your baking pan is of a different size, you may have to adjust the temperature/timing a bit, too.