Raiding the larder of ideas.

What one family eats, plans to eat, dreams of eating. Plus, other food and kitchen-related stuff from the home of steak-and-potatoes, pie and fresh green beans from the garden.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fluffy, Soft as a Cloud Soufflé Cheesecake (aka Japanese Cheesecake)

Topped with cherries in syrup. Like pie filling on a fluffy cheesecake.
For Pop's birthday, The Bat and I usually collaborate on a lemon meringue pie. For the birthdays of the young'uns, I go all out and build the cakes aimed to surprise them all.  For my birthday, I get to make my own dessert, too. I know, I know, this is all a surprise to my loyal readers (all two of you). It's a sort of rule in our house that, if you have any kitchen skills at all, and you want a cake on any birthday past your twelfth, you either go hit the local bakeries for a stock ice cream cake, or you can get fancy and make your own.

I can't eat the storebought ones. I like them, but they don't like me.

So I get to go crazy in the kitchen, and make my own.

The upside to this is that I can have whatever kind of dessert my little heart desires, and I can make it with no wheat, no other allergens, and few worries about, well…whatever.

The downside is, I have to choose between fluffy sponge cake, cheesecake, and pie. Or not.

Today, I decided to go into full, head-on hybrid mode. I made a cheese sponge cake (or, as it's known in more edumacated circles, a soufflé cake or a Japanese cheesecake), and top it with a nice pie-filling-like fruit (The Bat has some strawberries, and I have dark tart cherries). This puppy has the texture of a light and airy sponge cake, the tang of a cheesecake, and…fruit.

And I made a sour cream whipped cream topping to add to the decadence, for those people who think a birthday cake needs some kind of frosting.

But there are no candles on my cake. I don't want to burn the house down.

Soufflé Cheesecake, or Cheese Sponge Cake


1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons ultrafine sugar
5 large (not jumbo!) eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (I substitute 1/2 tsp rice vinegar for my own, due to an allergy)
3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup whole milk
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Gluten-Free All-Purpose flour or GF cake flour
2 Tablespoons tapioca flour
2 Tablespoons corn starch
1/8 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 325º F, with rack in center of oven.

Lightly grease bottom & sides of an 8"x2" round cake pan. Line bottom of pan with non-stick parchment. Fill a larger pan with water to about 1 centimeter, set aside.

In microwave or double-boiler, melt butter, cream cheese, and milk. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add in flours, corn starch, salt, egg yolks, and lemon juice. Mix well.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar (or vinegar) until frothy. Add in sugar and whip until soft peaks form (everybody meringue!).

Add 1/3 of egg whites to cheese batter mixture, fold in completely. Add batter to meringue, fold in gently and carefully until the marbling is no longer obvious.

Scoop the mixture into the cake pan and smooth the top.

Place water pan in oven, then set cake into the water bath.

Bake cake 70 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Turn off oven. Do not open oven for at least 20 minutes. It will rise to better than double in size, but then settles back down and pull away from the sides of the pan.

Allow cake to slowly cool in oven, in water bath.

When completely cool, remove from pan by sliding a thin knife around the edges of the pan anywhere it may still be attached, to loosen the cake.

If you want to show the golden side up, turn cake out onto a plate by setting a plate over the cake in the pan and then taking a second plate, making a plate-cake-sandwich to then flip it.

It resettles once it cools down. While baking, it's a gigantic crown of gold.
 If, however, you'd like it to look less like a cakey-cake and more like a cheesecake, turn it out onto a plate and allow the golden-brown top of the cake to become the bottom crust of the cheesecake.

I like the way the parchment expanded and made these nifty striations on the base.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

Decorate with a simple sprinkle of powdered sugar on the browned top crust (you can create a waxed paper stencil for it, or sprinkle through lace, if you want), and/or offer your favorite fruit or syrup (fruity or chocolate) as a topping, with some sour-cream-based whipped cream* (scroll all the way down).

One can not live on cake alone.

*I will recommend, though, that you let people know, in advance of their piling on the whipped cream, if you use sour cream in the mix. Otherwise, they may believe your cream has turned, and not that it's a more daring, tangy combination of flavors.