When I first commenced my journey into food blogging, I knew that I didn't want to focus only on exploring food from just one cuisine. I knew that my passion lied in learning and experimenting food from around the world. Today I want to share the recipe one of my absolute favourite desserts, something which I have adored from a young age. This is my version of a Gluten Free Cotton Cheesecake.
Cotton Cheesecakes originate from Japan and they are completely different from normal baked or chilled cheesecakes. Firstly, unlike a regular cheesecake, a Cotton Cheesecake is baked in a water bath, which makes the cake extremely soft on the inside and it has a bit of a bouncy texture once cooked. Secondly, the cheesecake resembles more as a Cheese Souffle, using egg white meringue to incorporate air into the cake to make it nice and fluffy, than a dense and rich Cheesecake.
I was first introduced to Cotton Cheesecake surprisingly at this small little confectionery in Dhaka, Bangaldesh called King's Confectionery. When this bakery first opened, it was the real deal. They took freshly baked bread, cakes and desserts to a whole other level. Keeping in mind that in comparison to the rest of the bakeries in Dhaka, which always used grainy buttercream in their cakes or weird artificial flavorings, King's Confectionery really opened up what I called a "real bakery".I guess because I hadn't been exposed to the heavenly Boulangeries in Paris, to me, King's Confectionery was the best of its kind.
King's had this amazing Cotton Cheesecake, topped with a gorgeous gooey and chunky blueberry jam on top that just blew me away. Growing up I really didn't like baked Cheesecakes, mainly because the hardened cream texture and tangy cream cheese just didn't appeal to me. When I read the words "Blueberry Cheesecake" labelled in front of this cake, I was more intrigued by the blueberry jam than the cake itself! However, little did I know that the first bite I was going to take of this cake would simply change my love for all Cheesecakes forever.
To be completely honest, I had no clue what a "Cotton Cheesecake" was till I moved to Vancouver and was homesick, so searched up "Recipe for fluffy soft jiggly cheesecake" on Google. Lo and behold, I had found my saving grace and learned that King's Confectionary was serving on their menu what the world knew to be a Japanese Cotton Cheesecake. Luckily my excitement didn't stop there because soon I found out that they can be made Gluten Free!
After experimenting and researching more into how to make my version of a Gluten Free Cotton Cheesecake, I decided to adapt a recipe that only used corn flour as the base of the cake. I was skeptical to begin with, because nearly all Cotton Cheesecake recipes called for some form of wheat flour. Good news is, it worked like a charm! My top tip would be to properly incorporate air into the egg white mixture, and fold it very gently, to really give the cake it's height.
To relive my moments at King's Confectionery here in my own kitchen, I decided to make my own Blueberry jam to compliment my Gluten Free Cotton Cheesecake. As always, you can use your own choice of berries or accompaniments and Make It Your Way, but having a kick from the berries really lifts this cake up!
125g cream cheese
40ml canola oil
25g white granulated sugar
30g corn flour/starch sifted
20ml lemon juice
3 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
50g white granulated sugar for meringue
Berry Jam (optional)
2 cups of choice of frozen Berries 2 tbsp of Sugar
STEPS 1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Next, place your cream cheese, oil and confectioners sugar into a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan with simmering water. Make sure your bowl isn't touching the water and allowing the steam to heat up the ingredients. Whisk the ingredients till cream cheese has melted and everything is well incorporated.
3. Take your cream cheese mixture off of the heat and whisk in 60ml of the milk till it turns into a smooth consistency.
4. Next, whisk in one egg yolk at a time into the cream cheese mixture and whisk till well incorporated.
5. Once you have a nice pale yellow mixture, sift in the corn flour, pour in lemon juice, and mix well. Now set this bowl aside to get started on the egg white meringue.
6. For the egg whites, use a hand mixer to whip your egg whites while gradually pouring in the sugar. Add 2 tbsps at a time, making sure the sugar is well incorporated each time before adding more. Mix your egg whites still stiff peaks form.
7. Once completed, using a spatula, very gently fold a quarter of the egg white mixture to the Cream Cheese mix bowl, at a time. This step will test your patience, but really give your cake it's shape.
8. Butter your 8inch cake pan and generously dust it with icing sugar.
9. Gently pour your batter into the cake pan and set aside to prepare your water bath.
10. In a deep dish baking tray, that will fit the width and height of your cake pan, fill up half way up the tray with warm water.
11. Then carefully place your cake pan in and place into the oven for 80 minutes.
12. At the end of 80 minutes, using a skewer, poke right in the middle of the cake and check to see if the cake is done (skewer should come out clean).
11. Once ready, very gently, transfer the cake on to a serving dish with the golden top facing up.
12. Lastly, you can either dust with icing sugar, or pour over your blueberry jam and serve!