Living in Japan, I tend to get overwhelmed by all the desserts sold in convenience stores, grocery stores or restaurants. I feel there’s an overwhelming amount of sweets sold and it can be hard to stick to my diet because there’s so much temptation everywhere. One of my favourite dessert has always been cheesecake but I haven’t eaten or made one in a few months!
A few weeks ago, someone posted a video of a Japanese Cotton Cheesecake in a Keto group on Facebook and asked if anyone could ketofy the recipe. I decided to make one because I live in Japan and I looooove cheesecake so much, or to be honest, it was probably an excellent excuse for me to eat cheesecake!
Japanese Cotton Cheesecakes are a bit different than normal cheesecakes as they are based on a meringue and are very light and fluffy. They don’t require as much sugar as regular cheesecakes and often contain flour. Some cheesecakes use chocolate instead of sugar and some can also add milk or sour cream.
I chose to keep it simple and only used 5 ingredients: cream cheese, eggs, blanched almond flour, stevia powder and baking powder. I realize that when you start eating sugar-free, you tend to like things a bit less sweet than normal and so I didn’t need to add a lot of stevia because I found it was sweet enough.
These cotton cheesecakes usually need to be baked in a water bath in order to prevent cracks as they do rise considerably high in the oven. When baking a cake in a water bath, remember to add aluminum foil around your cake pan as the water can go in! I didn’t do it the first time I made cheesecake years ago and the bottom got all soggy! Oops. I learned my lesson!
This cheesecake can be eaten as is, or you can top it with whatever ingredient you have on hand. I used some frozen blackberries that I had and microwaved them for a minute and topped them over the cheesecake. This cheesecake ends up extremely fluffy and pillowy so it’s extremely nice to the pallet!
I like to add a bit of parchment paper around the cake so that it doesn’t stick to the mould and comes out easily! When it’s out of the oven, just let it cool down completely before cutting it!
Japanese Cotton Cheesecake (Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Low Carb)
Preheat the oven to 160C/320F. Add some water, about 2cm, to a baking tray and put it in the oven on the bottom rack.
Line the sides of an 18cm/7” spring form pan with a loose base. Wrap the outer bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil.
Add the cream cheese to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 40 seconds or until soft.
Separate the eggs, place the whites into a bowl and the yolks into the bowl with the cream cheese.
Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites for a minute and add 1/8 tsp of the stevia powder. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Using the same mixer, beat the cream cheese and yolks for 2 minutes. Add 1/8 tsp of the stevia powder, the almond flour and the baking powder. Beat until combined. Pour the mixture through a sieve to make sure that there's no more "flour" bumps. Sift it until it's all transferred to a large bowl. (*This took me a good 5 minutes, just keep on scraping the batter until it comes out of the sieve)
Add 1/3 of of the meringue to the cream cheese mixture and carefully fold it in. When incorporated, add the next 1/3 and carefully fold it in again. Add the last 1/3 of the meringue and fold GENTLY.
Pour the cheesecake mixture inside the springform pan and place it in the preheated oven in the water bath. Bake for 40 minutes, decrease the temperature to 140C/285F and bake for 10 more minutes.
Take the cheesecake out of the oven and let cool completely. When cooled, cut into 4 slices. Top the cheesecake with the berries.
If you double the recipe, use a 9" cake mold and just bake it an extra 10-20 minutes at 140C/285F.
**While I know traditional cream cheese packs are 8oz, the packs in Japan are only 7oz so that's what I used for this recipe. I'm sure using an 8oz pack won't make a difference in the recipe, but if it does, try adding 5-10g of almond flour to the cake.
Get the equipment used here:
KitchenAid KHM512ER 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer, Empire Red
Master Class 18cm 7" Non Stick Spring Form Loose Base Cake Baking Tin Pan