It was late Saturday night when this brochure caught my eye amongst the clutter of my desk (never mind how it got there), and instantly I was CRAVING cheesecake. Then I remembered a recipe I had bookmarked a long long time ago for baked tofu cheesecake. The next morning, I secured my ingredients and that afternoon, the deed was done.
This isn’t just any kind of cheesecake. In stark contrast to its dense American counterpart, Japanese cheesecake is “cotton-soft” and melt-in-your-mouth light and airy. I followed this recipe and instructions with a few alterations. Instead of regular cream cheese, I used fat-free cream cheese and instead of a 9” cake pan, I used an 8” one. Perhaps it was because my cheesecake was slightly thicker because of the smaller pan, but I found that 50 minutes of baking time wasn’t enough; I ended up baking mine for 70 minutes. With the longer baking time, I got a darker golden brown on top without needing to transfer to an upper rack either.
In terms of using fat-free cream cheese instead of regular or even low-fat, I was extremely satisfied with the fluffiness of the cake, but flavor-wise, I think the fat-free cream cheese itself tastes a bit more acidic, so I’d cut back on the lemon juice (maybe 2 tbsp instead of 3) and up the vanilla extract to 1 ½ tsp in the future. You could easily add other flavorings too like cocoa powder or matcha!
Most Japanese cheesecakes actually don’t use tofu, but doing so cuts out the butter, heavy cream, and other rather fatty ingredients that you’d otherwise use. I’m always up for eating healthier, so this recipe fits the bill!