Week 78: Chocolate Japanese cotton cheesecake

In the past 7 days, I have made this particular cake 3 times! Yes, 3 times. As the recipe I was following was for a plain lemony cheesecake, it took me some experiments to get a satisfactory chocolate version of the cake. Truth be told, I could have probably stopped at the second attempt, where I got the right recipe, except, I forgot that I was supposed to bake the cake in a water bath! And because I did not, I ended up with a volcano top and the cake sunk as it cooled down. Taste was good, but it looked so awful I couldn’t bring myself to even cover it with frosting. Finally, I re-read the instructions and realised the big mistake I made. So I made my third attempt, and is happy to announce that it is a success!

Makes a 6″ round cake


125g cream cheese

3 egg yolks

40g castor sugar

30g unsalted butter

50g full cream milk

30g cake flour

10g cocoa powder

pinch of salt

1 tsp pure chocolate extract

3 egg whites

¼ tsp cream of tartar

40g castor sugar


1) Pre-heat oven to 200°C (Top and bottom heat, no fan force)

2) Lightly grease cake tin and line bottom with parchment paper. Then dust the sides of the tin with cornflour, tapping out the excess.

3) Whisk cream cheese over bain-marie until smooth

4) Add yolks and whisk

5) Add half the sugar (40g) and whisk

6) Warm milk and butter in a pan, and whisk into batter

7) Add chocolate extract and salt and whisk

8) Remove from water bath, sift flour and cocoa powder and fold into mixture

9) Whisk whites with cream of tartar until foamy

10) Gradually add sugar and whisk to just after the ribbon stage and just before soft peaks

11) Fold whites into batter 1/3 at a time

12) Pour into cake pan and tap the pan on the counter to release air bubbles

13) Bake in a water bath on the bottommost rack in a preheated 200 degree C oven for 18 mins, lower to 160 degree C for 12 mins and turn off the oven and leave cake in the closed oven for 30mins. Open the door of the oven slightly at the end of the baking for 10mins for cake to cool.

This is actually very similar to the one I made a few weeks ago, but, as the ingredients differ slightly, I figure I might as well record it here for my future reference. I made the same amount of whipped cream, but this time, I made half a portion of ganache frosting, which I used to spread between the cake layers and to tint the whipped cream for the rosettes.

One extra point to note, this time, instead of the usual baking tray I use for water bath, I placed my 6″ cake tin inside a 8″ cake tin, and fill it with hot water. One problem I faced though, was that the 6″ tin with the batter was so light that it was swimming around in the water bath. And I ended up with a lop-sided cake. Someone suggested I should soak a towel and place it at the bottom of the larger cake tin so as to provide an anchor for the smaller cake tin. Sounds like something I would try next time. However, I think I am going to wait a bit before giving this another go!

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