In the midst of a global pandemic with countries on lock down, food flying off the supermarket shelves (let’s not forget the toilet paper situation here in Australia), self imposed restraints and confinement that many are experiencing. I find myself seeking comfort in bringing part of the outside world into my kitchen given the current situation.
So here is a Japanese cheesecake that is so elusive that you can only purchase them twice a week, online only, and in a set batch which sells out within minutes.
They are so elusive that it’s been tagged as being a phantom cheesecake. This is not to say they don’t sell that many, but rather they sell them so quickly that they can’t keep up with the constant demand.
Unlike many other cheesecakes that you may be used to, you’ll notice that this one doesn’t have a biscuit base and is flavoured by a blend of tonka and vanilla beans.
Utilising 4 types of diary products for a balanced acidity and creaminess with a dash of lemon juice to provide that extra lift, this product is perfect for every season with its 3 various consumption styles leading to different textures.
Served frozen, it similar to a frozen custard with stronger notes of lemon. Served straight out of the fridge, the cake takes on a more classic cheesecake texture which melts in your mouth and a nice balance of sweetness with the flavour of vanilla coming through. Lastly, served at room temperature or slightly warm, the sweetness of the cake comes to the front with a velvety creme brûlée texture. (Speaking of creme brûlée textures, I like serving it straight out of the fridge in slices, top with a layer of sugar and brûlée it to give it they mix it warm and cold and cracking sugar crust.)
Either way, this is a delicious cake that’s fragrant can creamy whichever manner you decide to go with.
This recipe is an adaptation of what was provided by Mr. Cheesecake in his cookbook for the home oven with a change to the baking temperatures. I’ve explained it in the video and have provided a recipe to reflect it. The recipe on a whole remains unchanged but I will explain it further in my baking notes.
So here are those few things to note:
- I used a dark baking tin for this but the original recipe calls for a lighter baking tin. If you do have a lighter one, it will provide you for more even heating but doesn’t really affect it overly so given that the cake bakes in a water bath
- Lining your baking tin is a must for this as it helps with removing the cake out of the tin. Otherwise, unless you have a loose bottom tin, you’ll be eating this cake directly from the baking tin with a spoon.
- Tonka beans are what the recipe calls for but I struggled to get my hands on some and have replaced it with additional vanilla bean paste.
- If you wish to splurge a little more, vanilla bean pods would be the way to go as this cakes provides the perfect medium for the pods to shine through.
- Temperature does play a heavy role in this. Whilst it may not make or break the recipe, ensuring you have the right temperature helps with achieving the right consistency. Read on for more information.
- You will want to ensure you work efficiently with each element to ensure things aren’t getting the chance to cool down too much.
- Where possible, bring your ingredients to room temperature. It helps ensure that the final mixture isn’t too cold.
- You want the final mixture to fall within the range specified as it helps with the batter baking evenly in the oven given the size of the cake. If it’s too cold, the outside will cook faster than the middle and the middle won’t get the right amount of time to set.
- What if my temperature is off? Don’t worry, it’ll still be delicious. 🙂 I always say that your eyes, nose and ears are a great indicator for when things are ready so use your judgement to make that call on when the cake looks ready.
- As it cools it firms up but it may seem slightly wobbly at the start. Don’t fret, it’ll workout.
- Before you remove the cake from the tin, I recommend you let it chill fully as it is a soft cake and chilling it sets it up to give it structure to be removed without breaking or falling apart.
- I’ve provided my preferred recipe/baking time in this post but you can find the alternative recipe within the video
Mr. Cheesecake Cheesecake
Makes 1 8″ x 4″ loaf
What you’ll need
- 200g cream cheese, room temp
- 100g sugar
- 100g cream
- 50g white chocolate
- 3/4tsp vanilla bean paste (original recipe called for 1/4 vanilla bean pod and 1/2 tonka bean)
- 85g whole eggs (without shell) approx 2 medium eggs, room temp
- 180g sour cream, room temp
- 50g unsweetened Greek yogurt, room temp
- 20g corn starch
- 9g lemon juice
Preheat oven to 210C
Place cream cheese and sugar in a bowl over a double boiler and heat until around 40C whisking you ensure mixture is smooth.
Heat cream until it starts to bubble around edges. Turn off heat and add the chocolate. Turn the heat back on and heat on low until mixture starts to simmer and chocolate has melted.
Slowly pour the cream onto the cheese mixture and whisk until smooth.
Add the vanilla bean paste and mix. Set aside until needed.
In a seperate bowl, add yogurt and sour cream together and whisk. Add eggs in 3-4 parts and whisk to combine. Add corn flour and lemon juice and whisk until smooth.
Pour the yogurt and sour cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture and whisk to combine. Pass through a sieve to remove lumps.
Transfer batter to a 8″x4″ loaf tin lined with baking paper. Place tin a bigger dish pouring hot water up to 2″ along the sides to create a water bath.
Bake at 210C for 25 mins, rotate tray and reduce temperature and bake at 160C for another 15 mins.
Cool for 30 mins on wire rack before transferring to a fridge to cool fully.
Serve at 3 different temperature for different results (see post above).
Products used in my kitchen:
Infrared Thermometer: https://amzn.to/2TInxrR
27 Comments Add yours
Hey is it double cream or single cream that you use?
Can I substitute sour cream with plain yogurt?
Can I substitute cream cheese with plain yogurt?
Hi, first off, thank you for making this lovely guide. I have been addicted to perfecting this recipe. I have a really important question to ask you. I hope you can help me. I followed your recipe almost exactly – I used real vanilla bean instead of extract. I used a 7.75″ x 3.75″ pan, which is slightly smaller than yours, but the height of my cake was much lower than yours. When I cut out a slice of cheesecake, it looks a lot more rectangular than square, if that makes sense. I have tried to fix this by increasing the ingredients by 50% more. That gives me approximately the right height. However, I wonder if there’s a problem with my cakes.. because I don’t see any rise while it bakes.
Hi, what adjustments do I need to make if I wanna make this in 8×8 pan?
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
I’ve made this cake twice in the last 3 weeks due to it’s immediate popularity with family and friends. Here in Australia, we can purchase tonka beans from spice specialists quite easily so I used half a bean (grated in my 40 year old William Bounds nutmeg grater) and scraped out half a vanilla bean pod. This combination made the house smell amazing while it was baking. The tonka bean scent is very apparent and makes a big difference to the flavour profile.
I only had a large loaf tin to use so my cake was not as high but the consistency and texture were perfect using the same times and temperatures as this recipe in a fan forced oven. I did not reduce the temperatures to allow for the fan and it browned perfectly, just like the picture!
Both times I forgot to slam the tin on the bench to release air bubbles before baking, but it did not seem to affect the texture at all.
What a great recipe!
Hello, what do you think of using caramelised white chocolate instead of white chocolate for this recipe?
Hi, is it thickened cream or pouring cream you use for this recipe? Thank you 🙂