Japanese Vanilla Cheesecake with Blueberry Caramel Sauce
There are two kinds of people in life, the ones that love a heavy thick and creamy vanilla cheesecake and those who prefer the low fat,low sugar slightly watery “healthy” vanilla cheesecake.
The latter types…must lead very sad and lonely lives. (ok ok I am just kidding…slightly)
As you can tell from my perhaps bias opinions – I am from those who are lovers of the original vanilla cheese cake. You know the one made with, full cream cheese, heavy cream, sour cream and sugar, that is then baked in a gentle water bath to a custardy creamy perfection with a delicious buttery graham cracker crust thrown in for good measure.
So why I decided to cut out as much refined sugar as I could in my diet right before the Shavout holiday, is literally mind boggling to me. Have I joined the ranks of those who put health before indulgence? me… the person who wrote the book on butter and cream, literally called The Dairy Gourmet..have I crossed into the dark side?
Fear not…I have not lost my buttery edge. Instead I found a cheese cake that both sides can sink their teeth in, and not feel like they are compromising their cheesecake morals.
The Japanese Vanilla Cheesecake – a hybrid of the original new york cheese cake and your favorite diet version. This light as air mousse like cheese cake, does not disappoint those who are looking for a creamy textured cheesecake. With a little less than 1/4 cup of sugar in the whole batter, it is guilt free in my world of eating less sugar.
Now I do admit to making this blueberry caramel sauce that is in the category..CHOCK FULL of sugar. But because I only put 1 tablespoon or more on my slice and it is Yom Tov…..I think I got this sugar thing pretty much handled.(baby steps people)
And for the record I adore this cheesecake plain without the sauce.
Japanese Vanilla Cheese Cake w/ Blueberry Caramel
- 10.5 oz (300 g) cream cheese
- 3 Tbsp. Butter
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
- 2/3 cups of milk
- 3 1/2 tsp. + 1/4 cup sugar
Cut a strip of parchment that is 3 cm higher than the height of the cake pan.
Fold 1.5 cm along the long edge and cut a notch to the fold line every 2 cm to allow the strip to line the side of the cake pan. Slits should point into the center of the cake pan. You want the strip to be at least 1 cm taller than the cake pan. (Basically, the notches are just so you can build a perfectly round collar around the base of the pan.) Cut a parchment paper round to line the bottom of the cake pan.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Put the egg whites into the freezer so it just begins to freeze around the edges. Sift the cornstarch.
- Place the cream cheese in glass bowl and microwave until it becomes soft to the touch. You do not want to heat it up. (I did this in about 15 second intervals.)
- In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add the cream cheese and whisk well to combine.
- In another bowl, combine the egg yolks and 3 1/2 teaspoons of sugar. Mix in the cornstarch.
- Heat the milk in microwave (covered) for about 2 minutes on high.
- In a double broiler add the egg yolks and hot milk and whisk until thickens. Add this mixture to the cream cheese and combine well.
- Add 1 tsp. of sugar to the egg whites and mix in electric mixer on medium low speed for about 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites and beat on medium until a soft meringue forms.
- Add ¼ of the meringue to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold in with a a rubber spatula to combine. Add the remaining meringue to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold to combine completely.
- Fill the cake pan and smooth the top.
- Put the cake pan in a roasting pan and add boiling water so it comes up 1-1.5 cm up the cake pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the temperature to 325F and continue to bake for 25 minutes until the top turns slightly golden.
- Turn off the oven and leave the cake pan for another 40 minutes to an hour.
Note: The cake will continue to bake with the heat off so do not over bake. Depending on the oven, the cake may not turn golden but should avoid cooking much longer than the suggested time.
Take the cake out of the roasting dish and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate and chill completely before taking it out of the pan. It is best served the second day.
Blueberry Caramel Sauce
recipe adapted from Bon Appetite Magazine (May 2014)
- 1cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- Cook sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, without stirring, until it begins to turn golden brown around the edges.
- Stir to incorporate melted sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until all sugar is melted and caramel turns a deep amber color, 6–8 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and carefully add vinegar to caramel (mixture will bubble vigorously and seize), then add berries.
- Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until seized caramel is melted and berries are softened, 6–8 minutes. Let cool.
DO AHEAD: Caramel sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.