Hokkaido Double CheesecakePosted: July 18, 2019
This recipe is a perfect summer dessert and, for a cheesecake, is very maker-friendly.
Most delightfully, this cheesecake is light. Light, light, light. Each mouthful is a cloud of deliciousness on your tongue, a delicate waft of creamy flavours that dissolves in a puff of….
OK, so I’ve sat here trying to think of something to end that, frankly embarrassing, stream of pretentiousness and come up blank – mostly due to me just having taken a bite of said cheesecake in order to try and capture the experience and kinda just got lost in appreciation.
Sidetracking on to the composition….
This is a three-layer cheesecake consisting of a fatless sponge base, a baked cream-cheese layer and a mascarpone mousse layer all covered with a dusting of sponge cake crumbs.
Baked cheesecakes can be a source of worry, through fear of overbaking and thereby causing cracks to appear once they cool down. With this recipe, that kind of stress is eliminated, because the baked layer is covered with the mascarpone mousse layer. And if, while your mousse is chilling, the clingfilm sticks to the top, causing wrinkles to be created as the gelatine sets, it’s not a drama, because the whole thing is covered with the crumbs, giving it an appearance that just reinforces the lightness and fluffiness of the cake as a whole.
Fans of this blog will already be familiar with one type of Japanese cheesecake, but this recipe is on a whole other level. I was initially sceptical of the lack of flavourings, but it is absolutely the right decision. The flavour of the sponge and the cheeses are delicate but distinct and as I’ve already mentioned, light, light, light. After tasting, there’s none of the ‘Excuse me while I fall into a dairy coma’ or ‘Help! Help! My arteries are filling with cheesecake’ feelings associated with too much indulging of regular baked cheesecakes.
You’ve probably realised by now that this is not my recipe. It is, in fact, the signature bake of the LeTAO bakery chain from the city of Otaru, on the island of Hokkaido, Japan where it sells for 1728 Yen (£12.85). In an unusually generous move, the bakery has shared both its recipe and method online, which is where I stumbled across it. (Linky for the curious).
The English subtitles are a bit bonkers. They start off OK-ish – “The first thing to make is the sponge fabric that forms the basis of google fromage”, move swiftly on to “If baked skin becomes full-coloured, [musics], Sponge cloth no” and before you know it, we’re at “Simmer outside the last emperor.”
So I decided to help spread the word of this delightful dessert and add details where there were none, and calm down the bonkers to ‘mildly eccentric’.
I hope you like it.
Hokkaido Double Cheesecake
It’s best to prepare this the day before it is wanted, and allow the mousse to set overnight in the fridge. This will make a cake to serve six to eight people, depending on the generosity of your slices. Or just one.
2 large eggs
70g caster sugar
60g plain flour
- Heat the oven to 170°C, 150°C Fan.
- Sift the flour.
- Grease and line the sides and base of a 15cm round cake tin* with baking parchment. Grease the parchment.
- Put the eggs and the sugar into a metal bowl over simmering water and whisk until light and fluffy and a temperature of 50°-60°C. Using an electric whisk, this will take 10-15 minutes.
- Fold in the flour then pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until risen and golden brown.
- Allow to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then turn out onto a cloth-covered rack to cool completely.
- Reduce the oven heat to 150°C, 130°C Fan.
- Clean and re-line your tin with parchment.
- Cut a horizontal slice from the cake 2cm¹ deep and lay it in the bottom of your pan
Cream cheese filling
140g cream cheese
50g caster sugar
4g plain flour
30ml double cream
1 large egg
- Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk to a smooth consistency.
- Pour the mixture over the sponge base.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the edges are set and the middle wobbly. It will carry on cooking as it cools.
- Set aside to cool, then chill in the fridge.
1 sheet gelatine²
140g double cream²
30g caster sugar
1 large yolk
60g Mascarpone cheese
- Put the gelatine to soak in water.
- Whisk the double cream until firm. Set aside.
- Put the sugar, water and yolk in a metal bowl over simmering water and whisk until fluffy and thickened slightly.
- Add the gelatine and stir until melted.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the mascarpone.
- Fold in the whipped cream.
- Sieve the mixture if it is not smooth (I found this unnecessary) and pour over the baked cheesecake layer.
- Cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
the remains of the fatless sponge
A little cream
- Trim the crust from the top/bottom/edges of the cake, leaving just the golden crumb, and break it into pieces.
- Add the cake pieces to the bowl of a food processor and blitz until crumbs.
- Remove the cheesecake from the tin.
- Using a pastry brush, paint a thin layer of cream over the top and sides of the cheesecake.
- Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the cake and press lightly into the sides so that the whole cake is covered with this pale yellow down of cake crumbs.
* It might be my eyes playing tricks on me, but from the video it certainly looks as if the size of the tin changes, getting larger from baking to filling. Whilst you can make this in a larger tin, the layers will obviously be much thinner than the 2cm in the above photo. I like how, with the thicker sponge layer, it’s pretty much three equal layers. If you don’t have a tin this small, consider doubling the recipe to keep the layers impressive.
¹ The original recipe says 1cm, but I find that a bit thin to provide any kind of ‘support’ for the filling – it is such a light sponge, when the 1cm sponge layer draws moisture from the baked layer it becomes over-saturated and soggy.
² The original recipe called for 3g powdered gelatine and didn’t appear to distinguish what type of cream. I prefer working with sheet gelatine, so I tried this recipe with both double and whipping cream, and using one and two sheets respectively. Overall, the double cream/1 sheet had the better texture, a barely-there set that melted in the mouth. The whipping cream/2 sheet version was fine, just a little firm for my tastes.