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My Hokkaido Sin – CHEESECAKE!

February 6, 2015

WARNING!! This post has sugar and dairy in it!!! But read on…..

Light & fluffy Hokkaido Cheesecake

Light & fluffy Hokkaido Cheesecake AND gluten free!

Recently, I travelled to Hokkaido, the dairy capital of Japan. Did you know there was a dairy capital of Japan?

The consumption of dairy in Asia seems erroneous to me , but there is in fact, a burgeoning dairy business in Asia.
Cheese and milks’ introduction to mainstream Japanese dining came only recently during the late 1800’s when meat was formally accepted into the Japanese diet. Prior to this, raising and serving meat had been banned for centuries by Buddhist edict and meat consumption was considered unclean. Ignorantly, whales were considered a fish and whale meat consumption proliferated…

It was apparent to modern Japanese leaders, from their dealings with Europe, that western people had robust, bigger bodies, which were a result of their diets of dairy and meat. So in line with the encouragement of meat consumption, the government established several national dairies to produce milk and cheese. These dairies were established in Hokkaido in about 1876, and now Hokkaido is the dairy capital of Japan!


The creamy delights in Odori Bisse, Sapporo.

The creamy delights in Odori Bisse, Sapporo.


To me, cheese and milk do not lend themselves well to Japanese cuisine, but the Japanese love their cheese on everything from ramen to okonomiyaki and stews. I admit I steered clear of cheese in a savoury sense but I was completely enamoured by the creamy sweet delights in the form of custard tarts, ice-cream and cheesecake!

Me, after eating the creamy delights at Odori Bisse, Sapporo!!

Me, after eating the creamy delights at Odori Bisse, Sapporo!!

As you know, I normally steer clear of dairy, but when in Rome…..! I anticipated a seriously unhappy tummy as a result. But… I survived! Memories of that cheesecake are held dear! Not too sweet, silky smooth, almost cake like and light.  In the north, you will see Hokkaido cheesecake everywhere, it’s touted as the local export. In contrast to a baked New York cheesecake, which is heavy and dense with cream cheese, Hokkaido cheesecake is light and fluffy and uses a much smaller percentage of cream cheese. This is my version, I’m really excited with it.

Fancy a slice?

Fancy a slice?

*I have called for raw sugar in this recipe as rapadura or coconut sugar is too dark in colour and makes the cake look brown. Personally, I used 50/50 mix of raw sugar and natvia. By all means use the sugar that you prefer, but note that honey does not work.

60g raw sugar*
70g Natvia (or raw sugar)
6 eggs, separated
50g butter
250g cream cheese
50g milk
50g water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teas vanilla extract
60g GF flour, pre-sifted (I use this one)
1/4 teas salt
1/2 teas cream of tartar

First prepare your pan. This is a bit fiddly but makes quite a difference to the cake. Grease a 18cm (or 20cm) spring-form pan well and dredge with some extra GF flour. Shake out the excess flour and line the base with baking paper. Wrap the pan in 2 layers of tin foil, making sure that there are no tears. This cake needs to be cooked in a water bath in the oven so the pan needs to be watertight! Find a baking tray that the pan can comfortably sit in with an inch or so “moat” for hot water. Set the oven to 190°C.

In a clean dry TM bowl, whisk the egg whites & cream of tartar with the butterfly until foamy, then add the 60g sugar and whisk on SP 4 until soft peaks form. You do not want stiff peaks, just a gentle meringue. This will take about 2 – 3 minutes, but will vary depending on the temperature of the eggs. Set aside in a large bowl. **

Without cleaning the TM bowl, add the cream cheese, butter, egg yolks, milk, 70g sugar and water and mix on SP 6 for 5 seconds to combine. Cook at 37°C for 2 minutes on SP 3. Add the sifted flour & salt & lemon juice and mix for another 5 seconds on SP 4.

Gently fold in the cheese mixture to the egg whites and mix well. It will be of pouring consistency but foamy. Pour into a pre-prepared pan and fill the water bath with hot water. Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 25 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 160°C and bake for a further 25 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave in the hot oven for a further 15 minutes, then remove. Total 65 minutes. The cake will puff up a bit and then fall, but should not crack. If it looks like it is cracking, turn the oven down a bit.

Allow to cool before removing from tin and serve cold or at room temperature. Don’t be put off with the baking part of this recipe – it is really worth it!!

** I admit that I prefer to do this step in my stand mixer as I get much more volume but there’s less washing up if you do it all in the TM!


8 Comments leave one →
  1. Kaza permalink
    September 10, 2015 10:10 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I’ll try this over a bowl of boiling water.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe it looks delicious.

  2. Kaza permalink
    September 10, 2015 5:57 pm

    Hi Sarah, just a question, what do you mean by – Cook at 37°C for 2 minutes on SP 3? In the oven or stove top?



    • September 10, 2015 6:45 pm

      Hi Kaza, my recipes are written for the Thermomix and the Thermomix has carried thermostat from 37 – 114 degrees. The 37 degrees is a melt or culturing temperature. You could do this manually over a bowl of boiling water (Bain Marie)

  3. Kathleen Walker permalink
    February 9, 2015 9:19 am

    Hi Sarah, was wondering how coconut flour would go in this recipe rather than GF flour, also
    could I replace the raw sugar with xylitol?

    • February 10, 2015 6:07 pm

      Coconut flour would not work in this without losing the silky smooth texture. It works in a completely different way. Having said that try it and let me know!! Great things come from those unintended! Yes, you could definitely use xylitol instead. Just don’t give any to your dog!!

  4. crescentmoonramblings permalink
    February 6, 2015 12:32 pm

    I love that photo of you Sarah. The Hokkaido Cheesecake looks divine.

  5. February 6, 2015 8:59 am

    Oh, that looks delish, Sarah!

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