Marbled Matcha Cotton Cheesecake with Lemon Zest

_DSC6715_11A delicious light Japanese cotton cheesecake with hints of matcha and lemons. Soft and fluffy, with a right amount of sweetness. Though I’m still more inclined towards the original flavor, just about any cheesecakes baked this way are simply irresistible!

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a little bit of love for each slice of cake

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By the way, I failed miserably at trying to inscribe my signature on it. As the cake cools (and shrinks), it fades away… 😦

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Marbled Matcha Japanese Cotton Cheesecake with Lemon Zest

Ingredients (For a 8in round pan)
Cake batter
250g cream cheese (Philadelphia’s)
75g salted butter
200g full cream milk
6 egg yolks (beaten)
50g cake flour, sifted
25g corn starch, sifted
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp matcha powder, sifted (Ten Ren; 天仁)

Meringue
6 egg whites
1/4tsp cream of tartar
120g castor sugar

Directions
1. Grease the interior of the cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Chop cream cheese and butter into cubes and melt over a double boiler. Use a hand whisk and stir occasionally to break them apart. As the cream cheese softens, it forms a lumpy mixture with the butter. At this point, add in milk and whisk continuously till a smooth mixture forms. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add in beaten egg yolks, cake flour, and corn starch. Add in cooled cream cheese mixture, lemon juice and zest, and mix well to combine. In a separate bowl, pour out half of the mixture and add in matcha powder. Hand whisk till uniformly mixed. Set aside.
4. To prepare meringue, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar till foamy using an electric mixer on medium speed. Add in sugar in a gradual continuous motion and whisk on medium-high speed till soft peaks form. (Note: soft peaks are reached when it droops into an inverted-U shape and falls back onto itself when the whisk is inverted).
5. Divide meringue into 2 equal portions (a good estimation will suffice). Using a rubber spatula, fold in each portion into the plain batter and matcha batter. Fold gently till no white streaks remain.
6. Pour both batters, one at a time, into the greased cake pan and tap gently to release large air pockets. Take a skewer and swirl it around the mixture to create a marbled effect.
7. Bake using water-bath method on the lowest rack for 70 mins at 150C.
8. When the cake is baked, leave it in the oven to cool with door ajar for 30 mins as drastic changes in temperature may cause the cake to collapse.
9. Remove cake from oven and cake pan, and leave it to cool right-side up for an hour. Refrigerate overnight for flavor to mature before serving.

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Tips
1. For this cake, I added the matcha powder after the meringue was folded into the cream cheese-flour mixture and divided into 2 parts. The matcha wasn’t able to distribute evenly throughout the batter (as seen from the dark specks) as I did not want to fold the batter too much which could end up deflating the batter. I’d suggest adhering to the method specified in the recipe above; where you could mix the powder as vigorously as you want into the cream cheese-flour mixture until the powder is uniformly mixed in.
2. For the meringue, do not whip till firm peaks stage as it will be harder to fold into the much denser cream cheese-flour batter.

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