Asian parents rave: “This Japanese cheesecake is pretty good.”
Okay, so maybe those “raving Asian parents” are my own parents, and maybe “pretty good” doesn’t sound like the most impressive praise on the Internet for a 3-Ingredient Japanese Cheesecake that my friends have subsequently called “soooooooo delicious,” “absolutely mmmmazing,” and their “new favorite dessert of all time. Ever.” But if you grew up in a household where direct praise was as rare as snow days in Los Angeles, you know exactly what I mean when I say that a verdict of “pretty good” basically means that I am Goddess of the Best Dessert on Earth. Period.
What makes this recipe extra special is revealed in its not-so-subtle name. (For the record, this cheesecake is also known on the web alternately as a “Japanese soufflé cheesecake,” a “Japanese cotton cheesecake,” and “that cheesecake that broke the Internet a couple of years back.”) The reason is simple: With an insanely light, spongy texture and just three simple ingredients, this whatever-you-want-to-call-it is probably one of the easiest and most unique recipes you will ever try.
And what are those three secret ingredients to this delectable, to-die-for dessert, you may be asking? Well, so glad you asked, my friends…SO glad you asked…Can you guess?
*Scroll down to see if you got them right!*
Eggs. Cream cheese. And…white chocolate!
The third one always throws everyone in for a loop when they ask for the recipe (which they inevitably will, I promise) and was definitely a surprise to me as well. But with whipped egg whites to fluff everything up and white chocolate to sweeten the concoction just enough, you’re going to want to keep these three basic ingredients in your pantry ALL the time now just like I do, so that you’re ready to wow the crowds at a moment’s notice!
Final food for thought: Food journalist Michael Pollan once advised that, in the age of overly processed foods and unidentifiable ingredients, we should stick to what he calls the “5 ingredient rule”: Simply put, don’t eat anything that doesn’t contain five ingredients or less. Now while I know this 3-ingredient Japanese Cheesecake isn’t exactly what Pollan had in mind, I can’t help but wonder what he would do if I presented him with a platter of this simple, light, faintly-sweet Asian dessert. Probably inhale it as quickly as I did the first three times I’ve already made it!
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of 8-inch springform pan with lightly oiled parchment paper and set aside.
- Separate egg yolks from egg whites. Set aside.
- Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high in 20-second increments, stirring each time until white chocolate is melted. (Pro tip: Be careful to watch your white chocolate as it seizes very easily when overheated!)
- Add melted white chocolate and softened cream cheese to a large bowl. Cream together until completely smooth. Beat in egg yolks.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the cream cheese mixture until everything is slightly lightened. Gently fold remaining egg whites into cream cheese mixture until no white streaks remain.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Place pan into a 9x13-inch pan that has been filled with 1 inch of boiling water.
- Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes, or until top is a golden brown and cheesecake is slightly jiggly. Turn off oven and allow cheesecake to sit for an additional 10 minutes, then transfer 8-inch cake pan to a wire rack. Allow cheesecake to cool completely before removing from pan and transferring to plate. Chill for an additional 4 hours (or overnight) and enjoy!