Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Matcha Cheesecake

For me not really being a cheesecake fan, I suppose it's a little odd that I made a matcha cheesecake when I've never made a regular cheesecake before. I don't have a scarring cheesecake story like Jenn (imagine eating a sincere attempt at cheesecake using cheddar cheese), I've just never had an awesome cheesecake. If you know of one, please mention it.

Check out the name of this recipe from Cook's Illustrated - Light and Airy Cheesecake. "Light and Airy" sounds so innocent right? It makes it seem as if it were good for you, as if it really were just great tasting clouds of nothing. But (I'm not trying to scare you), take a look at the ingredients. A part of me ignores the fat content I use every time I bake because I know it's not light. However thanks to a couple of butter/cream-loathing friends I have, this other part of me is growing slightly more disgusted with the amount of fat content in my recipes. Throughout this recipe, that side was more prominent.

Regarding flavor, I usually gauge how much matcha to add based on color. With all the creams in this recipe, 1 1/2 tablespoons of matcha was clearly not enough. The color was a pale green and the matcha couldn't really be tasted. I compensated by covering the top with a matcha and powdered sugar coating.

Last note about this cheesecake is about its texture. The texture indeed is light and airy, and was almost mousse-like. Because of that, I'd recommend freezing the cheesecake instead of refrigerating like the directions say. It'll make for easier slicing and serving, trust me.

Matcha Cheesecake
adapted from Cook's Illustrated

1 tablespoon unsalted butter , melted
3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
2 pounds cream cheese
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs , separated
1 teaspoon lemon zest from 1 small lemon, minced
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoon matcha, sifted
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons matcha
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325F degrees. Line bottom of 9-inch springform pan with foil, tuck foil underneath pan bottom, assemble pan, then pull foil around side of pan.
2. Brush bottom and sides with butter. Sprinkle crumbs over bottom. Tilt pan in all directions to coat evenly with crumbs.
3. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar and matcha, beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.
4. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down after each addition, ensuring ingredients stuck at bottom of bowl are fully incorporated so as to avoid lumps. Add zest and vanilla and beat until just incorporated.
5. Remove bowl from mixer; stir in cream and sour cream.
6. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and fold into batter.
7. Bake until perimeter of cake is set, but center jiggles like Jell-O when pan is tapped, 45 to 50 minutes. Turn off heat and leave oven door ajar, using a long-handled kitchen fork or spoon to hold it open for 1 hour longer.
8. Remove springform pan; cool to room temperature.
9. Sift together 2 Tb matcha and 2Tb powdered sugar on top of cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours. (Can be refrigerated up to 4 days.)


andrew3sixteen said...

it was marvelous. perhaps unintended, the combination of different textures (solid + mousse) was still pretty cool. well done!

aus_chick said...

I'm a fan of no-bake cheesecakes. My mom makes a really yummy lemon one that most people I've met... except Ka-Loon :P... love.

melissa said...

You have to go try Eileen's Special Cheesecake in Soho. You will never see cheesecake the same way.

blissful said...

looks great! do you buy powdered matcha or ground them yourself? i wonder if it would make it more aromatic. can't wait to try your recipe ;)

talida said...

blissful, I buy matcha powder from Japanese markets, particularly this one

I've never tried grinding my own, but you've given me an idea!

Jennifer said...

Now that's one cheesecake I would like to try! :)

Purple Dots Cupcake said...

Thanks Talida! Didn’t know you had xanga =).
I did not read this before I emailed you last wk!!! I can’t believe you made green tea cheesecake! I hope you saved me a slice!!!

Dr.Gray said...

I have a good answer to the person who asked why do you not just grind matcha yourself. Because matcha per weight is the same price as the loose leaf tea per weight. So the savings would be nothing. And I must say that making matcha would be so messy. I dont even know how you would get it that find. Find a good importer thats my suggestion. Its like saying why buy powdered sugar when you can grind your own.

Judy said...

I'm so sad that my cheesecake didn't turn out as well as yours sounded. In any event, thanks for all the recipes you've posted! Hope things are well!

Anonymous said...

Why line the pan with foil if you don't put the cake in a water bath? Is it because it is not that useful?

talida said...

@Anonymous: You got me. I modified a recipe that called for a water bath, but I decided to forgo it and see what would happen. There were some cracks, but I was topped it with the matcha to mask the cracks.

I have another recipe where I baked it in the water bath, and that turned out really well: