Recipe: Cotton Soft Cheesecake from Tokyo Local »

By Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew

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Cotton Cheesecake,Tokyo Local

Cotton Cheesecake,Tokyo Local [©Smith Street Books ]

<i>Tokyo Local</i> by Caryn and Brendan Liew


Author Brendan Liew worked at the three-Michelin-starred Nihonryori Ryugin in Roppongi, Tokyo and Hong Kong. He also studied the art of ramen-making in Japan, before delving into kappo and modern kaiseki cuisine and with co-author Caryn Liew,  ran their own Japanese restaurant in Melbourne. Yes, they know Japanese food.

Now in Tokyo Local they share their insights into the traditional and modern cuisine that is strongly conveyed in food from the streets of that city.  Robyn suggested in her review that this book is highly likely to prompt thoughts of travel but it also shares achievable recipes to give you a taste.

One of the most popular deserts at their restaurant was this cotton soft cheesecake and now it's your turn to make this soufflé cheesecake, as it is known in Japan.

 Caryn and Brendan write:

Cotton Soft Cheesecake

Cotton soft cheesecakes (or soufflé cheesecakes as they are known in Japan) are light, soft and fluffy, with a citrusy tang from lemon juice and yuzu jam.

This was the most popular dessert at our Japanese restaurant, and is achievable as long as you pay close attention to timing – otherwise the cake will crack! While it might be tempting to eat it right away, it is best chilled overnight, as the fresh cake will be too crumbly. 

Ingredients (serves 8-12)

  • 70 g (2½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 200 g (7 oz) milk
  • 200 g (7 oz) cream cheese
  • 120 g (4¼ oz) egg whites (from approximately 3 eggs)
  • 80 g (2¾ oz) egg yolks (from approximately 5 eggs)
  • 10 g (¼ oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 20 g (¾ oz) lemon juice (from approximately ½ lemon)
  • yuzu jam or orange marmalade, to glaze


  1. Preheat the oven to 165°C (330°F) and line a greased 16 cm (6¼ in) round cake tin with baking paper. Grease the inside of the paper and dust the walls with sugar. Put the kettle or a large saucepan of water on to boil.
  2. Heat the milk and cream cheese in a small saucepan over low heat and whisk until homogenous. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add 50 g (1¾ oz) sugar, whisking continuously until the sugar dissolves and stiff peaks form.
  4. Transfer the cooled cream cheese mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the egg yolks, whisking to combine. Repeat the process with the remaining 20 g (¾ oz) sugar, followed by the cornflour, the flour and finally the lemon juice, in that order, whisking to combine after each addition. Gently fold the mixture into the egg whites, then pour into the lined cake tin.
  5. Place the cake tin into a deep baking tray and transfer to the oven. Very carefully pour boiling water into the baking tray until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake tin. Bake the cake in the water bath for 35 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 155°C (310°F) and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Switch off the heat and leave the cake in the oven for 10–20 mins to set fully. Remove the cake from the water bath and leave to cool to room temperature before turning out and placing on a cake rack.
  7. In a small saucepan, heat the yuzu jam over low heat until it thins. Brush the cake with the yuzu jam to glaze. Once the glaze has set, cover the cake and refrigerate overnight.


This recipe is from Tokyo Local by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew and reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher.

Tokyo Local – Cult Recipes from the Streets that Make the City by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew is published by Smith Street Books and distributed by Simon & Shuster (Melbourne, May 2018; hc; 224 pp) and retails in Australia for RRP A$39.99.

Read Robyn's full review of Tokyo Local »

View the press release »

See links below for further recipes.


  • japan-all (JP)

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August 02nd, 2018
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