Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kitchen M’s Almost-No-bake Tofu Cheesecake

Kitchen M’s Almost-No-bake Tofu Cheesecake

I thought that I had perfected my tofu cheesecake recipe until I revisited Morimoto last month. My original tofu cheesecake recipe is still a big hit among my friends, family, and those of you who tasted it at the Tofu Dessert contest last year. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve made it, but Morimoto’s recipe immediately puts me in my amateurish place each time.

Pink Rose

I could easily look up his recipe from the book and follow exactly. But that didn’t sound quite challenging enough for me. What if I develop my own recipe from scratch? Inspired by Morimoto, but still called my own. You bet. Last night I was up till 2am, trying for the fourth time to perfect this recipe. (Actually, I would have given up if it had failed again.)

Kitchen M’s Almost-No-bake Tofu Cheesecake

The problem with cooking something that late at night is that one can easily make mistakes and not know about it until it becomes too late. And yes, I did… I realized that I only put half of the amount of crème fraiche after mixing in gelatin, pouring mixture into the pan and putting it in the fridge. I wanted bang my head against the wall. But then again, it was past 2am... Forget it.

Kitchen M’s Almost-No-bake Tofu Cheesecake

Today when I woke up, I was not excited at all about checking my yet again unsuccessful tofu cheesecake. But I peeked cautiously into the fridge anyhow. After carefully removing the plastic wrap, it actually looked pretty good. Appearance check: passed! Next, the taste check. Mmm?!?? Oh my gosh… The mistake turned out to be an amazing discovery!! I seriously couldn’t believe how perfect it was.

Flowers + M Cup

Now, do I really want to share this recipe for free? Hmm... That’s a tough call. I mean, it’s one of the best recipes in my collection. But at the same time, I feel that it wouldn’t be worth anything unless it’s shared. So if you share this recipe with others, please kindly give me a credit. :) Enjoy!

P.S. Kitchen M will be offline for the next 7 weeks. I’ll be back on May 16th with pictures of Japan and Hong Kong and maybe with some goodies.

continue for the recipe...


Recipe of the Day - Kitchen M’s Almost-No-bake Tofu Cheesecake


Kitchen M’s Almost-No-bake Tofu Cheesecake

Kitchen Note:
The reason why it’s “almost” no-bake is that the actual cheesecake is no-bake, but the bottom, which you will have to make in ahead of time, is baked. I tried with different baking pans, dishes but spring form pan is probably the best if you are making it for the first time. (It’s just easier to remove the cake once it’s made.) Topping is optional. I used chopped pistachio and matcha powder for the color.

Ingredients (makes 1 -8” cake pan, serves 12-16):

Sponge cake for the bottom

½ c cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 large eggs yolks
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large egg white, at room temperature
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Butter for greasing the pan

Preheat the oven to 350F and grease 8” springform pan with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, beat egg yolks and 1/3 c sugar together. When the mixture gets light in color and thick, add vanilla extract and continue to beat for another couple of more minutes.

Gently, stir in dry mixture into the egg yolk mixture with rubber spatula. Do not over mix.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high speed until frothy. Add 2 Tbsp of sugar and continue to beat until stiff peak is formed.

Gently, fold in 1/3 of egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and repeat the same for the rest of egg whites.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool at the room temperature.

When the cake is completely cooled, slice the cake horizontally into two or thirds – varying on desired thickness. (You can save the other piece for second batch or something else.)

If you wish, clean the side of springform pan and re-attach. Leave the cake on the bottom and prepare the cheesecake filling.

For cheesecake filling

5oz (150 g) Silken Tofu
8 oz (1 pkg) Cream Cheese
3 Tbsp Butter
¼ c + 1 Tbsp Sugar
¼ c Kabosu Juice (You can use lemon juice if not available)
½ c Crème Fraiche
2 Tbsp Gelatin Powder
¼ c + 2 Tbsp warm water

In a large ceramic bowl (microwavable), add tofu, cream cheese and butter. Microwave for 5-10 seconds (x 3-4 times) to heat up a little bit at a time. (You don’t want the butter and cheese to melt completely.)

Mix with wired whip. When mixture becomes smooth, add sugar and continue to mix. Then add Kabosu juice and crème fraiche and mix again.

In a small ceramic bowl (microwavable) mix gelatin powder and warm water and mix well. If it’s not warm enough, microwave for 10-15 seconds. When gelatin powder is completely melted, stir it into the cheesecake mixture.

Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Serve chilled.

77 comments:

  1. Wow Kitchen M. So gorgeous...I don't even want to ruin it by eating them:)

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  2. It's so nice to find out something actually worked out instead of being a flop-I love that. Especially when the said item ends up being wonderful. I'm glad your cheesecake was perfect, and I'm going to try it-sounds wonderful.

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  3. I think this is my favorite post yet! p.s. i love the cup pictured ;). Hope I get to taste this wonderful looking cheesecake!

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  4. This is so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your discovery! I would love to try it!

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  5. You know i've been thinking about making Tofu cheesecake ever since you mentioned it in your Morimoto post. That's hard to beat though, this looks really awesome. Nicely done, M. :)

    So you're going to HK and Tokyo? My kind of destinations. Have fun!

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  6. We met on food buzz and I will be following you here. Great recipe for the no-bake tofu cheesecake. Amazing photography. Very inspirational blog.

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  7. Have fun on your trips - your cheesecake looks amazing! I'm going to Hong Kong in a couple months too - make sure you write down a list of must-eats when you get there! :) So far I have L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon for HK (since we didn't go in Nippon!) but def want more recs!

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  8. Magnificent and so pristine looking! Gorgeous shots too!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. This is my first visit to your lovely blog and I am dying to try your tofu cheesecake recipe. Your photograpy is just awesome!

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  10. I love this post and all of your shots! Tofu cheesecake is a hard recipe to master IMO and you make it look and sound good!

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  11. First time at ur blog and love it!! would love to try the tofu cheesecake recipe. Are there any substitution for creme fraiche? Can I use yoghurt / sour cream instead?

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  12. what s beautiful presentation! Amazing! I love the idea of serving these tiny bite size pieces. It's so pretty and must be great for portion control.

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  13. All I can say, is thank you for your generosity in sharing this recipe - those pictures are seriously works of art. I am in awe of your talent. I cannot wait to try this cheese cake recipe,


    Look forward to connecting at Harold McGee and have to say, I envy your upcoming trip and wish you a fantastic time. I am sure it will be stuffed with wonderful food inspiration.

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  14. Em, very nice recipe, photos and inspirational message- recipes don't always turn out great the first, second or third time, but never stop trying.

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  15. this looks amazing!! beautiful photos and to think you put all this work into it, we must try it one day! would it be bad to buy premade crust? :)

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  16. I'm going to have to make this. Thanks for sharing the recipe! If I make it for friends, I'll give you credit for sure!!! I enjoyed your story too. I hope you got to sleep in the next day! Have fun in Japan!

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  17. I have been raving about how good tofu cheesecake is. Will give this a go. thanks for sharing and I am in love with your photos.

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  18. Wow, this is just too beautiful to eat. If I were a guest at your house, i think I would just want to sit and stare at it! I have never tried a tofu cheesecake before, so this I must attempt!

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  19. Absolutely adorable! Your pictures are great and the recipe is fun and innovative. Keep it up, girl! Linn

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  20. WOW! Not only do these sounds fascinating, they look gorgeous too. Pretty and delicate :)

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  21. The cheesecake sounds just heavenly, and those photos are true art. Thank you!

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  22. This tofu cheesecake sounds magical! I love the way you presented the bars of cheesecake!

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  23. >Spicy Green Mango
    You know, I wish I could cut the cake perfectly. This is why I'm not a pastry chef. LOL

    >Stella
    Yes, please try and let me know how it goes. :)

    >Rachel
    I love this cup! Thank you so much!!

    >whisk-kid
    See? I'm so glad that I decide to share. These comments make me very happy. :)

    >Zenchef
    I bet you can make a very sophisticaled version of this. I'll be looking forward to it!

    >Lazaro Cooks!
    Thank you for following Kitchen M.

    >Nutrition to Kitchen
    I will! Yet again, we discover another thing in common! So, when are you coming to the Bay Area? ;)

    >Rosa's Yummy Yums
    Thank you!

    >denise
    I'm so glad you stopped by! Thanks!

    >Anh
    Thank you. Hope you will try this recipe.

    >Swee San
    I'm sure it works, but it wouldn't taste the same. If you are looking for lower fat option, I recommend my original tofu cheesecake recipe which I use non-fat yogurt.
    http://kitchen-em.blogspot.com/2009/03/tofu-dessert-contest.html

    >Cooking Rookie
    Exactly! :D

    >Oyster Culture
    I'm so looking forward to finally meeting you!!

    >Joanne
    Thank you! You are lucky. I'm bringing it to work today. :)

    >Ravenous Couple
    Sure, you can! But you should get sponge cake instead of crust.

    >Heather
    I did sleep in till about noon the next day... LOL

    >penny aka jeroxie
    Thanks! Hopefully this will be your favorite. :)

    >Liren
    Hahaha. Thank you.

    >Linn, catty, bevvbevv & Christine
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  24. Sooo beautiful! I can't wait to try this, thank you!

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  25. I love it when a mistake works out well! These look so beautiful,

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  26. I like not-so-sweet Japanese desserts. Generally, I don't like desserts at all, so ...

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  27. What a lovely sounding and looking cake! I actually had a delicious tofu cheesecake at a restaurant today and would love to create something similar at home.

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  28. It's gorgeous and so are your photographs; beautiful! Happy vacation Veron. Thank you for sharing the rceipe so wholeheartedly. I made a quark no bake cheesecake this morning too. Will unmold it tomorrow, and am as apprehensive as you!

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  29. Hello and thank you for sharing this recipe! Your pics are beautiful!

    I just tried this recipe, and it was delicious, but had a few questions. For the cake portion, to what and when do you add the melted butter? I guessed and ended up mixing it with the batter before folding in the egg whites. The cake also ended up taking about 20 minutes at 350.

    For the tofu cheesecake mixture, it called for 2 Tbsp. Although it really was yummy, my cheesecake ended up very firm. Like jello? Is it supposed to be this consistency?

    Thanks again, and I hope to try this again!

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  30. How generous of you to share your recipe! I have a few cake recipes that I'm holding out on because I don't want anyone else to know how to make it - I'm selfish I know ;)

    Looking forward to your pictures! Take lots of ramen!! LOL :)

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  31. beautiful presentation! i've never heard of a tofu cheesecake but definitely want to try it now

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  32. I have never had tofu cheesecake so I must try this recipe. Lovely pics!

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  33. >kris
    Thanks for the feedback! I apologize for taking me so long to respond. I'm traveling right now and haven't had time to check my email for a while. Baking temp varies by the type of oven, pans, etc. So it could take 20 min. Yes, the cheesecake should have a texture between mousse and jello. Since it's not baked, it has to be a bit firm, otherwise it wouldn't solidify.

    Thank you everyone for your comments!

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  34. I think your gonna make another tofu cheesecake for your family :)

    Safe travels...

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  35. When do you add the 3 spoons of melted butter for the cake?

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  36. Oh wow! What gorgeous pictures there!!

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  37. Hello,


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    Best regards,

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  38. You're very kind for posting your tried and tested recipe for others to see, admire and hopefully use.
    I am off to the store to pick up the ingredients and try this at home. Thanks a lot - love the blog!

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  39. Hi Kitchen M,
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. May I know if I can double-boil tofu, cream cheese and butter instead of microwave? If possible, how long should I double-boil?
    Thank you.

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  40. >Mika
    Sorry I didn't get to respond sooner! Add the melted butter into the egg yolk & sugar mixture at the same time as vanilla extract.

    Thanks for noticing the error!

    >Leen
    Yes, you can double-boil. Make sure that you stir constantly with wire whip and remove from the heat when the mixture becomes smooth but thick. If you have more question, email me. :)

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  41. Hi! Stumbled upon your blog while searching for a tofu cheesecake recipe (: it's gotta be this one! Just wanted to ask, did you have any problems with having small little pieces of tofu in the cake, causing the texture to be un-smooth? It seems like a friend of mine faced this problem.
    Thanks so much (:

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    Replies
    1. I thk the best is strain the mixture before you pouring into your tin:) to avoid any residue or lump.

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  42. >cheese
    No, I've never experienced lumps of tofu in this one. Make sure to use the silken tofu and blend the mixture until very smooth. Good luck!

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  43. I stumble upon your recipe and my impression....WOW...Awesome!!! I have been looking to make Tofu Cake for my son's 16th birthday as he requested months ago and here it is, so delicious looking and soo good to eat. I will try to make it this evening and let you know the outcome. Thanks a million for sharing the recipe and I think its a sure winner for my son!!! Yes!!!

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  44. Your blog is awesome! I really enjoy reading it. I was trying to follow your tofu cheesecake recipe but wanted to know can I substitute agar agar in place of gelatin and how much? Thanks a bunch!

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  45. >Judy
    Thank you! You probably could replace it with agar agar but the texture will be completely different. Agar agar has a firmer, less silky texture which is why gelatin is preferred in this recipe.

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  46. Hi,

    Love your pic.. can I clarify the follwoing :


    For cheesecake filling

    5oz (150 g) Silken Tofu
    8 oz (1 pkg) Cream Cheese
    3 Tbsp Butter
    ¼ c + 1 Tbsp Sugar - What is 1/4 c ? 1/4 cup of?
    ¼ c Kabosu Juice (You can use lemon juice if not available)
    ½ c Crème Fraiche
    2 Tbsp Gelatin Powder
    ¼ c + 2 Tbsp warm water - here too 2 Thsp warm water n ?

    Thanks!

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  47. Yes, c = cup. So ¼ c + 2 Tbsp means ¼ cup & 2 tablespoons.

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  48. Nice Blog! Well most of your content and image is original and informative. /many thanks for sharing this, cheers.
    Kitchen Garden

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  49. Wow! This is really something so pretty! I like it so much. I would love to try this one.

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  50. What a lovely presentation! Thanks for sharing.

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  51. this looked so beautiful that i had to give it a shout out in my entry about no-bake cheesecake filling. here's the entry (which has a link to this page!)

    http://reluctantwwfoodie.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/no-bake-cheesecake-filling/

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  52. How long does this cheesecake stay fresh? What is the best way to store it? Can it be frozen, and if it can, how should we wrap it? Thank you so much!!

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  53. Hi Kitchen M,

    I'm Leen (Eileen). You have helped me alot in this recipe by replying my emails. Thank you very much! Using the double-boil method, I've successfully made this awesome tofu cheesecake. Feel free to drop by my blog to view the picture.
    http://hundredeightydegrees.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/tofu-cheesecake-non-baked/

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  54. Hi dere,

    Juz wanna tk u for sharing dis recipe!!! My hubby said this is the best cheesecake i made. And he cudnt gez i made it out of tofu!

    Tk u!!!

    Eera
    Singapore

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  55. Hi Kitchen M!

    I altered your awesome recipe just a bit and made it into a tofu tiramisu cheesecake recipe! I blogged about it on my food blog and made sure to give you proper credit. Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

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  56. tnguyen@morinu.comJuly 29, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    I am very impressed by the fact that many people are so into tofu-based chocolate mousse. But do you know that when using tofu in your recipes, it takes more effort to whip the protein curd thoroughly. Sometimes, after blending it for so long, the protein particle size is still uneven (just imagine throwing ice into your blender, after you crush it, there are big and small pieces. Similar concept applies to blending tofu). And if you use soymilk or soy powder in place of tofu, then there is no smooth & creamy texture. That's why silken soy puree stands out when compares to tofu, soymilk, and soy powder because during the manufacturing process, silken soy puree has been thoroughly homogenized, which means there are no big or small chunks of protein curd; all are even in size. Also, silken soy puree is smooth & creamy and has low beany taste (much more less than the regular tofu, soymilk, or soy powder). If you like to learn more of this product, you can check it out at: http://silkensoypuree.morinu.com/. It has very detailed information on silken soy puree.

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  57. hi, Kitchen M,
    I came across your site looking for Japanese tofu cheese cake. I cannot find cream fraiche can I use whipped cream instead?
    Thanks
    Helen

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  58. Hi Helen,

    I actually get this question very often. If you replace it with heavy cream or whipping cream, it wouldn't taste the same unfortunately. But if you absolutely can't find cream fraiche, I would use it.

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  59. hi there,

    do i need to strain/drain the tofu before i use it?

    thanks!
    m

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  60. my cheesecake filling ended up very watery. can i know what went wrong? i followed the recipe to the tee.

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  61. Hi, where do u buy Crème Fraiche and silken tofu and what brand? For no- bake cheesecake, the filling i make is always watery. Can u advice?

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  62. I have just made this cheesecake (with one small tweak) and it is divine! Instead of Kabosu Juice I brought 1/2 cup water to the boil, added 1/2 tsp ground ginger and the crushed seeds of 10 cardamom pods and let it reduce to 1/4 cup before straining it and adding the gelatine. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

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  63. Whats the point of making it with tofu if its not vegan, or even vegetarian?

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  64. >Anonymous
    You can find crème fraiche usually in where artisanal cheeses are sold. It comes in a small container. Also Whole Foods always has it. Silken tofu is the softest kind of tofu you can find. It doesn't have to be a particular brand.

    >Daphne
    This recipe wasn't intended to make cheesecake healthier. Tofu was used to create the particular texture and flavor that no other cheesecake can make. If you try this recipe, you'll know what I mean. But if you like very rich and creamy type of cheesecake, you might not like it.

    Tofu wasn't made just for vegetarians or vegans. It's not just a meat alternative. It's enjoyed for what it is and sometime served with other type of meat in many Asian cuisines.

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  65. Fantastic recipe kitchen M! I would like to encourage you a step further, make your own silken tofu, please read about it on my website, I have linked your blog! keep cooking, cheers Amita

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  66. just click on my name and it will take you to my website,cheers Amita

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  67. I am a first time visitor to your blog, and I must say I am bookmarking this site! Not only are your recipes interesting, but your photography is beautiful.

    Do you think I could replace the cream cheese with a soy cream cheese, like Toffuti, without ruining the texture? I can only tolerate small amounts of dairy, and the butter and crème fraiche in this recipe would be enough for me.

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  68. Can creme fraiche be substituted with strained yogurt?

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  69. Hi Kitchen M,
    Went to your original tofu cheesecake recipe (congrats btw :p). The recipe varies a lot, can tell me the difference in the final product, cause now I am confused as to which one to make first cause both looks yummy, thanks

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    Replies
    1. Tried making the original recipe but noticed that the tofu qty is very diff. How tall is the final cheesecake should be?? Will it be more cakes or like a dense pudding?? Cause ur double the cream cheese by mistake, and it took 70-80mins to cook :(. Helppp, thanks

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  70. Hi, I followed your recipe for the filling, however, the guests were saying that the lemon taste is too sour (and strong).

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  71. I tried Peach Tofu cheesecake from Morimoto's too. It was surprisingly good. I can't wait to try your recipe!

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  72. the gelatin made the cheesecake filling very rubbery -- it looked beautiful, but I agree with the comment January 24, that the lemon taste was too strong and the gelatin made the texture too dense. we doubled the sugar and the lemon was still too strong. I will be looking for a different recipe, or altering this one. probably will try 1 T of lemon, and either no gelatin or only 1 T of gelatin. Maybe will try adding whipped cream to give it a fluffier lighter texture.

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  73. Finally today I had a chance to try out this recipe. I was really looking forward to a soft and light cheesecake. Unfortunately, it didn't feel like tofu, it felt like rubber from all the gelatin I suppose.
    Such a waste that it had to go in the bin.

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  74. Hi love, I would love to try your recipe, but 1/4c lemon juice instead of just 1-2 tsp for that little bit of citrus taste? Also 2 Tbsp and not 2 tsp of gelatin (which would usually be sufficient)?

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