As you all know, I recently came back from a trip to Japan. While I was there, I purchased a delightful japanese dessert cookbook which I have been dying to dig into. The only downfall: it is (of course) 100% written in Japanese. Thankfully through the combination of my level of Japanese and (mostly) many step-by-step picture instructions I am able to translate enough of the recipes to use it!
A few months ago I purchased some Matcha so I could make some Matcha Brioches. Since I had some on hand, I looked for a recipe that used Matcha and ended up choosing this Marbled Matcha Cheesecake recipe.
After spending some time translating the recipe this morning (which turned into an online goose chase when I encountered unknown kanji) I was finally ready to start baking!
For those of you reading this who are learning Japanese too (most likely friends from my class) here are some useful cooking vocabulary I learned today. (in the case you are ever trying to translate a japanese recipe…)
• 薄力粉 （はくりきこ）Wheat Flour
• ゴムベら Spatula
I think fellow-Japanese-Language-Learners are the only people who will truly appreciate the lengths I went to in order to be able to translate this by myself without looking in a radical dictionary. For the kanji I didn’t know, I painstakingly drew them into the sketch pad on nciku and then copy pasted the correct kanji I found into a Japanese online dictionary. Does anyone have any hints for doing this a simpler way? (besides doing the smart thing and actually asking a fluent japanese speaker I mean…)
Anyway, here is some inspirational music to listen to while you are reading the rest of this post, in case you start feeling too hungry and need a distraction. I was actually having a one person dance party to this song while I was baking the cheesecake. I hope you all enjoy it too! the song is called “아름다운 밤” by 울랄라세션 or “Beautiful Night” by Ohlala Session.
Okay, now that everything is settled, onto the baking!
First, I made the crust out of graham crackers and butter, then let it rest in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
Then, I made the base to the cheesecake out of cream cheese, sour cream, a little sugar and a few eggs.
After adding the Matcha to the base and pouring it into the prepared crust, I was ready to “decorate”!
By leaving out a small amount of batter I was able to add more matcha, and use this darker color to create a marbled effect and a pretty decoration on top of the cheesecake. I attempted to create three lines of heart shapes by piping circles and dragging a toothpick through them, but the cheesecake was quite thick and it didn’t quite go as smoothly as planned.
Finally, the cheesecake was baked, cooled, refrigerated, and un-molded! TADA!
Marbled Matcha Cheesecake Recipe
8 oz cream cheese
4 oz sour cream
3 T granulated sugar
2 tsp “weak” wheat flour*
1 tsp + 1 tsp Matcha**
3.5 oz graham crackers*
4 T melted butter
1) Grind/smash the graham crackers into fine, sand-like crumbs.
2) Add butter to the graham crackers, then press into a 7 inch spring form cheesecake pan.
3) Wrap the pan with crust with cling wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
4) Put the cream cheese in a bowl and mix until smooth.
5) Add in the sour cream and sugar, and mix until combined.
6) Add the eggs one at a time, and mix until just combined.
7) Take out a small amount of cheesecake batter and mix in the first teaspoon of matcha. Return to the original cheesecake batter and mix thoroughly.
8) Once again, take out a small amount of batter (about 1-2 tablespoons) and mix in the additional matcha, and set this aside.
9) Add the flour and mix with a spatula.
10) Pour the batter into the chilled, prepared crust.
11) Decorate the top of the cheesecake in the pan with the batter that has been set aside, either using a spoon or a piping bag. Drag a toothpick through the darker batter to create designs—such as hearts.
12) Bake at 170C or 338F for about 30-35 minutes.
13) Let the cheesecake cool and enjoy!
*GF graham crackers and GF flour could be used to make this cheesecake entirely gluten free. The only reason I didn’t this time was because I was unsure how the recipe would turn out, and there were enough variables with me needing to translate the recipe and convert from grams. ☺
**It IS a Matcha Cheesecake, but if you can’t find Matcha or dislike the taste, the cookbook I used recommends using instant coffee granules (the same amount) instead of the matcha.
• The cheesecake held it’s form perfectly, and didn’t brown on the top so you could really see the color of the Matcha.
• The flavor of the matcha was underwhelming in my opinion, and the flavor of the cream cheese was overpowering. Maybe next time I will add vanilla and more matcha? That said, I ate the cheesecake with some fresh blueberries and the combination was quite delicious… maybe serve it with whipped cream and fresh berries?
• I love the size of Japanese desserts! They are small enough that you don’t have leftovers for a week and big enough to be worthwhile making without doubling the recipe!
• I am writing down my thoughts as I eat my slice of cheesecake, and I have to say, the more I am eating of it, the more I enjoy it! 😛
Result: Success! 3.5/5 stars