Strawberry double cheesecake

here is cheesecake. two, in fact: a "rare" japanese cheesecake with puréed strawberries sandwiched between two halves of a baked japanese cheesecake, both varieties employed are more commonly found in japan than the heavy new york-style cake, hence the "japanese" moniker. "rare" is just an allusion to the fact that is uncooked (as in a rare steak), just yogurt, cream cheese, strawberries and sugar set with a little bit of gelatin. i adapted a recipe from for this. the baked cheesecake contains less than half the cream cheese of your average american style cake, and has a soft, silky, fluffy texture from whipped egg whites. it is because of this that it is sometimes known as a cheesecake soufflé (or soufflé cheesecake).

strawberry double cheesecake
"rare" layer:

1 package/8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup yogurt-plain, vanilla or strawberry-flavoured, your choice
1- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries, puréed
1/3 cup sugar, more if the strawberries aren`t sweet
2 tbsps lemon juice
1 packet/1 tbsp powder gelatin
1/4 cup water

mix gelatin and water in a small container, set aside. put gelatin mixture into microwave and heat for about a minute. dump softened cream cheese, yogurt, fruit, sugar, lemon juice, and gelatin; mix well. pour the filling into an 8" cake pan lined with plastic wrap; spread evenly. refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.

baked layer:

1 package/8oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoonfuls lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

preheat oven to 325F . place a parchment round on the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan or springform pan.
beat cream cheese and cream together. add egg yolks, cornstarch, lemon juice, and half the sugar until smooth. beat egg whites in a separate bowl until foamy with a hand mixer. add remaining sugar and cream of tartar, beating until soft peaks form. slowly fold beaten egg whites into cream-cheese mixture, until thoroughly combined. pour into cake pan and smooth the surface. place cake pan into a larger roasting pan and place in lower rack of oven. pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the side of the cake pan. bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until cake has pulled away from the pan, and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

cool in the pan on a rack (it will deflate), then unmold cheesecake. refrigerate for at least three hours. once cooled, carefully cut the cake in half horizontally so you have two layers. unmold the rare cheesecake and place it on top of one layer. spread a layer of strawberry jam or cut fruit, if you want. top with second baked cheesecake layer. since the baked cheesecake will have shrunk a bit, a little trimming of the middle layer will be necessary. you can serve it immediately, but i prefer to cover the cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerate so that the layers "settle"a bit.

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