Japanese fruit jelly is a light, pretty dessert that is perfect after a heavy meal or on a warm day. If you’re bringing them to a party, you can easily scale up the recipe.
Japanese Fruit Jelly
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Yield: 5 servings
- 1 (0.25-oz) pack gelatin powder
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1 (15-oz) can mandarin oranges OR peach chunks in heavy syrup
- 1/4 cup sugar
- In a bowl, place gelatin powder and pour in boiling water. Stir to dissolve gelatin completely.
- Add sugar to bowl and whisk until dissolved.
- Drain canned fruit, reserving syrup in a measuring cup. Add enough water to syrup to make 1 cup.
- Stir syrup mixture into gelatin mixture.
- Divide canned fruit among 5 serving glasses.
- Pour gelatin mixture over fruit, and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until set completely (it takes several hours).
I first tried Japanese souffle cheesecake on a visit to Taiwan and really liked it. As its name suggests, it’s fluffier and lighter than American cheesecake. The gluten-free version is somewhat crumbly, but if you use a sharp knife and clean off the blade between cuts, that should help.
Japanese Souffle Cheesecake
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Yield: 9″ cake
- 400 g (14.1 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 5 tablespoons+1/2 cup (60 g+100 g) granulated sugar, divided
- 4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
- 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 200 ml heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon rum (optional)
- 1/2 cup (80 g) gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
- 6 egg whites, at room temperature
For the glaze:
- 3 Tbsp apricot jam, or other seedless jam of your choice
- 1 tsp water
Measure out cream cheese, butter, egg yolks, and heavy cream, and bring them to room temperature.
If you feel motivated, lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. This will make the sides of the cheesecake look tidier and make removal easier. However, I just served it directly from the base of the pan, so I skipped the extra step.
Wrap base and sides of pan with aluminum foil, preferably extra-large heavy duty foil. Make sure the foil comes up the sides to prevent seepage from the water bath.
Center rack in oven and preheat to 320°F. Boil water for water bath.
While water is coming to a boil, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth.
Beat in butter and mix until smooth.
Beat in egg yolks and heavy cream and mix until smooth.
Beat in lemon juice and rum and mix until very smooth.
If desired, sift flour twice before beating it in all at once. (I skipped the sifting.) Again, mix well.
Pour batter into a large bowl.
Wash mixer bowl and dry completely. Any oil or water will prevent the meringue from fluffing up properly.
In the clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy.
While continuing to beat, pour in sugar in three additions.
Beat on high speed until meringue forms stiff peaks. It should double in volume and look thick and glossy. Don’t overbeat, or you won’t be able to fold the meringue into the batter properly.
Add 1/3 of the meringue to batter and mix well to lighten batter.
Add the rest of the meringue in 2-3 more additions, gently folding it in with a rubber spatula.
Pour batter into pan and drop the pan from a height of 2-3″ onto the countertop to remove any air bubbles.
Set cake pan in large roasting pan and pour in boiling water until it comes 1″ up the sides of the cake pan.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Lower temperature to 300ºF and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Don’t worry if the top has cracked a little.
Turn off oven and crack the door open. Let cake sit in oven for 15 minutes so it can cool gradually.
Take cake out from oven, remove aluminum foil, and place springform pan on wire rack to cool.
In a small bowl, heat jam and water in microwave for 30 seconds. It will be very runny.
Spoon jam glaze onto cake and spread evenly with the back of the spoon.
Cool cake completely, transfer to serving platter, and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. (Or you can just leave the cake in the pan.) Cover to prevent it from picking up any other flavors.
To serve, cut cake with a fishing line or a warm knife. For the cleanest cuts, run knife under hot water and wipe off before each cut.
- Cake can be stored, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just defrost at room temperature while covered. The glaze looks best the day it’s applied, so I would store the cake unglazed.
When my sister’s friend visited from Japan, he brought a box of delicious mochi triangles filled with red bean and matcha green tea paste. I just had to make them myself, with a few modifications for my friends with food allergies. The combination of mochi and vanilla pudding filling (to avoid beans) creates an intriguing flavor. You can probably use pastry cream or ice cream too.
The shiratamako and joshinko flours are unusual, but you can find them in a Japanese grocery store. Otherwise, just use mochiko flour, although the original recipe warns that the texture will be different.
Cinnamon Mochi Triangles (Yatsuhashi)
Adapted from Just One Cookbook
Yield: 8-10 mochi triangles
- Scant ¼ cup (30 g) shiratamako OR mochiko flour
- ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon water
- ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon (60 g) sugar
- ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons (50 g) joshinko rice flour OR more mochiko if you can’t find joshinko
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ⅔ cup (150 g) red bean paste (anko) OR a package of cook and serve vanilla pudding
- Soybean powder (kinako) OR rice flour, for dusting work surface
- If using vanilla pudding for the filling, prepare this now, following directions on the package.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine shiratamako and water. The shiratamako looks very coarse, but the lumps dissolve will quickly.
- Whisk until there are no more lumps of flour.
- With a spatula, mix in sugar and joshinko, until the mixture is smooth and you can see the bottom of the bowl for a second when you draw a line. If necessary, add a little more water.
- To cook the mochi mixture, you can use a microwave or steam it on the stove.
To microwave it, cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap, adjust microwave power to about 700W, and microwave for 1.5 minutes. Stir mixture with a wet spatula, cover again, and microwave for another 1-1.5 minutes, until the mixture is thick and sticky.
To steam the mochi mixture on the stove, put a steamer rack in a large pot, fill the bottom of the pot with water, and bring to a boil. Place bowl on steamer rack, making sure that the water won’t flood into the bowl. Wrap the pot lid with a kitchen towel so that condensation won’t drop into the mixture, cover pot, and steam for 12-15 minutes, until the mixture is thick and sticky.
- Dust a work surface with soybean powder OR rice flour.
- Flatten the dough somewhat, sprinkle with cinnamon, and knead it in.
- With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin, roughly rectangular sheet and cut out 3″ x 3″ squares. They will look like wonton wrappers.
- Knead and roll out the dough scraps to cut more squares.
- Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each square and fold in half diagonally.
- Pinch edges together gently, wetting them with water to seal if necessary.
- Store at room temperature for up to 1 day. (Putting them in the refrigerator will make the mochi hard.)