How to Make Ultra Light and Fluffy Cheesecake

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My absolute favorite cheesecake comes from a shop in SF called Zanze's. They stopped retail last year and only sell to a few restaurants now. Basically impossible to get. So over the last year I've been working on my own recipe to approximate it. It's not a NY style. They say the recipe was passed down by the owner's father who is from Croatia and studied baking in Germany. And it's ultra light and fluffy. Similar to a Japanese style, but with that familiar flavor of a NY cheesecake.

And it isn't cake-like. It's still quite creamy, but it's just suuuuuuper airy. I don't know how they do it.

In interviews I've read, they claim the ONLY ingredients are:

Cream cheese
Whole milk
Sugar
Eggs
Lemon juice


The recipe I've landed on tastes about the same. Actually... it's very close. But the texture still isn't as light and fluffy. But it's close:
  • 1 lb. Philly cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 tbsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • A little less than 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3.5 eggs
  • 1 cup regular (not heavy) whipping cream
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
Using a stand mixer:

1. Beat cream cheese and butter until soft and smooth.
2. Add vanilla, sugar, cornstarch. Beat until smooth.
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
4. Gradually add cream with mixer on low.
5. Mixture should be thin and smooth as honey.
6. Add lemon juice last, before placing in oven, and beat just to mix.

Bake at 350 F. for 30 minutes with a water bath.
Rotate 180 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes at 375 F.

Let cool and top with graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar (no crust). And sometimes I'll do Milano cookie crumbs instead.

I've tried then chilling it in the fridge vs just eating it at room temp without chilling first. I actually like it more without putting it in the fridge. It has that light and airy texture I'm trying to achieve. It still tastes great and is somewhat fluffy after keeping it in the fridge overnight. But the cheesecake does tend to set and get more dense. Whereas with Zanze's, you can keep it in the fridge and even freeze it, but at room temp it's still uber fluffy.

I have also tried whipping the egg whites and sugar separately and then folding that in, but it didn't seem to change the results all that much. But I'm willing to try any suggestions.

Either way, my friends love it and say it's the best they've had. So I'm happy there. I'd just like to get it fluffier!

Any thoughts?



dervys6-94e64a1a-4287-4cef-a85b-a50e14616fa5.jpg

dervys1-1ea434b1-51a7-453d-bfb9-2a5595aed83f.jpg

derw2d3-99f7067f-59ad-48ed-a4e2-b3bdc9f6d41e.jpg




And here is Zanze's

zanze.jpg
 
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European "cheesecakes" use yogurt or quark. Google German-language quarkkuchen.

Globus supermarket in Germany has an impressive pastry department with huge fluffy Quarkkuchen by the slice.

Don't believe interviews on recipes for a well known food item. The true recipe is rarely provided.
 
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My absolute favorite cheesecake comes from a shop in SF called Zanze's. They stopped retail last year and only sell to a few restaurants now. Basically impossible to get. So over the last year I've been working on my own recipe to approximate it. It's not a NY style. They say the recipe was passed down by the owner's father who is from Croatia and studied baking in Germany. And it's ultra light and fluffy. Similar to a Japanese style, but with that familiar flavor of a NY cheesecake.

And it isn't cake-like. It's still quite creamy, but it's just suuuuuuper airy. I don't know how they do it.

In interviews I've read, they claim the ONLY ingredients are:

Cream cheese
Whole milk
Sugar
Eggs
Lemon juice


The recipe I've landed on tastes about the same. Actually... it's very close. But the texture still isn't as light and fluffy. But it's close:
  • 1 lb. Philly cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 tbsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • A little less than 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3.5 eggs
  • 1 cup regular (not heavy) whipping cream
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
Using a stand mixer:

1. Beat cream cheese and butter until soft and smooth.
2. Add vanilla, sugar, cornstarch. Beat until smooth.
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
4. Gradually add cream with mixer on low.
5. Mixture should be thin and smooth as honey.
6. Add lemon juice last, before placing in oven, and beat just to mix.

Bake at 350 F. for 30 minutes with a water bath.
Rotate 180 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes at 375 F.

Let cool and top with graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar (no crust). And sometimes I'll do Milano cookie crumbs instead.

I've tried then chilling it in the fridge vs just eating it at room temp without chilling first. I actually like it more without putting it in the fridge. It has that light and airy texture I'm trying to achieve. It still tastes great and is somewhat fluffy after keeping it in the fridge overnight. But the cheesecake does tend to set and get more dense. Whereas with Zanze's, you can keep it in the fridge and even freeze it, but at room temp it's still uber fluffy.

I have also tried whipping the egg whites and sugar separately and then folding that in, but it didn't seem to change the results all that much. But I'm willing to try any suggestions.

Either way, my friends love it and say it's the best they've had. So I'm happy there. I'd just like to get it fluffier!

Any thoughts?



dervys6-94e64a1a-4287-4cef-a85b-a50e14616fa5.jpg

dervys1-1ea434b1-51a7-453d-bfb9-2a5595aed83f.jpg

derw2d3-99f7067f-59ad-48ed-a4e2-b3bdc9f6d41e.jpg




And here is Zanze's

zanze.jpg
Yowzee yowzer! Beautiful cakes. Well done.
Oh sorry, I'm brand new here. Half German raised with cheese cake - in the home. Never tried one because, because why - stupid I guess but seriously never had one till I was married and all of a sudden I started making different types (one was with a hard chocolate topping and strawberries (first month) just saying how when we find a passion we just go all out (like my soaping). My mother used to make many types but the most made was the German style. There was also one called Ramen kuchen which was flatter and more creamy - well, just different and then who has heard of the Paula Carson cheese cake. Its a Bundt kuchen Cheese cake. I can get all the recipes if you want - extra tested and long time approved but for you living in areas where you can get everything (I cannot) I will give my favorite that I used to make in Toronto. Nice to meet you all and EXCELLENT cakes above. I are they all the same recipe? Looking forward to Cheesing with you all (I just coined that (i think))! yeah I know, kind of cheesy. But that's me.
 
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I would consider maybe cutting down on the cornstarch to see if that would help with it being more fluffy.
 
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Fluffy usually means less fat, more air entrainment (whipping, beating) or a leavening agent such as meringue or a chemical leavener.
 
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Yup leaving out the butter, substituting whole milk for heavy cream, and whipping egg whites separately did the trick. Super light and fluffy. Almost like mousse.
 
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And here is Zanze's

zanze.jpg

that’s a Japanese (soufflé) style cheesecake. To get a light puffy cheesecake you need to separate the eggs; properly beat whites to soft peaks; fold in whipped egg whites; bake slow at low temperature =/< 300°F; use a Bain Marie.

A cheesecake like this is usually stabilized with a little starch or very low protein flour like beached cake flour.
 
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that’s a Japanese (soufflé) style cheesecake. To get a light puffy cheesecake you need to separate the eggs; properly beat whites to soft peaks; fold in whipped egg whites; bake slow at low temperature =/< 300°F; use a Bain Marie.

A cheesecake like this is usually stabilized with a little starch or very low protein flour like beached cake flour.

Yup and since starting this thread two years ago, I've had plenty of practice haha. Here's one I made the other day. Super smooth and creamy, yet fluffy and cloud-like at the same time. I'm really happy with where my recipe is at. It's basically cheesecake mousse and it's been a big hit. And I think it's a bit closer to German Käsekuchen than to Japanese style, which is more caky in texture and more mild in flavor.

0D8014C5-B8AE-41E9-ADC7-49F8CB3DF39F.JPG
 

SHA

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Yup and since starting this thread two years ago, I've had plenty of practice haha. Here's one I made the other day. Super smooth and creamy, yet fluffy and cloud-like at the same time. I'm really happy with where my recipe is at. It's basically cheesecake mousse and it's been a big hit. And I think it's a bit closer to German Käsekuchen than to Japanese style, which is more caky in texture and more mild in flavor.

View attachment 4809
Can you display your final recipe/instructions ?

Also, as a side question, I've tried everything to bake a cheesecake without cracks and nothing has worked (I use the Cook's Illustrated recipe). I haven't tried using a water bath but other than that, I'm curious if anyone has any suggestions >
 
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To make an ultra-light and fluffy cheesecake, follow these steps:

  1. Ingredients:
    • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
    • Fresh berries or fruit compote (for serving, optional)
  2. Preparing the Crust:
    • Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
    • In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until well combined.
    • Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, creating an even crust layer.
    • Place the pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
  3. Making the Cheesecake Filling:
    • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
    • Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until well incorporated.
    • Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
    • Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
    • Add the sour cream and flour, and mix until the batter is smooth and creamy.
    • Optional: Add the lemon zest and gently fold it into the batter for a hint of citrus flavor.
  4. Baking the Cheesecake:
    • Pour the cheesecake batter over the prepared crust in the springform pan.
    • Tap the pan gently on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
    • Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes, or until the center is set but still slightly jiggly.
    • Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for an additional hour to cool gradually.
    • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely at room temperature.
    • Once cooled, refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight to set.
  5. Serving the Cheesecake:
    • Carefully remove the sides of the springform pan.
    • Slice the cheesecake into desired portions.
    • Serve as is or garnish with fresh berries or fruit compote for added flavor and presentation.
By following these steps, you should achieve an ultra-light and fluffy cheesecake with a creamy texture and delightful taste. Enjoy!
 
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Yup and since starting this thread two years ago, I've had plenty of practice haha. Here's one I made the other day. Super smooth and creamy, yet fluffy and cloud-like at the same time. I'm really happy with where my recipe is at. It's basically cheesecake mousse and it's been a big hit. And I think it's a bit closer to German Käsekuchen than to Japanese style, which is more caky in texture and more mild in flavor.

View attachment 4809
Beautiful cheesecake. Inspiring me to bake a cheesecake now. But I want to make one with a fresh goat cheese for the tangy flavor.
 
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Yup and since starting this thread two years ago, I've had plenty of practice haha. Here's one I made the other day. Super smooth and creamy, yet fluffy and cloud-like at the same time. I'm really happy with where my recipe is at. It's basically cheesecake mousse and it's been a big hit. And I think it's a bit closer to German Käsekuchen than to Japanese style, which is more caky in texture and more mild in flavor.

View attachment 4809
can you post your recipe please?
 

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