7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake

7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake

Visitors to Japan are frequently surprised by the variety and delicacy of our sweets and cakes, not least of all those originating with European cake-making traditions. Japanese patissiers have, since the 19th Century, sought to apply a uniquely Japanese aesthetic to their creations, combining this sense for presentation with a lightness of taste and texture more appealing to the Japanese palate.

Today, more and more people around the world are beginning to appreciate this lighter, less sweet style of baking from Japan, and the success of the Japanese cheesecake is a case in point. The humble cheesecake has been around since the time of ancient Greece and there are numerous styles common in many countries worldwide. Of course, the ‘rare’ or uncooked variety with its characteristic biscuit crumb base and smooth creamy filling is just as popular in Japan, whilst baked Japanese cheesecake has captured the imagination, and taste buds, of home bakers around the world. Unlike New York baked cheesecake, with its dense, heavy texture and high sugar content, baked Japanese cheesecake is more akin to a soufflé or chiffon cake with a light, fluffy texture that is much less sweet. Practically every cafe and bakery in Japan serves one kind of cheesecake or another, and many specialise in this delicious art. Below is a small selection of some of the better known Japanese cheesecake outlets.



 

7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake

 

1. Uncle Tetsu’s

7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake_Uncle Tetsu’s

It is said that the first baked Japanese cheesecake went on sale in Fukuoka in 1948 under the name Uncle Tetsu. But today’s Uncle Tetsu shops were founded in 1990, and their simple fluffy and creamy cheesecake is a favorite with anyone who tries it. With just two shops in Fukuoka, finding Uncle Tetsu products in other locations in Japan is unlikely, but the brand now has over 70 outlets in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Taiwan and Canada.

 

2. Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory

7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake_Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory

If you are planning to visit the sites in Tokyo, or are passing through Haneda airport, you may well find one of Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory’s 8 stores close by. Their Milk Cheesecake is an unusual yet elegant design made with French and Hokkaido cheeses, Hokkaido cream and milk. Check out their website for locations and products.

 

3. PABLO’s Cheese Tarts

7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake_PABLO’s Cheese Tarts

A well known chain of stores in Osaka, now with branches in Tokyo’s Shibuya and Shinjuku districts, PABLO offers a wide range of rare and baked in a crust cheesecakes that include plain, double chocolate, double berry, green tea and adzuki bean, cinnamon and apple, and chocolate and banana. They also sell a wide variety of other sweets made with cheese and entertain their customers with a smile and a dance! PABLO also has an online order service. Check out their website for locations and products.

 

4. Rikuro Ojisan no Mise

7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake_Rikuro Ojisan no Mise

For visitors to Osaka, Rikuro Ojisan no Mise (Uncle Rikuro’s) might well be worth a visit. Their cheesecakes are very different to PABLO’s, more like Uncle Tetsu. Visitors can try both shops while in Osaka and there is always a lively debate over which is best! Unfortunately, the Rikuro Ojisan no Mise website is in Japanese only, but anyone will be able to direct you to this very popular bakery.

 

5. Johann Cheese Cake

7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake_Johann Cheese Cake

Founded in 1978, Johann is well-known bakery specialising in traditional cheesecake in four distinctive flavours: natural, mellow, blueberry and sour soft. Their bakery store is located in Kamimeguro, Tokyo, and their products are also sold through selected department stores. Visit their website for details of locations, products and prices.

 

6. Shirotae

7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake_shirotae

Shirotae is a cafe restaurant near Akasaka-Mitsuke station in Tokyo. One of their bakery specialities is a soft and fluffy cheesecake made with cream cheese imported from Denmark. This is a particular favourite of mine and I recommend you visit Shirotae if you are looking for a really special Japanese cheesecake.

 

7. Food Halls

7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake_cheese cake isetan

The larger department stores in Japan (Isetan, Mitsukoshi, Seibu, Marui, etc.) typically have a food hall in the basement levels, as well as a supermarket. In the food halls you will usually find a wide variety of independent sellers, including many well know bakeries. It is more than likely that any Japanese cheesecakes, or indeed any sweets, you find will be of high quality. So if you are looking for a sweet to take home or back to your hotel, department store food halls offer a wide variety all under one roof.

 

Conclusion

What the future holds for independent bakeries is uncertain. The economic downturn of recent years has meant that consumers might think twice before ending their shopping trips at a cafe restaurant. Add to that the rising costs of ingredients and overheads and no doubt many bakers are understandably concerned. We can only hope that these troubled times will soon be behind us. But that is part of the attraction of the Japanese cheesecake, that enjoying a slice can make us forget our troubles, for a while at least! Of course, you do not have to come all the way to Japan to enjoy Japanese cheesecake. The fact is, the recipe is very simple, so why not try making it yourself? Just type “Japanese cheesecake recipes” in your browser and you will find literally dozens of recipes. In this way we can all help keep the art of the Japanese cheesecake alive.

 

7 Extremely Addictive Japanese Cheesecake

1. Uncle Tetsu’s
2. Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory
3. PABLO’s Cheese Tarts
4. Rikuro Ojisan no Mise
5. Johann Cheese Cake
6. Shirotae
7. Food Halls