Tofu Kasutera Cheesecake
Makes 9 servings
For the Kasutera cake layer:
1 (16 ounces/1 pound) kasutera (castella cake) cut into 3/4-inch thick slices
For the Cheesecake layer:
12.3 ounces (one box) extra firm silken tofu (like Morinaga’s extra firm silken tofu)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (or Neufchâtel to lighten things up even more)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) powdered gelatin
Raspberry jam mixed with cold water to reach desired consistency, for serving
1. Prepare the Kasutera cake layer: Line the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with the slices of kasutera. Cut pieces of cake as needed to fill in any gaps. Set aside.
2. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Put the tofu and lemon juice into a food processor and puree until smooth.
3. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add the tofu mixture and mix until smooth and incorporated.
4. Put the heavy cream in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the cream is warm to the touch, but not hot. Sprinkle the gelatin over the warm cream and stir until it has dissolved, then remove the saucepan from the heat and pour into the cheese cake mixture and stir to combine.
5. Assemble the cake: Pour the cheesecake filling over the prepared kasutera layer. Cover and chill until set, at least 4 hours.
6. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator. Run a knife down the edges of the cake to separate it from the sides of the baking pan. Slice the cake into 9 pieces, wiping the knife blade clean between each cut to ensure clean edges.
7. Spoon some raspberry jam over each piece of cake and serve. Best eaten within 36 hours after making.