Matcha green tea cheesecake is an elegant, creamy Japanese dessert with a sweet graham cracker crumb crust. The dessert is deceptively easier to prepare than what you might have imagined. Its name alone suggests elegance, yet it requires no time in the oven and is simply refrigerated. The secret is gelatin.
According to Japanese cuisine, this style of cheesecake that is not baked, but instead mixed with gelatin and chilled in the refrigerator to set, is referred to as "rare cheesecake". By western culinary standards, by no means is this Japanese style cheesecake indeed "rare", as in undercooked, possibly raw, and harboring potentially harmful bacteria. Instead, the Japanese terminology for "rare" simply indicates that the cheesecake is not baked, but rather set with gelatin.
The beauty of this Japanese style matcha cheesecake is that it offers creative presentation options because it is not baked. While the recipe below suggests the use of a single cake pan, the dessert can also be prepared in beautiful individual glasses, bowls, or ramekins.
- Add seasonal berries or freshly whipped cream as garnish for the matcha green tea cheesecake.
- Dust the cheesecake with matcha powder to garnish the matcha cheesecake just prior to serving.
Article Edited by Judy Ung
- For Crust:
- 1 package (or sleeve) of graham crackers crushed into crumbs
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
- For Cheesecake Filling:
- 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin powder (example: Knox Gelatin)
- 1/4 cup water
- 6-ounce cream cheese (softened)
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder
- 3 tablespoon warm water
- In a small bowl combine unflavored gelatin powder and 1/4 cup water. Mix and set aside.
- Prepare crust.
- In a separate bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl.
- Spread the crumb mixture in the bottom of an 8 inch round cake pan. Flatten the crumbs by pressing it with the back of a spoon to create a solid crust. Chill crust in the refrigerator while the filling is prepared.
- Prepare the cheesecake filling.
- In a small bowl combine matcha green tea powder with 3 tablespoons warm water to dissolve the powder completely. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix softened cream cheese and sugar together. Use a mixer for best results.
- Add plain yogurt and heavy cream to the cream cheese mixture and mix until smooth.
- Next, add matcha green tea liquid to the cheesecake mixture and mix until incorporated. The filling will become a light green color.
- Heat the solid gelatin mixture in the microwave until it becomes liquid and add it to the cheesecake filling. Stir well.
- Pour the filling on top of the crust and spread evenly.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for 6 hours, or until set.