This recipe comes from the Aloha State, Hawaii. With one of the largest Japanese and Japanese-American populations in the US, the islands are home to some creative takes on traditional Japanese sweets. As cheesecake is popular in both Japan and the US, this dish is the perfect dessert to carry on the symbolism of the season wherever you are.
- 1 cup of crushed graham crackers
- 4 tbsp of unsalted butter, melted
- 2 packet of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 packet of gelatin
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp matcha (green tea) powder
- ¼ cup of strawberry jam or ½ cup of fresh strawberries
- 2-3 drops of red food coloring(optional)
Tools: 9 inch springform pan, food processor (optional), microwave safe bowl, 3 mixing bowls, handheld or stand mixer
- Let’s start by making the crust. Crush up the graham crackers into crumbs by either smashing them up in a large plastic bag or using a food processor. Put the crumbs into a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix until the crumbs are evenly coated. Add this mixture to a springform pan and press evenly across the bottom of the pan. Put the pan in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Next, add gelatin to a microwave safe bowl and add water. Stir the ingredients together and set aside for 5 minutes. Then, microwave the mixture for 20-30 seconds and set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
- Slowly mix in heavy cream until it’s incorporated and then whip at a higher speed until soft peaks form in the mixture.
- Reduce the mixing speed and drizzle in the warm gelatin (heat up the gelatin if it has cooled). Once added, turn up the mixing speed until firm peaks form.
- Divide the mixture into 3 equal parts and separate into 3 bowls. Add matcha powder to one bowl and mix to combine. Spread the matcha mixture evenly on to the crust. Place the pan into the fridge for 20 minutes to set.
- Remove the pan from the fridge and spread the plain mixture on the matcha layer. Let the pan rest in the fridge for another 20 minutes to set.
- Process the fresh strawberries and add them or the jam to the remaining mixture and mix to combine.
*Optional: mix in a few drops of red food coloring to achieve a brighter pink color.
- Remove the pan from the fridge and spread the pink mixture on to the plain layer. Let the pan rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours until firm.
- Remove the pan from the fridge. Lift your hishimochi cheesecake from the springforl pan and enjoy!