Togarashi Cheesecake

Togarashi Cheesecake Top View

Togarashi Cheesecake gets its name from a blend of Japanese spices. It lends a very subtle flavor to the cake that makes you go hmmm, but the harmonious flavors make you go yummm.

This, with a couple of tweaks is based on the recipe of a favorite chef, Ed Lee of Louisville, KY. I’m ashamed to say although it has been on his menu at Milkwood for years, I never had room for dessert until recently. How special can cheesecake be? The answer is very special, especially with the pineapple chutney and miso caramel!

History of Cheesecake

Togarashi cheesecake was invented circa 2012, but it’s predecessor originated in Greece over 4000 years ago. The first recipe was recorded in 230 A.D. and after Roman Conquest, began to spread throughout the world. Each culture modified and added their touch, reaching U.S. shores in the 19th century where New York style cheesecake was born. Read more at

Why Ed Lee?

Several people asked, so I thought it’s time to explain why I feel a connection to Ed. He’s from New York, of Korean lineage and migrated to my hometown. He’s adopted Louisville and Kentucky as his own, and has become an ambassador for everything culinary related. That includes our beloved bourbon, so the answer is simple. I admire that and enjoy watching his exploits like beating Bobby Flay and competing on Top Chef. Oh yeah, I also like his food.

And just one more thing…

Ed calls his a “Southern Kitchen” and it certainly is, with a decidedly Asian influence. Some might call this “cultural appropriation”, but I call it really good food.





  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Crush the graham crackers and mix in 2-1/2 TBL sugar and melted butter with a fork until evenly moistened
  3. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9″spring-form pan
  4. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes, then cool completely
  5. After it cools, wrap the bottom of the pan extending up the sides with over-size aluminum foil to prevent leakage when placed into a water-bath
  6. Reduce oven temp to 325
  7. Stir together the lemon juice and whole milk and let set for 5-10 minutes to make the equivalent of buttermilk
  8. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the goat cheese, cream cheese and buttermilk until smooth and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. Don’t over-beat it! If you introduce too much air it will puff and crack
  9. Gradually and slowly beat in the sugar
  10. Add the eggs one at a time until incorporated
  11. Add the lemon juice, zest and 1/2 tsp of togarashi spice, continue to mix until smooth
  12. Pour the filling into the pan and sprinkle with the remaining togarashi spice
  13. Place the aluminum foil wrapped pan inside a large roasting pan and pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come 1/3 of the way up the sides of the cake pan
  14. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, OR, until the top has turned a light brown. The cake should be only slightly puffy when done
  15. Remove the cake pan from the water bath
  16. Cool on a rack for 1-1/2 hours
  17. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours
  18. Cut around the sides of the pan, release and carefully remove the spring-form sides
  19. Use a thin metal spatula to slide under the cake and separate from the bottom
  20. Slide the cheesecake onto a serving platter
  21. Moisten a knife with hot water, dry and slice the cake into individual pieces
  22. Garnish with pineapple chutney and drizzle with miso caramel

Mixing butter and cookie crumbs Togarashi cheesecake crust

Togarashi cheesecake ready to bake Togarashi cheesecake batter

Togarashi Cheesecake baked