Having seen an episode of The Great British Bake Off, I decided to bite off more than I could chew and made a yuzu cheesecake. As yuzu was described, on the program, as having a taste somewhere between mango and kiwi I was expecting a nice, fruity cheesecake. What I got was something like a not-quite-ginger, but bitter.

The recipe I used was a very basic cheesecake, with the yuzu added once the primary cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar were mixed.

Can anyone suggest what I should do - specifically for yuzu flavouring - or what might have gone wrong and perhaps what yuzu should taste like when used correctly?

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    In what form was the yuzu you used? It is sour and bitter when fresh, and i have seen it salted, pickled, frozen, and mixed with other ingredients. Often for desserts a yuzu syrup/candied yuzu would be used, made by boiling fresh yuzu rind in a stock syrup, with the juice squeezed in. – canardgras Jul 10 '18 at 15:42
  • Ah. Looks like I’ll need to go back to the drawing board. Can the bottles liquid be used in desserts? I couldn’t find it in any other form. – Matt W Jul 10 '18 at 17:14
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    I can't see a reason for them not to be used, but I don't think the taste will be as fresh and citrusy (I bought a small bottle a long time ago and seem to remember it being dull in flavour, due to heat treatment). Do you know if there are other ingredients in your bottle? Some include orange or lemon juice to bring the cost down, salt to preserve it or even vinegar or soy sauce to create a dressing/dipping sauce (though this would normally be labelled as such) – canardgras Jul 10 '18 at 17:49
  • I got it from waitrose (U.K.). Not sure on the ingredients but I don’t remember it being labelled as for a specific use. – Matt W Jul 10 '18 at 17:55

Given that you were using bottled 100% yuzu juice (assuming this is what you bought), which although not as flavorsome as fresh yuzu, still tastes generally similar, I would say the 'disappointment' comes from how it was used.

When I have had yuzu based desserts they have nearly always used a yuzu syrup or jam or yuzu honey, giving a more jammy, sweet taste akin to marmalade but with a the indescribable, heady complexity of yuzu.

Try mixing the juice with an equal quantity of sugar, and simmering until you have a runny syrup. I believe this will have the flavour you are looking for.

You can then use this syrup in many different ways e.g. cocktails, added to a cup of hot water to make yuzu tea, over ice cream etc.

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    Thank you! That sounds exactly what I’m looking for. Will try at the next opportunity. And yes, that link is what I bought. When you say ‘equal quantity of sugar’ do you mean by weight? – Matt W Jul 11 '18 at 5:30
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    i would do equal volumes to begin with, to avoid it being too sugary. you can always just reduce it a bit further, as then your yuzu flavour will be more pronounced. might be worth playing around with until you get the flavour you desire. over-reducing too much will make it dull and bitter – canardgras Jul 11 '18 at 11:41

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