Burnt Basque Cheeecake

@cheese.and.han | Hannah
by @cheese.and.han | Hannah
12-18 slices
1 hr

One of my favourite desserts ever is a Burnt Basque Cheesecake. It reminds me of a great few days away in San Sebastian in Spain that my boyfriend and I had a few years ago. After every meal, no matter how full we were, we found a little bit of a space for a slice of cheesecake ;)

It's similar in texture to a New York, baked cheesecake, soft and light, but incredibly decadent. There's no base on this cheesecake, which may be controversial to some people but I happen to love it, the caramelized topping giving enough contrast in texture to the light and fluffy innards.

As always, let me know in the comments if you try it!


A note on ingredients:

  • I have listed Caster sugar, which is a superfine white sugar we have in the UK. If you can't find that a regular white, granulated sugar would work well too, just check it has fully dissolved in the mixture before baking to avoid a grainy texture.
  • The soft cheese I have used was Philadelphia cream cheese.
  • I have also listed creme fraiche as an ingredient, which is very common in europe and is made from dairy cream that's been soured using bacteria. You could use sour cream instead
Recipe details
  • 12-18  slices
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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  • 700 g (3 cups/1.5 lbs) full fat soft cream cheese (I used Philadelphia and left it room temperature for an hour or so to soften)
  • 350 g (1.5 cups) full fat crème fraîche (sour cream would work instead)
  • 300 g (1.5 cups) caster sugar (superfine white sugar)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 210°C (fan assisted) or 230°C non fan (450°F or Gas mark 8)
Take a loose bottomed cake tin around 20 cm or 8 inches in diagmeter, and line the bottom with a circle. Next, line the sides with strips of greaseproof paper, so they stick out a few cms over the top of the tin. Next, take another large sheet of greaseproof paper, and scrunch it up into a loose ball. Unfold, and place over the cake tin . This will form a waterproof layer between the cake batter (which we will pour into this sheet) and the remaining lining, ie cover the gap round the edge. It also gives the cheesecake its characteristic rugged and crinkled shape. If it doesn't sit in the tin very well now, it doesn't matter, the weight of the cake will hold it down, just make sure it's big enough that once filled, the sides will still stick out of the cake tin
Take a mixer or an electric beater, and on a very slow speed, mix the cream cheese until soft. Ideally we dont want to get too much air in this cake as it's supposed to be dense, so don't try and speed things up too much
Once soft, add the crème fraîche, mix, and once combined, add the sugar and salt.
Once the sugar is dissolved (you'll know because it no longer looks or feels grainy), add the vanilla, and one egg at a time, mixing the whole way through
Once the eggs are combined, you'll have a very wet batter. Take a cup, add the cornflour, and take a few tbsps of the cake mixture, and mix them together well to combine. Once mixed, add back to the main mixing bowl. This ensures the cornflour is evenly distributed and wont clump together.
Now, pour the cake mixture into the cake tin and pop into the oven. After about 35 minutes, give it a check - it goes brown and then black very very quickly, so keep an eye on it, you may need a bit more or a bit less time depending on your oven
After your happy with the burnished finish, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for at least an hour. It will still appear very wobbly at this point but don't worry, it will still cook through whilst its cooling.
After the waiting agony is over, you can either have a slice now, but beware it might not cut very neatly, or leave to chill in the fridge for a while before slicing.
@cheese.and.han | Hannah
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  • Latte1 Latte1 on Mar 06, 2022

    Is the soft cheese ricotta?


    • See 4 previous
    • @cheese.and.han | Hannah @cheese.and.han | Hannah on Mar 07, 2022

      I use cream cheese (Philadelphia) for the soft cheese.

      I didn't realise that Caster sugar was a British term until just now. It's a finer sugar than regular white, granulated sugar, it may be called "superfine" sugar in USA? Regular granulated white sugar would work too, it just might take a little longer to fully dissolve in the mixture!

      I will add these notes to the recipe, thank you everyone, I am still learning the American terms for lots of these ingredients!

  • Latte1 Latte1 on Mar 07, 2022

    Thank you.