The Burnt Basque Cheesecake takes everything you thought you knew about cheesecake recipe etiquette and flips it on its head – it wants to get burnt, has a dark exterior, and is cooked at a high heat without a water bath! And you know what else? It is positively delicious.
I can’t trust myself around cheesecake. It’s my (delicious) kryptonite. If there’s cheesecake in the house, I will have cheesecake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When I first heard of Burnt Basque Cheesecake, I knew I had to try it straight away.
And you won’t be at all surprised to learn that I loved it.
Honestly – I enjoyed this cheesecake a little bit too much. At one point (likely, somewhere around slice number 5 of “test batch” number 3), I thought I should throw all my spoons out the window. Just to make sure that I didn’t eat cheesecake until I exploded.
But I know myself better than that.
I would’ve continued to eat using my hands.
So, I kept the spoon.
(What? I’m a natural problem solver.)
What is a Burnt Basque Cheesecake?
Based on the original recipe created in La Vina restaurant (San Sebastien, Spain) in the 1970s, the Basque Cheesecake is the bad boy of the cheesecake world – burnt, cracked, and with a bitter edge. Don’t worry though, under its hardened exterior, it still has a soft-centre with all the creamy deliciousness you’d expect from a cheesecake. Oh, and there’s no crust.
Okay, it’s not technically “burnt” – that was a misrepresentation based on popular belief. The dessert is caramelised with a brown exterior, it was often called a Basque burnt cheesecake for this reason.
Flavour-wise, it is often compared to crème brulee for its contrasting flavours (oh-so-slightly bitter on the outside, sweet on the inside). Unlike crème brulee, the outside is not made of sugar, so tasting the ‘burnt edges’ by themselves is not a sweet experience. However, take a proper spoonful, and you’ll find yourself soon having another. And another. And anot–, you get the picture!
And just in case you prefer it, here’s the link to my Burnt Basque Cheesecake recipe video on Youtube.
Why is it called Basque cheesecake?
Quite simply because it was first developed in the Basque region of Spain. It is typically credited to Chef Santiago Rivera of La Viña restaurant.
There aren’t any especially fancy ingredients required to make this Spanish cheesecake. The original recipe include only 5 ingredients:
- Cream Cheese
- Whipping Cream
My version of the Basque Cheesecake also includes some vanilla extract and a touch of salt…just because I feel like it tastes better this way.
Do I need to use heavy cream
The cream adds fat to this recipe, and fat brings that indulgent flavour to the cheesecake. As such, you can use whipping cream as well as heavy cream, but swapping it out for milk or something without fat will likely lead to problems.
All purpose vs cake flour
While a lot of cakes benefit greatly from the lighter textures brought about through the use of cake flour, this cheesecake only uses a very small amount of flour. So small that in my tests, it didn’t really make much of a difference.
What kind of cheese to use
Cream cheese only please, bestie. I used standard off-the-shelf Philadelphia, but go ahead and use whatever is accessible to you. The only thing to note is that you should be using regular full-fat cream cheese – avoid any fancy whipped variations, and definitely stay away from low fat or reduced sugar options.
Basque Cheesecake flavour variations
Though I’ve opted to serve it plain in this post (for the sake of authenticity and whatnot), this is a cheesecake that can be dressed if you prefer. A chocolate drizzle, raspberry compote, or if you’re feeling fancy whip up a soft meringue and some lemon curd, and I think you’ll end up with something that’s really quite special. (You’d add any/all of those toppings after the Basque Cheesecake has come back down to room temperature and deflated.)
You can also check out my Chocolate Basque Cheesecake recipe!
Some other options include:
- Serving with fresh berries and whipped cream
- Adding a little lemon zest to your batter
How to make a gooey variation of the Basque Cheesecake
For a gooier version of this burnt cheesecake recipe, reduce the cook time by 5-10 minutes (it’ll depend a bit on your oven and baking dish), and remove 1.5 tablespoons of flour from the recipe. I personally like the denser version more, but feel free to go where the winds take you, bestie.
If you like what I’m doing here, and you want to help, why not go ahead and become a Patron? You can support Chocolates & Chai for as little as the price of a cup of coffee!
More cheesecake recipes to check out
Now, if you’re a cheesecake aficionado like myself, I know that you won’t be content just looking at one cheesecake recipe (though this is one of those simple fool proof recipes that you can keep making over and over again). Here are a few other cheesecake recipes that you might enjoy:
- Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake
- Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Cheesecake
- Japanese Cotton Cheesecake
- Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes
And yes, I’m pretty sure every single one will be a hit!
What should you worry about while making this recipe
This is one of the best things about the Burnt Basque Cheesecake. It’s pretty much technique-free. You don’t need to worry about overmixing, or delicately decorating. Heck, it’ll even forgive you if you get the ingredient measurements ever-so-slightly wrong. It’s quite possibly the least stressful cheesecake you’ll ever make.
…Unless you forget to butter your parchment paper. Or *ahem* forget to stock up on parchment paper the day you plan to bake and take photos of this recipe like a certain blogger.
I don’t mean me.
I would never. NEVER, I tell you!
Nope, definitely not me.
The links below are affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase using them, I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). And that would be a wonderful way to show your support for Chocolates & Chai. Thank you.
- A 10-inch springform pan is perfect for this recipe.
- Parchment paper (so you don’t forget like a certain blogger we know)
If you tried this recipe, please do comment below and let me know what you think! Otherwise, tell me all about what kind of cheesecake you like. What’s your favourite? What’s your least favourite? I want to know!Buy me a coffee Print