Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Burnt Basque cheesecake is the antithesis of American-style or New York cheesecakes. It wants to cook at a high temperature without the protection of a water bath. It wants to get browned and crack, to soufflé high and then deflate. It eschews a crust, instead forming its own where heat and surface area meet. In essence, all the things that make BA’s Best Cheesecake so great are the exact wrong things to do here. What does that mean? It’s virtually impossible to mess up this easy recipe.

Molly Baz made a few tweaks to the famous version served at La Viña in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain. She added a bit more flour to ensure the eggy cake’s center would set, dropped the sugar, and added some vanilla and salt. “The final recipe is jiggly and cloud-like, wet but not pudding-wet, burnt on purpose for a caramelized [surface], and barely sweet,” explains Alex Beggs. “Like a galette, it’s rustic and therefore perfectly imperfect. It forgives you for your sins. I need that kind of cheesecake in my life.” Don’t we all?

Cream cheese is key to the rich cheesecake batter—you will need two pounds of it (that’s four packages of Philadelphia’s finest), and don’t try swapping in low- or non-fat versions. Be sure to remove the cake from the oven while the center still jiggles; it will continue to cook and then set as it cools. In keeping with the theme of simplicity, you can make this a day in advance and refrigerate it—just leave time for it to come up to room temp before serving.

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Author:Molly Baz |

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