I was convinced that the cheesecake from my second cookbook sweet was the best I had made. It took a bit of work to get it to the right consistency. I wanted it heavy but light and not cloyingly sweet. A friend even entered into the best cheesecake in Johannesburg competition and it won, so I was affirmed that at least it was very good. Until I tested this Basque burnt cheesecake. Now I’m convinced this is cheesecake heaven and it is the culmination of a slight obsession.

I first ate it in January at Tjing Tjing Momiji as part of the dessert plate and I wept a little because it was so perfect. They made mini versions which were also baked in the signature roughly folded baking paper and served it with a slightly sour cherry compote that complimented it perfectly. This cheesecake really doesn’t need anything but if it did, a tart cherry sauce is all I could imagine it would be. The pastry chef generously told me the origins of the recipe and I think I wept again. More joy.

Basque burnt cheesecake recipe

I was in a rush to make it this week because the 1 kg of Philadelphia cream cheese was on expiry and needed to be used. I bought it just before lockdown and never got around to it. On my first test 4 months ago, I used the original recipe from  La Viña in San Sebastian It’s all over the internet as Basque burnt cheesecake but its also in the cookbook Basque Country by Marti Buckley which I absolutely adore. I halved the quantities for that test and baked it in a smaller pan at the very high temp recommended and this resulted in it being too burnt on the outside and too runny in the middle. Further research assured me that it was meant to be like this, but I wanted it to be cooked through and set. More Googling (I told you this was an obsession) and I got to the Bon Appetit version which had slightly tweaked quantities with weirdly less sugar, an extra egg and very precise instructions to prepare it. The texture in the pic looks like what I wanted.

Basque burnt cheesecake recipe

The tricky bit comes in with the time in the oven and the temperature. I baked it at 180C / 350F fan for about 50 minutes longer than the recipe. I think my oven runs cool especially on the fan and 180C fan is in fact 180C. When I baked it on the conventional setting for round 2, the top element burnt the cheesecake, so I prefer to use the fan for more of an even bake. I watched it like a hawk and took it out after 1 hour and 50 minutes when I was 100% convinced it was cooked through despite it still being very jiggly. It puffs up like a souffle and then deflates fairly dramatically as it cools and it absolutely must do this.

I know I’m banging on and on here about this but it’s a very expensive cheesecake to make so you don’t want to mess it up. My advice is to follow the Bon Appetit recipe precisely as I did and then bake it at a lower temp for longer and until you get the colour that I (and BA) achieved. Or do what they did but then don’t blame me if something goes wrong. Remove, cool and allow to fully set in a cool room or a fridge overnight.

I’ve shamelessly copied the recipe off the BA website just making it metric (and correcting some grammar). Doesn’t it drive you bonkers when you see imperial recipes? I’ve adjusted the method to my lower temperature, but you could just follow the instruction on Bon Appetit if you prefer.

Basque burnt cheesecake recipe

Print

Basque burnt cheesecake

Basque burnt cheesecake recipe

This is a recipe for the famous Basque burnt cheescake with the Bon Appetit tweaks. I have converted this to metric measurements and baked it for longer at a slightly lower temperature. 

  • Author: Sam Linsell
  • Yield: makes 1 large cheesecake - serve 14 - 16 1x
Scale

Ingredients

1 kg / 2 lb. cream cheese, room temperature

1½ cups sugar

6 large free-range eggs

500ml / 2 cups heavy cream

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup cake flour / all-purpose flour

Instructions

Place a rack in the middle of oven; preheat to 180C / 350F fan assisted. Line the pan with 2 overlapping sheets of baking paper in your 25-26cm spring form baking tin, making sure the paper comes at least 5cm above the top of the pan on all sides. Because the paper needs to be pleated and creased in some areas to fit in the pan, you won’t end up with a clean, smooth outer edge to the cake; that’s okay! Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-low speed, scraping downsides of the bowl, until very smooth, no lumps remain, and sugar has dissolved about 2 minutes.

Increase the speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating each egg for 15 seconds before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then reduce the mixer speed to medium-low. Add cream, salt, and vanilla and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.

Turn off the mixer and sift flour evenly over cream cheese mixture. Beat on low speed until incorporated, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat until batter is very smooth, homogenous, and silky about 10 seconds.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake cheesecake until deeply golden brown on top and still very jiggly in the centre, 1.5 hours to 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Let cool slightly (it will fall drastically as it cools), then unmold. Let cool completely. Carefully peel away the parchment from sides of cheesecake. Using a knife that you have dipped into hot water and wiped dry (if you want a clean edge), slice into wedges and serve at room temperature, preferably with a glass of sherry alongside.

This cheesecake can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 4 – 5 days

Notes

Use a 25cm – 26cm (10 “) springform baking tin 

 

Basque burnt cheesecake recipe

 

 

Find  me on Instagram

 

 

18 Comments

  1. Christina Colbert

    What size/type of pan are you using? Springform? Please advise. Thank you in advance.

  2. Sam

    Hi Christina – thanks for pointing that out and I have just updated the recipe. Use a 25cm – 26cm (10 “) springform baking tin.

  3. Hi Sam, the cheesecake looks amazing !
    If I halve the ingredients, how long do you think it’ll need to be in the oven ?
    Alison x

  4. Gwynn Smith

    I am so pleased to see that you have done all the hard work and shared a tried and tested recipe. I bake when I am stressed so with lockdown have become a bit of a baking fiend. This cake was next on my list, so pleased you have noted all the pitfalls and advised accordingly. I will report back on my attempt ?

  5. That looks superb. I’m going to try it for a Father’s Day gift from me to me, which in fact will be enjoyed more by my wife, who loves baked cheesecake. We’ll all be winners ?

  6. What if you don’t have a paddle attachment?

  7. Mariette

    I love your new feature of allowing for recipes to be up scaled! I must admit that most of the time I half recipes, especially if it is a dessert or sweet treat to limit the amount of unhealthy foods. I have the cutest little antique baking tins in sizes 15, 17 and 18 cm. I just adjust the baking time as needed. I love to experiment and try out new recipes but don’t want to waste ingredients if a recipe isn’t successful. Then a question on the heavy cream – I think I have read that when “heavy cream” is listed in overseas recipes it is often the fat content of what we use in South Africa as “normal cream” (perhaps clover or woolies whipping cream . What cream did you use? Would the “Woolies double thick cream” be fine to use? I really enjoy your blog, you have the most amazing talent! Warm regards

  8. Sam

    Hi Colleen, I’d say just use the whipping attachment but whip it less than the recipe. I haven’t tested it with it so I can’t say exactly

  9. Sam

    Sounds like an excellent win-win situation to me Andrew 🙂 and happy fathers day for Sunday.

  10. Sam

    HI Gwynn, I hope its a success and just keep an eye on the top and its largely about knowing your oven

  11. Sam

    Thanks for the kind word Mariette and its a good idea to halve this recipe as it’s very rich and expensive to make so a little goes a long way. Woollies Double-thick is the same as heavy cream. I actually used 1 x whipping cream and 1 x double-thick but either or will do.

    Sam

  12. Hi Sam. I’d also like to know the baking time if you half the recipe?

  13. Sam

    Hi Hesca, I haven’t tested it for half a recipe other than my first fail. But I Googled this for you and they made half:

    https://norecipes.com/burnt-basque-cheesecake/

    Personally, as I say I prefer to bake it longer at a lower temperature so I would guestimate around 1 hour to 1 hour 10 for a half recipe. I don’t like the very scorched top the very high temps deliver but that is my personal preference.There are a plethora of versions of this recipe on line as its quite famous so perhaps read through a few and then come up with a plan.

    Thanks
    sam

  14. Hesca Joubert

    I made it tonight after watching the Bon Appetit video to see how much it should jiggle. 60 mins looked right, but 50 might have been better. Will demold and cut it tomorrow. Fingers crossed that an hour was the sweet spot!

  15. Sam

    HI Hesca. I hope it worked out for you and a pleasure

  16. Gary Walker

    Hi Sam thank you for a wonderful recipe.Mine came out perfect and looks exactly like yours in the picture!

  17. Sam

    I’m so impressed Gary that is incredible. How long did you bake it for and at what temp?

Leave a Reply