Burnt Basque cheesecake

Burnt Basque cheesecake


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In my book, there are few desserts that can equal a classic cheesecake, but the worry about it cracking, having to use a water bath and also wrapping the tin foil mean it’s a bit of a faff to make. This is why I love the ‘to hell with it’ approach of a Basque cheesecake. You purposefully bake it until dark, almost burnt, it’s quick to make and is basically foolproof. Obviously, cheesecake is rich and this is a large one that feeds a crowd.

  • unsalted butter, or neutral-tasting oil, for greasing
  • 1.2kg full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 400g of caster sugar
  • 7 large eggs
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 360ml of double cream
  • 30g of plain flour
Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Lightly grease the baking tin and line with a large sheet of parchment paper, so that it lines the base and sides, reaching up above the sides of the tin
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down as needed and mixing until combined. Add the salt, vanilla and cream and mix briefly until fully combined. Sift over the flour and mix briefly to combine. Pour into the prepared tin and level out
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until dark, almost burnt. The cheesecake will have quite a wobble at this stage
Leave to cool completely in the tin. You can either let it cool to room temperature, which will result in a softer creamier texture, or you can let it cool at room temperature for an hour before chilling in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours. This will result in a denser texture, a little more like a traditional cheesecake. Whichever way you cool the cheesecake, it will collapse on itself as it sits – that’s to be expected, so don’t worry about it
Remove from the tin and cut into portions to serve. Store covered in the refrigerator for around 3–4 days
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