The internet can be a wondrous place if you’re looking for something new, and even if you’re not looking, you’re surely gonna run into something interesting. Being majorly on the food side of the internet, I have come across tons of foods and recipes that I had never heard of before. One such thing for me was the Basque cheesecake.
If you’re still under a rock about the Basque burnt cheesecake, it is a crustless cheesecake, and it’s baked at a higher temperature for a slightly longer time which gives it a signature burnt top with creamy, delicious insides.
This unique cheesecake was made by chef Santiago Rivera in a cafe in San Sebastián, Basque Country of Spain in the year 1990.
The Basque burnt cheesecake is significantly different from an American cheesecake. The Basque burnt cheesecake is rugged, it’s baked at a higher temperature, there’s no water bath involved, and it doesn’t have a biscuit crust.
The Basque cheesecake is creamy, melt in your mouth, and this particular recipe calls for an entire pod of vanilla bean so you know it’s a flavor bomb. Plus, the best part of my recipe for the Basque burnt cheesecake is that it’s eggless, so it’s accessible to everyone who wishes to bake it!
Plus, I personally believe that a Basque cheesecake is the easiest, most fuss-free cheesecake you can make. You literally have to whip up the cheesecake batter, dump it into a cake pan, bake it and dig in.
You don’t even have to worry about clean edges and setting the crust, this cheesecake is rustic, and isn’t bound by strict rules. I mean, you don’t even have to worry about burning it, because that’s what you want!
What goes into a Basque burnt cheesecake?
Typically a traditional recipe for Basque burnt cheesecake would call for cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla and some flour for binding.
My recipe is the exact same except I swapped the eggs and sugar for condensed milk. And, this recipe also calls for the seeds of one whole vanilla bean pod in addition to vanilla extract.
This is such a simple recipe, and I feel like using a vanilla bean pod really highlights the vanilla flavor because there’s nowhere else to hide.
Of course, vanilla bean pods are expensive, and if you don’t want to use one, you can definitely use only vanilla extract.
How does one make the Basque burnt cheesecake?
The process of making the cheesecake could not be any simpler.
You will need to beat together the cream cheese, condensed milk, vanilla, and some salt until everything looks creamy. Then, add the heavy cream to the mixture and beat everything until it’s light and fluffy. And, finally, you will sift a little bit of flour and fold that in.
Then, the cheesecake batter is poured into the pan which has been lined with two layers of parchment. The parchment here is just pressed down into the pan so it lines the bottom and the sides, so when you unmold the Basque burnt cheesecake, it’s gonna have beautiful ridges and textures on the sides.
The cheesecake is then baked at 200°C/400°F for about 50-55 minutes until it’s got a dark burnt color on top and is slightly jiggly in the centre. You can refrigerate it overnight or just let it come to room temperature before consuming.
What equipment does one need?
You will need only one large mixing bowl to make the cheesecake batter. You will also need a hand mixer or a stand mixer, a silicone spatula and a sifter.
To bake the Basque burnt cheesecake, you will need an 8-inch springform pan or a cake pan with a removable base. You will also need two pieces of parchment paper that will cover the sides of the pan.
The recipe for eggless Basque burnt cheesecake
Makes: One 8-inch cheesecake (6-7 servings)
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes plus chilling
800 grams (6 ½ cups) room temperature cream cheese
550 grams (1 ¾ cup) sweetened condensed milk
4 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
4 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract + seeds of 1 vanilla bean
280 grams (1 ¼ cup) heavy cream
60 grams (½ cup) all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Press down two layers of parchment paper in an 8-inch springform pan or a cake pan with a removable base.
To the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, salt, vanilla extract and vanilla seeds. Beat until it’s creamy and lump-free.
Add the heavy cream to the mixture and beat until it’s smooth, light and fluffy.
Sift the flour over the cheesecake batter and fold in gently.
Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared pan. Place your pan in a larger, empty baking tray to catch any spills or leakages.
Bake in the preheated oven at 200°C/400°F for 50-55 minutes until the cheesecake has a dark burnt color on top and is slightly jiggly in the centre. Check in at around 45 minutes.
Let the Basque burnt cheesecake cool at room temperature for 1 hour. The cheesecake will sink as it cools.
You can serve the Basque burnt cheesecake after it has cooled, or refrigerate it overnight.
If you are leaving out the vanilla bean pod, use 6 grams (1 ½ teaspoon) of vanilla extract.