Who doesn’t just love cheesecake?! With one bite, you’ll never get over it. Especially Basque Burnt Cheesecake. A unique twist on the most decadent treat.
You read it right. Burnt Cheesecake. Because you will actually ‘burn’ the cheesecake (just a little). It originated in Basque Country. Hence the name Basque Burnt Cheesecake.
Where did Cheesecake Originate From?
The earliest form of cheesecake was prepared by Greeks on the island of Samos. They made patties of fresh cheese and combined them with flour and honey. It was then baked and eaten. Then, you’re not going to believe this, but cheesecake was first recorded in an English cookbook written in 1390 (wish I had a copy of THAT). Of course, cheesecake has evolved from the original cheese patties to the delicious dessert we know and love today.
Did I hear someone asking…Why is It Called Basque Burnt Cheesecake?
The Basque Country, also called the Basque region, is situated on the Bay of Biscay at the western end of the Pyrenees mountain range between Southern France and Spain. The region is home to the Basque People also called in the Basque language, Euskaldunak.
There is a so-called Southern Basque Country, also known as Spanish Basque Country. The name in the Basque language is Hegoalde, which, as the name implies, is situated within Spain.
And there is Northern Basque Country, also called Iparralde in their language, and lies entirely within France.
For sure, the language and culture here are distinctive because of the 2 countries, lying in its borders.
So, there’s a little bit of something and I hope I answered some of the questions. Sorry, I can’t lie – I kind of love the history.
Let’s go back to our delicious Basque Burnt Cheesecake.
You may think that this cheesecake is a classic. Actually, this was only created in 1990 by a Chef named Santiago Rivera. He is from San Sebastian, a resort town on the Bay of Biscay in Basque Country (Spain – it’s an autonomous community in Spain). He owned a restaurant there named La Viña and was looking for a new, unique dessert menu.
To make the story short, he created this “burned” cheesecake. His restaurant is still there and displaying the ever-popular Basque Burnt Cheese Cake. You can find the chef there, too – so hats-off to his staying power and building a successful business that’s really lasted.
It is said that the counterpart of this cheesecake is the New York Style Cheesecake with the crust. Another delicious cheesecake. Whatever! As long as it’s also yummy. I don’t care. I’m in for another slice, because it’s delicious.
What does Basque Burnt Cheesecake Taste Like?
Mmm…excuse me… let me just finish this last bite! Do you know what a New York style cheesecake tastes like? Well, the Basque burnt cheesecake is much more airy, and lighter than that. The batter is cream cheese based and has a more souffle-like texture. The burnt crust is not really burned and doesn’t taste burned. The flavor is more like brown (or caramelized) sugar.
Which Cheesecake is the Best?
Lets begin by looking at a list of the most common styles of cheesecake:
- Japanese “Cotton” Cheesecake
- New York Style Cheesecake
- No-Bake Cheesecake
- Regular Cheesecake
- Ricotta (and other Non-Cream Cheese) Cheesecake
- Savory Cheesecake
- Vegan Cheesecake
There are lots of different flavors, sauces, and toppings that can be added to any of the above cheesecakes, and I believe it would be impossible to say that any one of the cheesecakes is the best. You should go ahead and make a comprehensive list and begin making each one, and you can decide for yourself. Please let us know what you come up with!
How to make the Basque Burnt Cheesecake
This Basque-inspired Burnt Cheesecake is easy to make. I haven’t tasted the original yet (also, I would be flying internationally to do so, just FYI – I’ll stick with this inspired recipe I came up with). But I’m sure, the REAL chef used a cream cheese made in Spain. Or maybe he’s making his own cream cheese, too. That will be so amazing.
My Burnt Cake is not really burned so much that it will be carbonized or have a charcoal-like topping (that would be gross). No, this was baked in high heat, just high enough that the topping is caramelized and has a distinctive taste.
Anyways, this (fake) burned cheesecake is sooo good! The combination of the unique flavor of the topping and the richness of the cake is really…exquisite…heavenly! Like a creme brulee, but not…but it is so much fun.
Video of How to Make a Basque Cheesecake
If you’d like to see how we made this Basque Cheesecake, check out our YouTube and, while you’re there, be sure to subscribe so you can get all our epic recipe ideas!
What Do You Need to Make Basque Burnt Cheesecake
To begin with, gather all the ingredients listed and prepare a 9-inch pan for the cheesecake. I used a springform pan (paid links). Don’t forget to cut a few big pieces of parchment paper to line the pan. In addition, you’ll need:
- 3 (8 ounce blocks) cream cheese, room temperature
- 5-6 large eggs, room temperature (the more egg you use, the richer your cheesecake will be)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2.5 cups heavy cream, room temperature
- ½ c All-Purpose flour, sifted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Extra butter, softened, to grease the pan
Putting the ingredients together
While preheating the oven to 400°F, you can start by creaming together the cream cheese (softened to room temperature) and sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Then beat on medium-low speed, about 30 seconds. (You can use an electric hand mixer, but it is not as efficient as a stand mixer.)
Add one egg at a time to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until everything is incorporated for about 1 minute. Then add heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract and then continue beating until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula a couple of times during the mixing process.
Add sifted flour and beat just until everything is incorporated. Don’t overbeat the mixture.
The batter should be smooth, silky, and free of any lumps.
Baking the cheesecake
Grease the bottom and the sides of the baking pan with softened butter. Cut a big piece of parchment paper and then line the pan. Continue greasing the parchment paper like you greased the pan. Then cut another piece of parchment and place on top of it. Grease this paper, too.
Basque burnt cheesecake won’t have smooth outer edges like regular cheesecake because of the parchment linings.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth out the top if necessary.
Bake the cheesecake for 45 to 50 minutes. It should have a dark golden brown or dark brown top.
Let the cheesecake cool down completely to room temperature before serving. Move it to a wire rack, on a countertop. If you set it on top of your stove, the heat may cause the cheesecake to continue cooking.
The middle of the cake will become sunken as it’s cooling down. To solidify the cheesecake, place it in the refrigerator, uncovered, for about 30 minutes before serving.
After your cheesecake has cooled completely and been refrigerated, you can wrap it in plastic wrap, place it in an airtight container, and store it in the freezer for up to a month. Just thaw it and go to town!
Don’t forget to Pin this recipe into your favorite dessert recipes Pinterest board to make it easier for you to find it again when you’re ready for another decadent treat.
Check out the Burnt Basque Recipe card below for a printable recipe.
Cheesecake is a well-loved dessert and you'll never get over it once you've eaten one, especially the recently popular Basque Burnt Cake.
- 3 block cream cheese, room temperature
- 5-6 large eggs, room temperature (the more egg you use, the richer cheesecake will be)
- 1 ½ c sugar
- 2.5 c heavy cream, room temperature
- ½ c All-Purpose flour, sifted
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Extra butter, soften, to grease the pan
- Preheat oven to 400F
- In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine soften cream cheese at room temperature and sugar and beat on medium-low speed, about 30 seconds.
- Add one egg at a time to the cream cheese mixture and beat until everything is incorporated for about 1 minute.
- Add heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract and continue beating until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula couple of times during the mixing process.
- Finally, add sifted flour and beat just until everything is incorporated. Don’t overbeat the mixture.
- The batter should be smooth, silky, and free of the lump.
- Grease the bottom and the sides of the baking pan with softened butter. Cut a big piece of parchment paper and line the pan. Continue greasing the parchment paper like you grease the pan. Then cut another piece of parchment and line on top of it.
- Basque burnt cheesecake won’t have smooth outer edges like regular cheesecake because of the parchment linings.
- Pour batter into the pan, use a spatula or back of a spoon to smooth out the top if necessary.
- Bake cheesecake for 45 to 50 minutes. It should have a dark golden brown or dark brown top.
- Let the cheesecake cool down completely to room temperature before serving. The middle of the cake will be sunken as it’s cooling down.
- Cheesecake can be frozen for up to a month.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 426Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 191mgSodium: 212mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 0gSugar: 32gProtein: 7g
What Should the Top of My Cheesecake Look Like?
The burnt top of your Basque cheesecake should be dark brown, or dark golden brown. With other styles of cheesecake, the top does not have to be browned at all for the delicate delight to be done.
Why is my Basque Burnt Cheesecake Not Burnt?
If your Basque burnt cheesecake doesn’t appear to be burnt, your oven temperature may be too low. The trick with the burnt Basque cheesecake is to bake it in a really hot oven (400°F to 450°F). If your oven is set at this temperature, and the cheesecake doesn’t appear to be burnt, you may need to check the temperature of your oven. You can do this with an instant-read thermometer.