I mean, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? And there is no way to beat this delicious, stupidly simple dessert. Except when you make it my burnt Basque cheesecake with RASPBERRIES baked right into it.
I have seen this everywhere, what is Burnt Basque Cheesecake?
I have seen it everywhere too, and I am embarrassed to say it took me this long to create one of my own. This dessert originated in the Basque region of Spain, supposedly in the early 90s near San Sebastian. The Basque region is located in Northern Spain (on the French border). They have a unique culture and many who live there have a sense of nationalism different separate from Spain. There is a truly fascinating culture there and the cuisine is simply amazing. And while I wrote an entire thesis around Basque nationalism and ETA in college, and became completely engrossed in there culture and cuisine - I had never heard of this dessert before...so whether or not it actually is a Basque original - I have no f---ing clue.
What is it and how is it different from an American cheesecake?
So the burnt Basque cheesecake has all the ingredients of a regular cheesecake with a few awesome modifications, that not only work - they work like magic.
- No crust. That's right - none. You do not have push graham cracker at the bottom of a springform pan or make any kind of crust for that matter. You still need a springform pan. but you simply butter it up and put parchment in the bottom all the way up the sides. It won't sick, it won't leak out all over, it is genius.
- No water bath. Now I have labored on about cheesecakes with tips and tricks to avoid the dreaded an inevitable sog that happens (no matter what) from a water bath, and you can read that here. But with the burnt Basque cheesecake there is no water bath needed, in fact, there is no steam at all needed in the oven.
- Baked at a high temperature. A traditional American-style cheesecake is baked at a low temperature, where this cheesecake is baked at a high temperature and the optimum bake time is less than traditional cheesecake - at about 40 minutes.
Taste and texture.
Burnt Basque cheesecake is like an anomaly. Aside from taking everything you know about baking a standard cheesecake and tossing it out the window, you can also take everything you know about the taste and texture of cheesecake and toss it as well. Taste would be similar, not too sweet, and hinted with vanilla, but the texture is where it gets you. This cheesecake is creamy, while still so much lighter in texture than a traditional cheesecake. The outside is caramelized so it has a burnt caramel hint as well (think creme brulee). This cheesecake is supposed to be served at room temperature, which I highly recommend. The texture is exactly what you want it to be at room temperature. But it is just as good cold, will just be a bit firmer.
I am probably not doing justice to how wonderful a burnt Basque cheesecake really is with this post. It is so simple, so delicious and really unlike anything you've ever tried. You will be shocked at the results and this might just become your go-to cheesecake recipe forever. And while it definitely doesn't need them, I love the addition of sweet-tart raspberries baked right into it. That's my only twist to the classic burnt Basque cheesecake recipe.
My burnt Basque cheesecake with raspberries
- 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ⅓ cup flour
- ½ cup raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 400. Grease and 8-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper all the way up the sides. Press it up the sides to make sure it is stuck to the pan as good as possible.
- With a stand mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth. Pour in the sugar and vanilla bean paste and salt, and beat it until smooth and fluffy, for about 2 minutes. Next, add the eggs one at a time, beating well before adding the next one. Repeat until you’ve worked your way through the eggs. Pour in the heavy cream slowly and beat until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Sift in the flour and beat just a moment more until incorporated. Fold in the raspberries, very gently, so they do not get broken up.
- Pour the cheesecake into the parchment lined pan and smooth out the top. Tap on the counter a few times to distribute the cheesecake throught the parchment.
- Place the baking pan on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for about an hour. Remove it from the pan and cool for another hour.
- If you aren't a fan of raspberries or want to make this as traditional as possible, leave out the raspberries.
- This cheesecake can be stored airtight at room temperature, but I usually store in fridge and put out for half hour before I want to eat it.