(Coffee flavoured Cheesecake with Tamarind syrup variation)
Alright let’s talk cheesecake, but not any cheesecake, Burnt Basque Cheesecake what an amazing looking cheesecake.
As a Venezuelan expat with a strong sense of connection with my roots, I started researching about the origin of our flavours and mixed traditions and of course, many of our delicious dishes come from Spain, Portugal and even Italian influences that date from the colonization era is not a surprise then that I get drawn into these cuisines quite often, looking to find the traditional and authentic way certain dishes are made.
In my recent research and exploration in my kitchen, I’ve made several Spanish dishes (which I am going to share with you soon) but this one had a special place in my heart and tummy, not only cause I absolutely love cheesecake but also because it intrigued me so much, that amazing dark top with a creamy texture and all the process it involves.
Born in “La Vina” restaurant in San Sebastian located in the Basque country in Spain, therefore its name, had been popularised all around the world.
The differences with a normal Cheesecake is that the Burnt Basque Cheesecake is naked, oops, hahaha, it carries all the weight of its flavour in the batter and the caramelised top, no crumb, and no jams to mask it, it’s also the antithesis of any Cheesecakes, set with mostly eggs having almost twice the amount of eggs of its traditional counterpart, standing as a cross between a custard tart and a cheesecake and a bit peckish as well with a lot more sugar, which also helps to create that amazing dark top. One thing that impressed me was the technique was completely different cooked at a higher temperature than normal Cheesecakes for a shorter amount of time.
In this post I’m sharing the traditional Basque recipe in a smaller batch which makes 2 x 12cm Cheesecakes enough for 4 people but you can escalate the recipe as you wish, also during my second trial, I decided to experiment with an unusual flavour pairing and created a Coffee Flavoured Burnt Basque Cheesecake with a Tamarind Syrup, if you ask me it was amazingly delicious, not for everyone but I dare you to try it.
As much as I like enjoying this cheesecake on its own I see it as a blank canvas with the potential to carry so many flavours and a great addition to any plated dessert (I am thinking as a deconstructed cheesecake yass) so I encourage you to try different flavourings for the cheesecake itself, on my todo list I have lemon zest, orange zest, caramel or dulce de leche, matcha, even a pumpkin one will be amazing.
I also feel the cheesecake gets a bit more refined if served with a syrup of some sort, however, I advise you in order to serve or pair this Burnt Basque Cheesecake with fruit, syrups, or ice cream you must adjust the sweetness of the cheesecake and leave more on the savoury side otherwise it tends to be too sweet altogether.
Tips to make Burnt Basque Cheesecake
- Avoid overbeating the batter. I prefer using an electric mixer with metal beaters, and to soften the cream cheese before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Get a good cream cheese, I’ve tried it with lactose-free dairy as well with good results.
- Don’t be tempted to add more flour as mentioned above this is more like a custard-based cheesecake, adding more flour will change the consistency of the final cheesecake, you could even go without the flour and it will still set.
- Use springform cake tins to facilitate unmolding.
- Lay your molds with 3 oversized square pieces of baking paper overlapping them to create spikes coming out of the springform, push them inside the cake tin to create creases.
- It helps to soak the paper for a bit with water to avoid burning the paper but this is optional.
- Don’t skip cooling time as this will aid the removal of the paper to keep as much of the cheesecake as possible, as the Burnt Basque Cheesecake is quite delicate and crumbly.
- If your cheesecake has not developed a burnt deep caramel colour on the top after the whole cooking time, turn the oven to broil and allow it to cook for 5-10 min but keep an eye on it.
- The cheesecake will puff up during cooking but then it will deflate so if you want a tall cheesecake I recommend you filling the molds and leaving only 1/2 to 1 cm at the top, but make sure your baking paper is over the top of the mold to contain it if it grows too much and avoid spills, you can also leave a tray underneath the cheesecake to contain any spills.
- Cheesecake will be ready when is mostly set around the edges and on top has created a firm film but it still jiggles in the middle, overcooking leads to gritty srambly texture, time given is for small sized cakes, increase baking time to 40-50 min if making a 20m or larger cheesecake to ensure it cooks through,
- Feature image shows my Coffee Flavoured Burnt Basque Cheesecake which had been cut with a round cookie cutter, tamarind syrup, and a coffee coral tuile.
Burnt Basque CheesecakeCourse: DessertsDifficulty: Easy
Creamy and decadent in the centre, with caramel notes at the top, get to know how to make this delicious Spanish dessert, Burnt Basque Cheesecake.
500g Cream Cheese
3 eggs [7 eggs if upscaling to double batch]
200g caster sugar
250ml heavy pouring cream
1 1/2 tsp flour
* 1/8 – 1/4 c espresso coffee or 2tsp of coffee essence [optional and to taste]
- Tamarind Syrup (if using syrup reduce sweetness of the cheesecake by half)
2-3 Tbsp Tamarind puree (made from soaking Tamarind seeds and pulp with warm water and then pressing them through a sieve, I prefer this to store-bought paste which is more diluted)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c water
pinch of salt
- Coffee coral tuile
2 tbsp espresso coffee (can be made with instant coffee)
1-2 mm neutral flavour oil
- Pre-heat oven at 210C
- Prepare two 12cm springform cake tins with baking paper allowing for some paper to overflow
- Burnt Basque Cheesecake
- In an electric mixer soften the cream cheese until there are no visible lumps.
- Add heavy cream, sugar, eggs and flour, (*and any flavouring if adding so see notes in the ingredients list) and mix until everything is incorporated, stop mixing one you don’t see any lumps or traces of eggs to avoid overmixing.
- Poor in prepared cake tins leaving 1/2 to 1cm space at the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven in the middle rack for 25-30 min until the centre is just set but still has some wiggle, if it’s not burnt yet, turn the oven to broil and bake for further 5-10 min taking care to not scorch it.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the cake tin until you can handle the temperature of the metal, and transfer to the fridge and let cool for further 2-3 hours, the longer the better.
- Open the springform and carefully remove the baking paper trying to keep as much of the sides intact, run a knife under or peel the cheesecake and serve as is or accompanied by syrup or fruit.
- Tamarind Syrup
- In a small saucepan add sugar, water, and tamarind puree (add more or less depending on how tangy you prefer the syrup), and bring to boil, lower temperature and allow to simmer until reduced to a thick syrup consistency (Tamarind will withstand long cooking times however if you feel the end flavour is not strong enough you could add an extra tbsp of fresh tamarind puree to reinforce the flavour)
- Coffee Coral Tuile
- Combine water, flour and espresso in a bowl and whisk until there are no lumps, let it rest so the bubbles formed subside.
- In a small frying pan (choose accordingly as this will determine the size of the tuile)
heat 1-2mm oil to medium heat, and with a ladle, spoon a small amount of the mixture to create a thin layer, it will bubble up for a few seconds forming the coral shape, let cook for 20-30 sec taking are of not burning it, you can flip it if it’s not browning evenly.
- Drain in paper towels. Try a few more times until you find the desire thickness, size and colour.
- To assemble the plated cheesecake, cut with the desired cookie cutter, transfer cheesecake to plate, spoon over some cool syrup and place coral tuile standing tall.
- Flavour variations for Cheesecake: This cheesecake is easy to twist try adding any powder flavours directly to the mix, if adding any liquid flavouring increase 1 egg and add an extra tsp of flour, alternatively brew flavours like tea, or spices in the heavy cream at low temperature, strain and allow to cool before incorporating to the cool mixture.
- This cheesecake is served by itself accompanied with Pedro Ximenez Sweet Sherry Wine, however, I’ve tried serving it with syrups and the result is amazing as well, you can use any flavoured simple syrup based on the recipe shown above but changing the flavouring, in this case, I suggest adjusting the sweetness of the cheesecake.
- Served with fruits adds an extra freshness to this decadent cheeseake