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  • Writer's pictureAmar Dhaliwal

Got to try this Burnt Basque Cheesecake (gf)

This cheesecake originates from La Viña, a cafe in the resort town of San Sebastian in the Basque region of Spain.

Unlike the classic cheesecakes you know, Burnt Basque cheesecake isn’t dense. Being baked at a high temperature makes it light and gives a typically scorched appearance. Its outer edges are typically wrinkled and nonuniform, thanks to cooking the cheesecake in parchment paper.

Made with cream cheese, sugar, and eggs, Basque cheesecakes don’t have a crust, giving it a similar feel to a mousse. This also means that it is gluten free!

This cheesecake is so easy to make and always delivers two wow moments - one for its appearance and the other for its taste!

Here's what you need in terms of ingredients:

700g cream cheese, at room temperature 350g crème fraiche (or sour cream), at room temperature 300g caster sugar *

1 tsp vanilla essence (optional) 5 eggs, at room temperature 2 tbsp corn flour (to keep it gluten free), or plain flour

* In North America caster sugar can be hard to come by and if you do manage to find some it can be silly expensive. Not to worry, just take regular granulated sugar and put it into a food processor and process if for 60 to 90 seconds.

You will also need:

24cm (9 in), deep cake tin

Parchment (aka Baking) Paper

Heat the oven to 230C or 450F. I use a conventional oven set to the bake setting.

Grease your cake tin with some unsalted butter and then line with parchment paper (do not use waxed paper). When lining the parchment paper it's important to do so with two large pieces - with one piece going over the other. This not only ensures that the batter stays in place but creates a great presentation.


Using your stand mixer, or at a pinch an electric hand mixer, start by beating the cream cheese so it it nice and creamy.

Then add the crème fraiche and continue to beat the mix. Make sure to constantly scrape down the walls of your bowl as you go along.

Once smooth, introduce all the sugar and the vanilla essence, if you are using it. Beat until well incorporated and smooth.

Now beat in the eggs one at a time. Make sure each egg is well incorporated before add in the next.

You will now have a mix that resembles a thick custard or a pancake batter.

The final step is take 3 to 4 tablespoons of your mix and add them to a small bowl with the corn flour. Give it a good whisk and I mean a good whisk to get rid of any lumps. Add this back to your main mix and continue to beat for a few minutes.


To prevent any chance of spills I like to put the prepared cake tin onto a baking sheet before I pour in the mix.

Once you have poured in the mix give the tin a gentle shake to level everything out.

Put your baking sheet and cake tin onto a rack in the middle of the oven.

Set a timer for 40 minutes and do not be tempted to open the over door before the alarm has gone off!!

Once you get to 40 minutes have a peek - you are looking for a burnt appearance (remember the name!) and if necessary cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. I typically find I need to cook for 45 to 50 minutes in my oven.

You are looking for an appearance like this.


Let your cheesecake cool.

I personally think it best to eat on the day you make it when it's still a tiny bit warm. Serve it with a nice glass of chilled dessert wine like Pedro Ximénez. Wonderful!

You can also refrigerate and eat the next day. Bring it out the fridge an hour before you are going to eat and serve with a chilled berry coulis. Delicious!

Have fun making this and let me know how you made out, maybe send a picture!!



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