Tuesday, February 12, 2019

“Burnt” Basque Cheesecake - Yes, On Purpose

This “burnt” Basque cheesecake is one of the rare trendy recipes that I’m actually posting while it’s still trendy. I usually wait like three or four years, and by that time people have lost interest, and it seems like I’m doing it to be ironic. Well, this time the hype got to me, and now I understand why all the fuss.

By cooking the cheesecake in a very hot oven, we get a beautiful, dark exterior, which not only looks great, but the bittersweet notes it provides makes the light, creamy cheesecake inside seem even more rich, and flavorful. Besides the taste and texture, this method is just plain easier, as long as you can find some parchment paper.

Depending on the size of the roll or sheet you buy, you may have to overlap it, but as long as the pan is covered, and it comes up a few inches past the top, you’re fine. I assumed this technique was adapted from some ancient Basque recipes, but as it turns out, it was actually developed at a café in San Sebastian, called La Vina in the 70’s. That probably explains the Philly cream cheese.

Anyway, if you haven’t had the best luck with traditional cheesecake methods, you should stop trying, and just make this exclusively. Just make sure you tell you’re guests it’s supposed to be “burnt,” although if they’re on social media, they probably already know. Either way, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one 9-inch cake pan (8-10 Portions):
24 ounces soft cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt (or 3/4 to 1 teaspoon Kosher salt)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 extra large eggs (you can use 5 large eggs)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream

- Bake at 400 F. for 50 to 55 minutes, or until puffed and well browned. For a little more color, you can crank the oven up to 425 or 450 F. for the last 10 minutes or so.
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28 comments:

Vincent said...

Would a graham cracker crust work well with this or would it burn too much?

Mohammad said...

Hi Chef John,

wonderful channel

what is the pan size you used for this recipe?

Mohammad, Saudi Arabia

Clayton Lee said...

Chef John, I found your new theme song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAEGTNrfmmo

CherylinMtl said...

Is the flour entirely necessary? What does it bring to the recipe?

Unknown said...

Can't wait to try this....thank you so much for your inspirational, entertaining and informative videos ! Prost !

Mitch Calhoun said...

So, what was the original recipe amounts, for those of us with big old springform pans, who might like a little custard in the middle?

Leticia said...

Dear Chef John, I love you and your channel!
Do you think a little lemon juice could be good in the batter?
Thank you!
Leticia from Brazil

BSDay said...

I made this last night and brought it to work. People were 'shocked' that it was 'burnt' and I explained that it was on purpose cuz Chef John said so. =)

While I didn't get the 'WOW, this is the best ever!' response, I got a 'Huh, it's different than a normal cheesecake and good'. I guess it's hard to compete with the Cheesecake Factory. =)

Anyway, I didn't have a round pan so I used a square one (8x8) and it worked just fine with the same recipe other than the center tended to be about half the size as the outside which seemed a bit much.

My oven isn't as good as John's and so at the very end I put it in the broiler for a couple of minutes to help the top brown just a bit more.

All in all, good cheesecake - especially for the 'burnt' surprise factor when people see it. =)

Scott Barber said...

Well. I've been relying on your N.Y. Sunshine Cheesecake for years. Now, it seems, I have options... and it looks easier to build, too. Thanx!

Unknown said...

I just made this, though mine isnt nearly as dark. But hey still looks tasty! Thanks chef john!

Jeri Hurd said...

I made the 10" version of this to take to work (along with the meatball garlic bread sliders). Both were palpable hits. The indentation was, indeed, the perfect shape for holding a mixture of summer berries which, oddly enough, are in season here in Beijing.

Cheesecake was super-easy and turned out beautiful and creamy.

Erikz said...

@Mohammad
I'm not chef John, but I've tried the recipe in a 10" pan (3" deep) and I think its a bit too big. Next time I'd go for 9 or even 8". Just to be save I'd use the 9".

Erikz said...

@Mohammad
I know I'm not chef John, but I've tried the recipe in a 10" pan (3" deep). I think its just a little bit too big. I will try in a 9" pan the next time I bake. Either that or an 8". Hope this helps you out.

Jackie Patti said...

A simple enough food wish: sot-boiled eggs with toast "soldiers."

I'm in an argument somewhere where it is being insisted that Americans don't make soft-boiled eggs. And I've stated several times that I'm American and I make them. I do have egg cups, but honestly, I use them as shot glasses and I'm uncertain where my egg scissors got to. I just peel them into a bowl, add a bit of butter, then eat with toast.

I make them, my mom made them, presumably her mother did too. But "Americans" don't make soft-boiled eggs!

So you need to make a video so I can link to it. ;)

Mitchiriii said...

What oven setting do you use?

Unknown said...

when I find a recipe (mostly desserts) I always check your list to see how you execute them. You truly have a gift for teaching. I was anxious to try this but not before I saw how you would do it. I enjoyed the contrast in flavor of the deeply browned edge and the pale interior. My cheesecake was brown not dark brown or ebony. I used a 9” cake pan. I tried a tiny bit at room temperature. While I get the premise of bitter sweet I was not a fan of the texture. Overbaked New York cheesecake came to mind I wonder if I could have avoided this by using an 8” or 7” pan (deeper harder to overtake) and/or minus the flour and/or hotter oven less time? Compared to my two “go to” recipes the ratio of eggs to dairy was lowest in this so I guess I expected it to be smooth and moist not like the cheese in a Danish pastry or in a marbled brownie. I still give this top marks because it appeared to work exactly as described and I appreciate new techniques and recipes regardless if they end up being a favorite.

Thank you sir for sharing your considerable talent.

Unknown said...

In the original recipe you don't burn it so much. It's baked for 45 min at 200 ° C.

Daniel Flynn said...

Chef, it would be very helpful if you gave more specific measurements of cake pans in the future. I have two 9 inch cake pans, one has a depth of 1.5 inches and the other is 2 inches. The difference in volume is two cups. Did you use a 2 inch depth or a 1.5?

Erica Metz said...

This is in the oven right now, I can't wait to try it! Thanks for the great looking recipe.

Karoline said...

Oh my. I made this today. I just had my first slice amd am in HEAVEN! I tried it alone and added some sliced strawberries. Thank you for your wonderful inspirations!

Unknown said...

Mohammad, it says right there - Ingredients for one 9-inch cake pan

Unknown said...

Mohammad, Ingredients for one 9-inch cake pan

paul klevann said...

Made this the other day during a snow storm. I loved the "burnt" edges, as my wife said, it has a nice nutty flavor. It isn't the same as a new York style cheesecake that my wife and family love, but it is really good and soooo much easier. We paired it with a raspberry sauce as a topping... mmmmmmmm good.

Ling said...

Hello Chef!
I just made this, the top of the cake is burnt enough and has a nice dark color but how come the sides didn't burn at all? It's still white, but I'm pretty sure it's cooked enough. I made it smaller(12cm mold) and baked for 40 mins.

Dana said...

Hi Chef John! Just tried this today. Amazing! Mine wasn't as dark as yours, but it turned out great.. I made a blueberry sauce to go with it.. Delish! Thank you for sharing

Unknown said...

@Ling

It's because there wasn't enough heat transfer between parchment and pan. This could either be because you didn't push the paper flat enough, or you didn't use enough butter on either the paper or the pan.

Eliana c.h. said...

I made these low carb by leaving out the flour, using an almond flour and pecan crust, and using swerve and it came out great!

Craft on Draught said...

PLEASE GIVE MEASUREMENTS IN METRIC ALSO!!! FOR YOUR MANY INTERNATIONAL VIEWERS (AND FANS!)