Basque Burnt Cheesecake – Whip It UP!
DON’T judge a cake by its looks. This cheesecake gets burnt, deliberately, in its final 5 minutes of baking! Scorched and with a sunken centre, this is no eye-candy nor is it a feast for the eyes. However, it’s deightfully delish! This Basque version originating in San Sebastian, Spain 3 decades ago uses pantry basics – cream cheese, sugar, eggs and flour. The result? A spectacular cake. What this confection needs is a glass of Gerwurztraminer! Bake it for New Year’s Eve! Plan the menu ahead: Shepherd’s Pie or Spicy Kimchi Stew with Pork.
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 10-12 persons
A: Cake Batter
500g cream cheese
5 eggs, each 60g
150g icing sugar
250ml heavy cream
20g plain flour, sifted
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
250g strawberries, optional
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 24cm loose bottom baking pan with 2 sheets of greaseproof paper measuring 40cm x 40cm allowing an extension of 5cm above cake rim.
2. Using a hand whisk, beat cream cheese until creamy.
3. Add icing sugar and continue beat until mixture turns fluffy.
4. Crack eggs into batter one at a time. Mix until combined, then add in flour.
5. Continue beating, then pour in heavy cream.
6. Lastly add lemon juice and beat until it is incorporated into batter.
7. Pour batter into baking pan.
8. Bake for 40 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, turn grill on. Continue baking, while keeping on eye on cheesecake, taking care that it doesn’t burn. Remove it from the oven.
9. Set aside to cool down completely, approximately 15 minutes. Chill cake overnight in the fridge.
10. Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired, just before serving.
11. Enjoy a slice of cheesecake with a glass of sweet German wine.
TIP: Cheesecake will still be slightly jiggly in the middle when baking is done. As it cools down, the curd will slowly set until thick and custardy.
TECHNIQUE: Increasing oven heat in the final leg of baking draws the sugar up to the top and as it slowly caramelizes as a toasty crust forms.
Watch the how-to video here.
Photos: Lilian Lim