If you’re a fan of desserts, then you must have heard about the Basque cheesecake. This creamy delight has been making waves in the culinary world for a good reason. Originating from the Basque region of Spain, this cheesecake perfectly combines a crispy crust and a melt-in-your-mouth filling. What sets it apart from other cheesecakes is that it’s intentionally burnt on the top, which gives it a unique flavor profile that’s hard to resist.
So whether you’re a cheesecake enthusiast or just looking to try something new, the Basque cheesecake is worth indulging in. In this article, we’ll examine why this dessert has become so popular and where you can find the best Basque cheesecake in town. So sit back and get ready to satisfy your sweet tooth with this heavenly treat.
History of Basque Cheesecake
The Basque region of Spain is known for its rich culinary traditions, and the Basque cheesecake is no exception. This dessert has been around for decades, but it wasn’t until recently that it gained worldwide popularity. The Basque cheesecake was created by a pastry chef named Santiago Rivera in San Sebastian.
He was experimenting with a traditional Basque dessert called the “burnt milk pudding” when he accidentally burnt the top of the cheesecake. To his surprise, the burnt top gave the cheesecake a unique flavor and texture, unlike anything he had tasted before. From there, the Basque cheesecake was born.
Today, Basque cheesecake is a staple in many pastry shops and restaurants worldwide. Its popularity can be attributed to its rustic appearance, rich flavor, and simple yet delicious ingredients.
What Makes Basque Cheesecake Different from Traditional Cheesecake?
Traditional cheesecake is normally made with a graham cracker crust and a creamy filling, usually made with cream cheese, sugar, and eggs. The filling is then baked in an oven until it’s set. The result is a smooth and creamy cheesecake that’s rich and decadent.
On the other hand, the Basque cheesecake is made with just a few ingredients, including cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, and eggs. The filling is then poured into a cake pan lined with parchment paper and baked in a scorching oven until the top is burnt and the inside is still creamy. The result is a dense, creamy cheesecake with a burnt caramelized flavor on top. The Basque cheesecake is also typically served at room temperature, which allows the flavors to come through more clearly.
Ingredients and Recipe for Basque Cheesecake
If you’re looking to make your Basque cheesecake at home, here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 pounds of cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
- Six large eggs
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- One teaspoon of kosher salt
- One tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
Here’s how to make it:
- Preheat your oven to 450°F.
- Line a nine-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
- Beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth.
- Add the sugar and beat until it’s fully incorporated.
- Add the eggs one by one. Beat it well after each addition.
- Beat in the heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract.
- Sift in the flour and mix until it’s fully incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Then, bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is burnt and the middle is still slightly jiggly.
- Let it cool to room temperature.
Tips for Baking the Perfect Basque Cheesecake
Baking the perfect basque cheesecake can be tricky, but you can achieve that burnt caramelized top and creamy center everyone loves with a few tips:
- Use room temperature ingredients: Ensure your cream cheese, eggs, and heavy cream are all at room temperature before making the batter. This will help them mix more efficiently and prevent lumps from forming.
- Keep the batter manageable, and it can cause it to become too dense and heavy. Mix the ingredients just until they’re fully incorporated.
- Use a high-sided cake pan: The high sides will help prevent the batter from overflowing as it bakes.
- Bake at a high temperature: The oven’s high temperature gives the cheesecake its burnt top. Make sure to preheat your oven to 450°F before baking.
- Let it cool to room temperature: The cheesecake must be cool before serving. This allows the flavors to develop and the texture to set.
Variations on the Classic Basque Cheesecake Recipe
While the classic Basque cheesecake is delicious on its own, there are many variations that you can try to switch things up. Here are some ideas:
- Chocolate Basque cheesecake: Add some melted chocolate to the batter for a chocolatey twist on the classic recipe.
- Fruit Basque cheesecake: Top the cheesecake with fresh berries or a fruit compote for a fruity and refreshing flavor.
- Nutella Basque cheesecake: Swirl some Nutella into the batter for a decadent and indulgent dessert.
- Caramel Basque cheesecake: Drizzle some caramel sauce on top of the cheesecake for a sweet and sticky finish.
Pairings and Serving Suggestions for Basque Cheesecake
The Basque cheesecake is a rich and indulgent dessert, best served in small portions.
- Serve with fresh berries or a fruit compote: The tartness of the fruit will help cut through the richness of the cheesecake.
- Pair with a cup of coffee: The bitterness of the coffee will complement the sweetness of the cheesecake.
- Top with whipped cream: A dollop of whipped cream on top of the cheesecake will add some lightness and creaminess to the dessert.
- Add some nuts: Crushed nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts, can add texture and crunch to the cheesecake.
Making Basque Cheesecake at Home vs. Buying from a Bakery
While making a delicious Basque cheesecake at home is possible, it can be time-consuming and require some trial and error to get the recipe just right. On the other hand, buying a Basque cheesecake from a bakery can be convenient, especially if you need more time or patience to make one yourself.
However, remember that not all bakeries make their Basque cheesecake, so you’ll want to research the best options available in your area. Ultimately, whether you make your own Basque cheesecake or buy it from a bakery, you’re sure to enjoy this decadent twist on the classic dessert.
In conclusion, the Basque cheesecake is a delicious and unique dessert that’s definitely worth trying. Whether you’re a cheesecake lover or just looking for something new and exciting, the Basque cheesecake will satisfy your sweet tooth. With its burnt caramelized top and creamy filling, this dessert perfectly combines textures and flavors.