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basque burnt cheesecake



I was scrolling through instagram last weekend and saw a photo of a Basque burnt cheesecake. I was intrigued because I didn't know it was a thing. I found a few recipes which looked very much like  my Mum's cheesecake recipe but with way more sugar. Mum didn't use cream cheese in the filling though preferring farmer's cheese with it's distinctive tang. Mum glazed the top of her cheesecake with egg yolk before it was baked so a dark brown sheen on the top of the cheesecake was the norm.



The Basque cheesecake doesn't usually have a base but I thought a cheesecake without a base was just wrong so I made my usual shortbread base and for the filling used Mum's recipe using cream cheese instead of farmer's cheese. 



Mum's cheesecake was time consuming - it had a pastry shell that needed to be par-baked and a filling which required separating 8 eggs. With this recipe I made both the base and filling in the food processor and it came together in no time at all. I think lining the tin was the most time consuming part of the process.



If you'd like to make your own Basque burnt cheesecake, here's the recipe for you which makes a 17cm cake. If you'd like to make a 23cm cake, just double all the ingredients and bake for the same length of time. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C. 

Basque Burnt Cheesecake inspired by this recipe 
Base
50 grams unsalted butter
1 tbs caster sugar
½ cup plain flour
½ teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter a 17cm spring-form pan, then line with baking paper making sure the paper comes at least 2 inches above top of pan on all sides. Grease the baking paper. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and creamy. Mix in the flour and combine until the mixture forms a soft dough. Press the mixture into the base of the tin, bringing it slightly up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes or until the base is lightly golden. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.

Filling
375g cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup caster sugar
Pinch salt 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs plain flour
3 large eggs 
100 mls double cream 

Method
Place a rack in middle of oven; increase the oven temperature to 200°C. 

Place the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla and plain flour in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is smooth. Add eggs and cream and process until the mixture is very smooth and silky. The mixture will be quite runny.

Place the springform pan on a baking sheet then pour the batter into the pan. Bake cheesecake in the preheated 200°C oven until deeply golden brown on top and still jiggly in the centre ~ 50 minutes. If the top is a bit pale, increase the temperature to 220°C and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before unmoulding the tin. 



The cheesecake will rise dramatically then fall, this is normal. Let the cheesecake cool completely before unmoulding and carefully removing the baking paper from sides of the cheesecake. 



The cheesecake can be made a day ahead. Cover the cheesecake and refrigerate but let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for several hours before serving. You can top the cheesecake with extra cream if so desired.



The cheesecake is only gently sweet, so if you like a sweet cheesecake you may want to increase the quantity of sugar a little. The cheesecake definitely reminded me of Mum's recipe but without the hard work and I do plan to make it again using Farmer's cheese. 

See you all again soon with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,

Jillian

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