This Burnt Basque Cheesecake is the simplest cheesecake you will ever make and quite possibly the creamiest! No water bath, no special equipment, no fuss. Just mix, pour and bake!
Try our Lemon Curd Cheesecake if you after something more traditional!
If you’ve ever felt intimidated by baking a cheesecake, this recipe is for you! It is also for those of you who’s tried making a cheesecake and failed because this recipe is the simplest and most forgiving you will ever find!
This Spanish cheesecake is rustic, which is a part of its charm. With the top looking like burnished gold and a creamy middle this Basque classic is absolutely irresistible. It’s also pretty much impossible to mess up!
You can enjoy it on its own but I prefer adding a raspberry sauce or a compote for a burst of flavour and colour! Raspberry is my favourite fruit but you can choose anything else you love.
Tell me I am not the only one who thinks that adding fruit to rich desserts is the only way to eat them! I believe fruity sauces or compotes add a much needed acidity and balance to the creamy cakes.
You can use any fruit you’ve got but berries are my favourite, so I decided to make a raspberry compote to compliment my cheesecake.
Don’t you get intimidated by the word compote, which is no more than stewed fruit! The main difference between a fruit sauce and a compote is that the latter is made by cooking whole fruit pieces, in our case raspberries, in a sugar syrup. Easy, quick and a delicious way to use seasonal fruit!
Recipes Around the World
I love that an idea of a cheesecake exists in so many countries in various forms. For example this Crumb Apricot Cheesecake is a recipe my Russian mom made often when I was growing up. It uses Russian farmers cheese Tvorog, which is very similar to ricotta but comes with a light tang.
Have you heard of a Japanese cheesecake? It’s impossibly tall, light as a souffle and jiggles when you touch it! New York cheesecake is famous the world over and needs no introduction. The Italian version uses creamy Ricotta and is the most similar to the Spanish cheesecake I am sharing with your today.
What is Basque Cheesecake?
This famous Basque cheesecake is not too dissimilar to a traditional American cheesecake. The main difference is that it’s crustless and is baked without using the bain-marie (water bath) method.
The burnt top is not a baking mistake, it is its most defining feature! Like I said, it’s tough to ruin it!
This cheesecake can be baked until the center is set or underbaked for a custardy middles. It all depends on your personal preference.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Make sure to line the pan with parchment paper with an overhang. (See pictures above) This will allow for an easy removal. You can use a traditional cheesecake springform pan or a regular pan.
- Don’t worry if the paper is not lying flat against the pan. Trust me, a rustic cheesecake is what you are looking for. Nothing cheffy about this recipe.
- Don’t be tempted to go low fat, use full fat cream cheese only. Philadelphia brand worked well for me and surprisingly often used in Spain nowadays!
- Caster sugar or superfine sugar dissolves quicker. I highly recommends it for this recipe.
- Do serve this cheesecake with a fruit compote. It brightens and balances out its rich flavour.
Favourite Cheesecake Recipes:
- Almond Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
- Strawberry Meringue Cheesecake (No Bake)
- Raffaello Cheesecake
- Rustic Plum Cheesecake
- 700g/25 oz full fat cream cheese I used Philadelphia, at room temperature
- 200g/1 cup caster sugar/superfine sugar
- 5 eggs large
- 200ml/ 1 cup double cream/heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
For the raspberry compote
- 150g/1 ½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 100g/1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 100g/1 cup fresh raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Line an 8 inch/20cm cake pan with parchment paper making sure the edges of the paper overhang by good 1-1.5 inches. If your parchment paper is too narrow, cut two pieces and lay them down in a criss cross fashion. Don't worry if the paper is not flat against your pan and you have pleats, this cheesecake is supposed to look rustic. You can use a springform pan if you have one or a regular one. You should have no trouble removing the cheesecake by pulling it out by the ends of parchment paper.
- Beat the room temperature cream cheese with sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Then add the eggs and beat well until the mixture is light and fluffy, then pour in the cream, vanilla, flour and salt, blend until everything is combined.
- Pour the mixture, which will be runny, into a lined with parchment paper pan and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes until the top is burnt but the middle is still a bit jiggly. If you prefer a softer, custardy center reduce the cooking time to 50 minutes. The cheesecake will rise to the top of your pan but it will fall slightly once cooled, which is normal.
- While the cheesecake is baking, make the raspberry compote. Combine 150g/1.5 cups fresh or frozen raspberries with the sugar and 2 tablespoon of water in a small saucepan and let it cook over low heat until the mixture is syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in 100g/1 cup of fresh raspberries. Set aside till needed.
- Cool the cheesecake until room temperature, then put in the fridge and chill for a couple of hours. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving to bring to room temperature. Take out of the pan and carefully pull the parchment paper off, slice and serve with the raspberry compote.