“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” is the phrase that comes to me every time I see a beautiful dessert. Food & Wine Magazine‘s July issue had a picture and recipe of a Basque Cheesecake that caught my attention. I’ve seen some pictures of Basque Cheesecakes on Pinterest, and wondered, hmm…those look nice, but I guess none of them captured me like this one. I didn’t realize that Basque Cheesecake isn’t made like a classic cheesecake, and after going through pastry school years back, and traveling around Spain, I’ve never even heard of, or have seen one, until recent months.
Basque Cheesecake is probably the most gorgeous rustic dessert I’ve ever baked, and the easiest. There are big differences between a traditional cheesecake and this recipe. For starters, Basque Cheesecake has lots of cream in the mixture, and you bake it in a very hot oven, around 450 degrees, unlike classic cheesecake, which is usually baked at 325 degrees. No water bath is necessary either, because you want the top and edges to turn deep dark brown in the oven. The contrasting colors of the center of the cheesecake and exterior are amazing, plus there’s no crust, it’s baked in a parchment lined springform pan.
Baking time is cut down by half because of the high heat, and it’s super-duper jiggly when you take it out of the oven, so don’t be afraid it’s under baked. The cheesecake, rests for 3 hours on the countertop, before putting it in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to serve, you release the pan and pull down the darkened parchment edges. Please don’t try and move it off the parchment, because there could be some cracking involved, trust me. Just serve it straight off the parchment from a cutting board – I think it looks more beautiful that way anyway.
The texture is so creamy, more like a crème brulee with a burnt sugar crust, but still, it’s a cake, not a pudding. The experience is magical in my opinion, and I’m definitely baking more of these for the holidays. I did slice strawberries and added a little sugar to them for a nice compote to serve alongside each slice. I know you’ll think this cheesecake is as marvelous as I do.
36 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Makes 9-inch Cheesecake)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 9-inch springform pan with parchment in two directions to cover all sides and bottom (you can use a 10-inch springform, just reduce cooking time by 3 minutes).
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar on low speed for 6 minutes. In a separate bowl, or measuring cup, add heavy cream and flour, whisk until smooth.
- Add eggs and yolk, one at a time to cream cheese mixture, on low speed scraping down in between additions. Add vanilla and heavy cream mixture while mixer is running on low speed. Pour cheesecake batter into prepared pan.
- Place springform pan on sheet pan and bake in the oven for 33 minutes, no water bath is needed!
- Remove cheesecake and let cool on counter for 3 hours before refrigerating overnight. Remove cheesecake when ready to serve, and peel down burnt parchment from edges before slicing. Enjoy!