Brûlée Basque cheesecake combines the creamy texture of traditional Basque cheesecake with a caramelized sugar topping reminiscent of crème brûlée. This rich dessert features a smooth, custardy middle encased in a burnt caramel crust, offering a contrast of textures and flavours.

What is Basque Cheesecake?

Basque cheesecake is a crustless cheesecake with a burnt, caramelized exterior and a creamy, custardy, melty interior. Originating from the Basque Country in Spain, it’s characterized by its rustic appearance and rich flavour profile.

Brûlée Basque Cheesecake

This Creme Brûlée Basque Cheesecake is inspired by Cois Espresso Club Brulee Cheesecake I had in Tokyo. It was one of the best tasting cheesecakes I’ve had in awhile. It was perfectly rich and creamy, not too sweet with a mellow cheese profile with the most satisfying crunchy top!

I played around with a few different ratios of the staple ingredients and finally came up with a basque cheesecake that I love. My basque cheesecake recipe also includes a non-traditional ingredient which I found helped slightly enhance that melty feeling upon first bite: white chocolate. Depending on how long you bake it, it can range from very melty, to melty to firm like a classic New York Style cheesecake.

Ingredients

Basque cheesecake can be made with 4-5 simple ingredients:

  • Cream cheese: I highly recommend using a quality full fat cream cheese as this is the primary flavour.
  • Sugar: A finer white granulated sugar for the smooth texture.
  • Eggs: This recipe requires both whole eggs and egg yolks! Save the whites for breakfast or another recipe.
  • Heavy cream: Gives the cheesecake a melty texture.
  • White chocolate: My secret ingredient for a touch of extra rich flavour and further enhances the melt-in-your-mouth texture.

I’ve also added a touch of miso for a slightly salted profile, but it’s totally optional! You can also add some vanilla extract or lemon juice to your liking.

How to Make

Basque cheesecake is easy to make but there are a few points to ensure success.

  1. Line baking tin with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 450 F. 
  2. With a rubber spatula, loosen the room temperature cream cheese.
  3. Add sugar mix until granules have disappeared. Add in the miso and vanilla and mix.
  4. Add the corn starch (if using) and mix. Add in the egg yolk, whole eggs, cream and whisk together until smooth.
  5. Add the white chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  6. Pour over a fine mesh sieve into prepared pan. 
  7. Bake for 18-21 minutes or small loaf. If at 18 minutes the top is not burnt, broil for 2-3 minutes. Bake for 22-25 minutes for the round cake pan. If at 22 minutes the top is not burnt, broil for 2-3 minutes. The middle should still jiggly significantly. 
  8. Let the cheesecake cool in the pan on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature. Cover and chill overnight.
  9. Remove the cake and slice with a heated knife.
  10. Place a layer of sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. Dip the cheesecake in and then sprinkle additional sugar on top. Torch carefully until sugar caramelizes. 

Lisa’s Recipe Tips

  1. Use room temperature ingredients: This will help make it easier to make a smooth batter.
  2. Strain before baking: Straining the batter will ensure the smoothest textured cheesecake and remove any miso granules if you use it.
  3. Baking temperature and time: Every oven is different. Even between my two ovens the baking time differs. When making it for the first time, err on the lower end. Make notes as you make it and adjust for the next time. Even if you over bake the cheesecake, it’s still delicious with the texture of regular rich cheesecake so you can still enjoy!

How to Serve Basque Cheesecake

I rarely ever eat classic basque cheesecake with anything because it’s so delicious on its own. The crunchy sugar on top is just an added textural component, but doesn’t bother the true flavour of the cheesecake. In fact, it kind of adds another layer of ‘burnt’ flavour which is what makes basque cheesecake so special.

How to Store

To store Basque cheesecake, first allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Once cooled, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the refrigerator. Basque cheesecake tastes best after an overnight rest. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

If you need to store it for longer, you can freeze individual slices wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil for up to a month. Thaw frozen slices in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

Why did my cheesecake crack?

There are three things to keep in mind when cheesecakes crack:
Over-mixing: When too much air is in the batter, it causes to expand excessively during baking and then crack as it cools.
Sudden temperature changes: Rapid temperature changes, such as taking the cheesecake from the oven directly to a cold surface, can cause the cheesecake to contract too quickly and crack.
Overbaking: Baking the cheesecake for too long or at too high a temperature can lead to excessive drying and cracking.
Insufficient cooling time: Removing the cheesecake from the oven before it has fully set and allowing it to cool too quickly can cause cracks to form.
To prevent cracking, try the following:
Mix the batter just until smooth and creamy.
Bake the cheesecake at the recommended temperature and time, and then let it cool gradually in the turned-off oven with the door half way open before transferring it to the countertop to cool completely (especially in a cold kitchen)
Ensure your oven temperature is accurate to prevent over baking.

Enjoy!! If you make this Brûlée Basque Cheesecake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rating and if you decide to share it on socials, tag me on instagram @Okonomikitchen. I’d love to hear from you 😁!

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Brulee Basque Cheesecake


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  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Brûlée Basque cheesecake combines the creamy texture of traditional Basque cheesecake with a caramelized sugar topping reminiscent of crème brûlée. This rich dessert features a smooth, custardy middle encased in a burnt caramel crust, offering a contrast of textures and flavours.


Ingredients

Units Scale

16 x 6 cm loaf pan

  • 224 g full fat cream cheese
  • 50 g granulated white sugar
  • 2 (92 g) whole eggs
  • 1 (20 g) egg yolk
  • 112 g heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 46 g white chocolate, melted
  • 5 g miso

15 cm pan round cake pan

  • 350 g full fat cream cheese
  • 80 g granulated white sugar
  • 3 (150 g) whole egg
  • 1 1/2 (30 g) yolk
  • 175 ml heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean pod or 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 70 white chocolate, melted
  • 8 g miso


Instructions

  1. Line baking tin with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 450 F. 
  2. With a rubber spatula, loosen the room temperature cream cheese. Add sugar until well combined and smooth.
  3. Add in the egg yolk, whole eggs, cream, vanilla and whisk together until smooth.
  4. Add the white chocolate and miso paste and whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour over a fine mesh sieve into prepared pan. 
  6. Bake for 18-21 minutes or small loaf. If at 18 minutes the top is not burnt, broil for 2-3 minutes. Bake for 22-25 minutes for the round cake pan. If at 22 minutes the top is not burnt, broil for 2-3 minutes. The middle should still jiggly significantly. 
  7. Let the cheesecake cool in the pan on a wire rack until it reaches room temperature. Cover and chill overnight.
  8. Remove the cake and slice with a heated knife. 
  9. Place a layer of sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. Dip the cheesecake in and then sprinkle additional sugar on top. Torch carefully until sugar caramelizes. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Spansh

Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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