Recipe: Basque cheesecake

This Basque cheesecake hails from San Sebastian and differs from other cheesecakes due to the outside of the cake being burnt brown to give it extra flavour and a slightly caramelised look and feel. Thanks to Felicity Cloake for her recipe which we used as the basis of ours.

700g cream cheese, at room temperature
350g creme fraiche, at room temperature
300g caster sugar
½ tsp salt
5 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp cornflour, or plain flour

1 x 20cm cake

Heat the oven to 240C or 220C fan.

1. Grease and line a deep, 20cm cake tin with a scrunched-up sheet of baking paper, making sure it comes up at least 2cm above the top of the rim. Lay in a second sheet of scrunched-up paper at right angles; weigh down the paper with a bowl, if needed.
2. Put the cheese in a large bowl or food mixer, and beat or whizz on a low speed until soft and spreadable.
3. Beat in the creme fraiche until evenly mixed in and then add the sugar and salt, and beat until dissolved.
4. Beat in the eggs one by one, scraping down the walls of the bowl as you go, until they’re thoroughly mixed in.
5. Put the cornflour in a small bowl and using a whisk, beat in a spoonful of the batter until thoroughly mixed in. Ensure it is lump free before returning it to the bowl of batter and stir to combine.
6. Pour the cake mix into the lined tin, smooth the top, then pick up the tin and drop it a couple of times on a work surface to knock out any air bubbles.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, depending on your oven it may need 5-10 minutes longer. It is ready when the top is deeply brown and, more importantly, the middle is still wobbly and liquid; you’ll think it will never set, but it will as it cools. The internal temperature should be at least 60C.
8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, before using the paper to help lift the cake out of its tin – I think it’s nicest served still slightly warm on the day it’s baked, but if you’d like to cut it into neat slices, you may prefer to refrigerate it for several hours first.


If you would like to learn how make this delicious cheesecake under the expertise our of our chefs, check out our A Taste of Spanish Cuisine cooking class.