Keys to a perfect Basque Cheesecake

The star cheesecake of the moment is the Basque Cheesecakeone of the
trendy cheesecake, one of the
in the world confectionery. The social networks are witness of the lovers that have come out to what was originally called Cheesecake of “La Viña”.. Under hashtags such as #basquecheesecake or #sansebastiancheesecake, numerous pastry chefs and pastry establishments around the world have emulated the famous Basque cheesecake. Its rise to the Olympus of cheesecakes has been unstoppable and even in the New York Time, the prestigious food journalist Kim Severson, Pulitzer Prize 2018, called it as
the best flavor of 2021

With little more than 5 ingredients, part of the passion that unleashes the Basque cheesecake is its voluptuous and tempting image: of considerable height compared to other cheesecakes, very creamy on the inside and toasted on the outside. This last characteristic has been given the nickname of Burnt Basque Cheesecake or Burnt Basque Cheesecake.

In this article we will unveil the keys to a perfect Basque Cheesecakeits origin and discover the best secrets about how to make the best Basque Cheesecake. how to make the best Basque Cheesecake. We will also learn how to elaborate the foolproof recipe for Basque Cheesecake and we will also discover delicious variations and adaptations of the original recipe of the famous Basque Cheesecake.

What is a Basque Cheesecake

A Basque Cheesecake is a baked cheesecake with few ingredients and a straightforward method.

The uniqueness of the Basque Cheesecake is its simplicity. The list of ingredients for Basque cheesecake is short and simple as we will see below. It is a baked cake like the New York Cheesecake, but one of the characteristics that makes it different is that it does not have a cookie base or crust. Unlike other cheesecakes, it does not have butter among its ingredients and is not presented with the typical topping of jam or fruit that characterizes the more classic cheesecakes. The ingredients are mixed all at once, and the cake is baked directly in the oven without a bain-marie as is the case with some cheesecake versions. So what is your secret? Well, lhe key to a perfect Basque Cheesecake is how it is made. the way it is made.

The truth is that every detail counts to achieve a perfect Basque Cheesecake. perfect Basque Cheesecake, soft and creamy on the inside and toasted on the outside. One of the key factors is the perfect baking temperature and time, or rather, insufficient baking.

The Basque Cheesecake should be taken out of the oven when it is not yet it is not completely set inside to ensure a smooth texture that can even be almost liquid. Its center oozes and exudes aroma as if it were a ripe Camembert and on the palate it is a mouthful that melts deliciously. Quite the opposite of the denser texture of American cheesecakes that until now dominated the baked cheesecake world.

Unlike a conventional baked cheesecake, the outside of the Basque Cheesecake must be very toasted. The beauty of the Burnt Basque Cheesecake lies not in the flawless, crack-free look of a conventional cheesecake, but in its imperfect and almost burned surface. This step is what gives it that extra flavor, the slightly caramelized final touch that is one of the main reasons why this cheesecake raises passions. This high temperature cheesecake puffs up in the oven and then deflates to create that lovely caramelized surface.

The origin of the Basque Cheesecake


But where did the story of the famous Vineyard Cake really begin?


The Basque Cheesecake has its origin in the city of San Sebastian in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country in northern Spain. Born almost 30 years ago in the oven of the Restaurant “La Viña”.a restaurant in the old part of the city located on the famous 31 de Agosto street. Open since 1959, this restaurant is appreciated for its traditional gastronomic offer of pintxos and classic dishes of Basque cuisine. In recent years it has gained worldwide fame for its original cheesecake and people from all over the world make a pilgrimage to San Sebastian to try it.

Favored by the undeniable gastronomic interest of Donosti, the influx of foreign journalists to the city, and with the help of the Internet and social networks, the Burnt Basque Cheesecake has burst into the numerous rankings of the most famous cheesecake around the world. His fame has crossed borders to Japan, China, South Korea, the United States, Australia and even Turkey. In all these countries, a surprising number of establishments and confectioners have wanted to imitate his recipe and it has already become the star offer of their business. Today we can find La Viña” Cheesecakes, Basque Cheesecakes, or Burnt Cheesecakes all over the world.

The keys on how to make a perfect Basque Cheesecake

As we have seen above, the Basque Cheesecake is not a cheesecake that has a long list of ingredients, as is the case with other cheesecake recipes. His recipe is also available worldwide in hundreds of publications in various languages, both online and in baking books. So why does it still elude many professional and amateur bakers? Although the personal point of view of the chef or pastry chef always influences, we have already mentioned that the secret of how to make a perfect Basque Cheesecake lies in its elaboration process.

Here we are going to go over all the keys on how to make a perfect Basque Cheesecake, going over each one of thereviewing each of the fundamental steps of its elaboration.

  • The quality of the ingredients in the Basque Cheesecake

The quality of the ingredients with which we elaborate any cheescake is fundamental, but in elaborations in which there are few ingredients, we must put even more emphasis on quality. There are no added flavorings such as vanilla or other spices to mask the flavor, so we need premium quality ingredients to ensure the texture and doneness we need.

Starting with cream cheese
cream cheese, much more than just a spreadable cheese.
. It is the star product in the preparation of any cheesecake and has led to its maximum popularity becoming one of its essential ingredients. Depending on the type of cheesecake that we want to elaborate, there will be a more appropriate cheese for each case, but in all cases opting for a quality cream cheese will be essential to achieve the perfect cheesecake
to get the perfect cheesecake
with a smooth and creamy texture. We will always look for cream cheeses that have a good behavior in baked cheesecakes, as well as a good flavor and a high organoleptic quality.

Another key ingredient that affects the creaminess of the perfect “La Viña” cheesecake is the use of a high-fat cream. For cooking and confectionery professionals it is common to find creams or whipped creams in the Horeca market with a high percentage of fat, above 35.1% and even up to 38%. In case of non-professional users, it should never go below 35%, which is the whipping cream that can be usually found in any supermarket.

As an additional but not less important information, all the ingredients must be tempered before starting the process of elaboration of our Basque Cheesecake.

  • Do not over beat the Basque Cheesecake batter.

It is necessary to respect not only the measurements of the ingredients but also the mixing times. Excessive beating of the ingredients would lead to the introduction of too much air and would favor the appearance of cracks during baking.

  • The type and time of baking makes the difference in a Basque Cheesecake.

The way we bake our Burnt Basque Cheesecake sets it apart from other baked cheesecakes. The bain-marie method, so suitable for other varieties of cheesecakes, is strongly discouraged here. We do not want a homogeneous cooking but the opposite. And instead of applying long cooking times at a medium temperature, we will use a high temperature in a short time so that the outside of the cheesecake caramelizes so that the outside of the cheesecake caramelizes and the inside remains soft and creamy.

This part of the burning process is the one that arouses the most misgivings among pastry chefs and confectioners used to making cheesecakes with a more classic execution, such as the New York Cheesecake or the spongy and immaculate Japanese cheesecake. When first faced with making a Basque cheesecake, the tendency is to think that by burning the surface, the flavor will be bitter and smoky. But quite to the contrary, and surprisingly, this part of the baking process brings out a sweet caramelized taste delicious and perfect!

Also make sure the oven is at the right temperature before putting the cheesecake in (you can use a special oven thermometer to be more precise). Bake directly for 20 minutes. At this point in the cooking time, it is time to switch to the grill function and bake for 5 more minutes to get that characteristic caramelization of the Burnt Basque Cheesecake. After baking, it is important to leave the cake in the oven turned off and with the door closed for another 5 minutes. Be careful not to exceed the appropriate cooking time, depending on the size and power of the oven, as this would result in a dry and grainy texture, totally contrary to the desired effect of the liquid core.

  • The important cooling process of the Basque Cheesecake

This is another fundamental point that will guarantee a perfect Basque Cheesecake. Once the entire baking time has elapsed, it should be left to temper in the oven with the door open. From there we move to the refrigerated area and keep it in a cooler. cold for at least 4-6 hours.

Do not forget, however, that once this cooling process is finished and when the cheesecake is ready to be consumed, it should be taken out of the cold in advance (1 or 2 hours before), to temper and serve at room temperature. It is important to emphasize that if we serve it cold we would lose those characteristics of a very creamy and almost liquid interior that makes it so famous.

All this process and temperature game will guarantee a high creaminess of our cheesecake. This step will also allow us to make the cleanest cuts possible (as far as such a creamy texture allows) to serve to the diners in the restaurant.

  • Treat your Basque Cheesecake gently

At first glance the Burnt Basque Cheesecake looks like a robust and imposing cake, but be careful, its interior is very soft and can break easily. Once unmolded, transfer it to a serving plate from which you will cut the different portions. When cold resting after baking, do so with a rigid cover on top to avoid scratches or bumps that may spoil its appearance.

  • Serve Basque Cheesecake without jam

To fully enjoy the delicious and characteristic flavor of the Burnt Basque Cheesecake it is better to make it alone than with the usual fruit jams or whipped creams that are usual in other types of cheesecake with a more neutral flavor. We want to perceive all the intensity of nuances of our Basque cheesecake, that soft and creamy flavor of the interior in contrast with its caramelized crust. Therefore, to fully enjoy its essence we proclaim a resounding no to any interference that does not allow to perceive all these flavors and aromas of a perfectly baked Basque Cheesecake. Although, of course, variations are allowed according to taste.

  • The format of your business will condition the way you serve the Basque Cheesecake.

Depending on the type of catering business, we will have to consider the way to serve our Burnt Basque Cheesecake.

In a restaurant or cafeteria it is easy to take the cake out to temper after the cooling process is finished and always serve it at room temperature. It is possible that by the time all the lunch, snack or dinner orders are finished, we will have consumed all the portions of the cheesecake. This will prevent us from generating waste, since this type of cheesecake, once it reaches the serving temperature, it is not advisable to cool it again.

However, this may be difficult to implement in a candy store or confectionery without table service or in a restaurant that wants to incorporate this cake to its delivery service.
delivery service.
If you choose to leave the center as creamy as possible, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for the cake portions to retain their structure during transport. The characteristics of the Basque cake make it much more appropriate to be sold in this type of establishments in its whole format without dividing it into portions. It would also be advisable to tell the customer that if it is not going to be served immediately, to keep it cold and to temper it before serving it directly.

Another alternative would be to move away from the more canonical shape by curdling it a little more to facilitate both portioning and serving.

Recipe for the perfect Basque Cheesecake

Once we know the keys on how to make the perfect Basque CheesecakeNow it is time to put all this knowledge into practice. Our culinary team has developed the step by step of the
basic Basque Cheesecake recipe.
In this recipe you will only need 6 ingredients and a 16 cm diameter round tart pan. The elaboration and cooking process will take approximately one hour.

The ingredients of a perfect Basque Cheesecake of approximately 1 kg with a yield of 8 servings are as follows:

  • 500 gr. of Quescrem Natural.
  • 200 gr. of cream 35% M.G.
  • 200 gr. of white sugar.
  • 200 gr. of egg or 4 units.
  • 25 gr of wheat flour.

Once we have all the ingredients under control, we move on to the elaboration of the perfect the elaboration of the perfect Basque Cheesecake.

First, preheat the oven to 225º C. Prepare a 16 cm diameter round cake pan lined with paper. To line our mold well, we will take a size of baking paper that sufficiently covers the walls of the mold, crumpling it and wetting it beforehand. We stretch the paper, dry it and adapt it well to the inside of the mold. Finally, trim the paper, leaving about 1 cm overhang.

Soften the cream cheese with the paddle attachment of the mixer or a rubber spatula. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a turmix, trying not to add air.

Pour the mixture into the mold, leaving 2 cm of margin so that when it rises it does not come out. Bake in the lower part of the oven for 20 minutes. After the time has elapsed, turn the oven to broil and bake for another 5 minutes. After the time has elapsed, turn off the oven and leave it for 5 minutes with the door closed. Finally, allow the cake to temper in the oven with the door open.

As mentioned before, it is important to refrigerate the cake at least 4 to 6 hours before serving to make the cleanest cuts possible, and it should be served at room temperature for a much creamier result.

Basque Cheesecake Recipe Variations

The Basque Cheesecake also lends itself to different versions. You can add touches of other cheeses, such as blue cheese or idiazabal, and you can also add other flavors to it, in order to version of the world’s most famous Basque cheesecake..

Our culinary team has developed two recipes with very special flavors, one with blue cheese and the other with chocolate. Let’s see below the differences in the preparation with respect to the original recipe.

  • Burnt Basque Cheesecake with a touch of blue cheese recipe

This new version of Basque Cheesecake incorporates a balanced touch of blue cheese that will raise the passions of lovers of this type of flavors. The recipe is easy to make using the basic Basque Cheesecake recipe above as a reference. To make this delicious version of the Burnt Basque Cheesecake we only have to substitute 200 gr. of Natural Quescrem for the same amount of Quescrem Cream Cheese with Blue Cheese and follow exactly the same method of preparation and cooking of the original recipe. Discover this delicious recipe in the following link.

  • Recipe for Basque Chocolate Cheesecake

For chocolate addicts, our culinary team has managed to version the classic Basque Cheesecake by adding the unmistakable color, aroma and flavor of dark chocolate. A variety of the original “La Viña” cake that maintains its texture and the absence of cookie base but differs in its baking method from the original, since we will not apply the external caramelization method in the grill. To the basic ingredients we will add 120 gr. of melted dark chocolate. You can see all the particularities of this Basque Chocolate Cheesecake recipe in the following link.

Your ally for a perfect Basque Cheesecake

At Quescrem we produce with the best milk in Galicia, cream cheeses designed by and for professionals that are perfect for making Burnt Basque Cheesecake. Its creamy texture, lactic flavor, quality ingredients, and culinary functionality make Quescrem the best cream cheese for this type of cheesecake.

From our
Natural Quescrem
The San Sebastián Cheesecake, ideal for making San Sebastián Cheesecake due to its creaminess, baking stability and mild dairy flavor, to our flavored cream cheeses with which cheesecake recipes can be easily adapted by simply substituting a part of the Quescrem Natural, the options are many.

This is the case of Quescrem with Blue Cheese that we use in the recipe with blue cheese that our culinary team has made for the Basque Cheesecake, and also the one from Quescrem with Goat RollerThe cheese has a delicious goat log flavor with the convenience of cream cheese (without having to handle the cheese, discard the rind, and melt it before using it).

Our cream cheeses are available available through distributors for Horeca and Pastry shops both in the national and international market.They are also available for sale in supermarkets. But we have also incorporated the online sale of professional formats in Spain from
The baking machine is designed so that the amateur baker can obtain the same results at home as a professional, thus offering professional quality also at home. professional quality also at home.

Since our inception, Quescrem has worked closely with chefs and pastry chefs to design the best recipes using cream cheese and other innovative dairy products. Our The culinary team has extensive experience in gastronomy in general and a specialization in Basque gastronomy.. As a result of all this expertise, we have spent several years designing resources around the Burnt Cheesecake, analyzing which cream cheeses perform best in the preparation of the Basque Cheesecake, improving manufacturing processes and creating recipes inspired by “La Viña” cheesecake adapted to all types of production facilities.from food industry to artisan bakery.

As we have seen throughout this article, the secret to making the best Burnt Basque Cheesecake does not lie in sophisticated cooking techniques or ingredients. However, despite being an apparently simple cheesecake, any version of “La Viña” cheesecake that wants to aspire to perfection requires a mastery of the elaboration technique and the use of high quality ingredients. It could not be less in what is nowadays a one of the most imitated cheesecake of the moment.

If you have any specific needs to start making the Basque Cheesecake, we will be happy to assist you and help you adapt the recipe. Contact us and our panel of chefs and pastry chefs will provide you with the solution for your specific case.

Discover more tricks for your recipes

Scroll to Top