Basque Cheesecake

There’s a reason this space has been quiet for nearly two months. At the end of May, the Frenchman and I are getting married. It’s going to be an awesome party, but because I’m a nutso micromanager, I’ve taken on the brunt of the planning myself. In an effort to personalize the occasion, I also ended up creating extra work for us: together, the Frenchman and I self-designed every bit of stationary. (Who knew that weddings require so.much.stationary?) We built a website. Eleven months ago, I bottled vanilla beans into two cases of vodka, the results of which will soon become wedding favors in the form of extract, vanilla sugar, and vanilla bath salts.

This is all to say that, although I’ve loved the process of planning this wedding, it’s also been majorly time consuming. It’s been a pleasure, but sometimes it feels as if planning this wedding has become my second full time job. This is all to say that, while I have boatloads of ideas swirling around my mind grapes, half-recipes or ingredient lists I’ve jotted down and vow to return to, the fruition of these ideas may have to wait until May 31st.

I’m still cooking, but lately this has taken on a quieter form–simple, healthful dinners to fortify the Frenchman and me against the cold. Often, the seeds of one night’s dinner sprout from whatever I have left in the fridge from the last night’s dinner. On and on it goes.

I love and value this space, but I also think it’s time for a change. In the past, I’ve been very strict with myself about the structure of a post, and adamant about only posting original recipes. However, I don’t think this model is sustainable for me in the long run. Even after the wedding, the Frenchman and I both work full time, and we still have plenty of adventures on the horizon. Plus, there are so many stellar recipes I’ve grown to love which aren’t mine. I want the option to share smaller, not limiting myself to a big project every time I hit publish. I hope this is ok with you.

In the meantime, there’s a winter trevisano salad with toasted hazelnuts, parsley, cara cara oranges, hot honey, and pecorino cheese that’s burning a hole in my pocket. I send you all warm, knee sock, hot chocolate kind of wishes.

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I came across this cheesecake in San Sebastián, the most glorious food destination in all the land. We were given a copy of the recipe, but when I returned home and tried to make it, it became clear that the recipe on the page was not remotely the same as what we’d sampled. I tested and tested, making many friends and cheesecake recipients happy along the way, until I landed on this version. The ingredients are dead simple, but the cake turns out quite dramatically. I think it’s sort of a show stopper to serve to guests, especially because the cake needs a few hours out of the oven to cool down. It’s wonderful on it’s own, but I’m sure a drizzle of chocolate, coulis, or citrus slices would make a nice accompaniment. Just make sure to grease the parchment paper before pouring in the batter, to avoid a situation like the third picture down.

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  • ingredients:
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 packages (24-ounces or 678 grams) cream cheese
  • 1 cup + 5 tablespoons (300 grams) sugar
  • 1.5 heaping cups (375 grams) cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • butter, to grease the pan

  • procedure:
  •      Heat the oven to 425F (218C). Meanwhile, break the eggs into a bowl and beat until frothy. (I used an electirc mixer for 2 minutes.) Pour the eggs into a large mixing bowl along with the cream cheese. Mix on low speed until the eggs and cream cheese blend together. Now add the sugar, cream, and flour, one at a time, blending each individually before adding the next. Blend the batter with an immersion blender, to ensure a super smooth consistency.
  •      Lower 2 sheets of parchment paper into a 9-inch springform pan; make sure the paper rises about 3-inches above the rim of the pan in all directions since the cake will rise while cooking. Grease the parchment paper with butter. Pour the batter into the pan, place the pan on a baking sheet, and move it into the oven. Leave the heat at 425F (220C) for 20 minutes, and then lower the oven temperature to 375F (190C). Cook the cake another 60 minutes, or until the top is dark brown. The cake is done when the center is mostly set to the touch. (Keep in mind that the cake will sink out of the oven. Wait 3-4 minutes, and then touch the center with a finger.) Allow the cake to cool for at least one hour before turning it out onto a plate. Serves 10-12.




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  1. Heidi Leon Monges

    This Cheesecake looks divine. Tall, thick creamy consistency and burnt top. I need to add your recipe to must-dos.

  2. Tricia

    This is cooking in my oven right now. And it smells heavenly!!! Hope it turns out right!

  3. veris

    this looks amazing! what kind of cream did you use?

  4. Betty

    We just arrived home from San Sebastián and were completely hypnotized by this dessert!!! Thank you for your efforts, can’t wait to try this !

  5. Bernadette

    I went to eat at la vina twice because of the cheese cake. I tried your recipe. The cheesecake came out good but oily. Anything I should have done differently?

  6. Barry

    Can u please clarify if you butter the pan or the interior of the parchment paper that touches the batter
    We just got back forms an Sebastian and can’t wait to try and make this
    Thx much

  7. vivian

    looks delish! how far in advance can you make this? off to a cottage and would like to make a day or 2 ahead of time..

  8. Hanis Ismail

    Hi there! Would like to ask what”s the dimension of the pan? Thank you

  9. Grace

    Do you refrigerate this cake afterwards or is it okay to keep it out?

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Grace! I keep it in the fridge. But you can take it out 30 minutes to an hour before eating!

  10. Melissa

    Hi! Just tried it. So so so good!! But just wondering if I did anything wrong as it was slightly oily.

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Melissa! Thanks for baking. Yes, it’s quite a heavy cake. It shouldn’t be oily though; I wonder if something separated in baking.

      • Ben

        Hi, I know I’m not following the recipe but I’ve seen variation of recipes where people use sour cream instead of cream and etc. And my itchy hands just used whatever I had and it was creme fraiche and yoghurt.

        And I had almost the same problem. The oil leaked and still sort of leaking – almost flooding does yoghurt or creme fraiche cause the mixture to separate? I’ve done this before, and also using sour cream and it was just amazing. This time, not so much.

  11. Pam

    Hihi! Can I check, for the oven’s temperature, do we switch on the fan force? Thanks!

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Pam, I’m not sure what fan force is. I don’t bake in a convection oven though. Hope this helps!

  12. Anida

    Hi 2nd time i tried this, this cake is very amazing we really love this cake so creamy. Tq for ur sharing

  13. chaz

    Made this yesterday. Delicious. Yes, it seemed a little ‘weepy’ (not oily) but I wonder if one could dial back the high-fat of the 1.5 cups cream, and instead do it with half-cream, half-milk? And any thoughts on how much orange zest this could use for an extra bit of flavor? Regardless, I definitely will make this again.

    • CristinaSciarra

      Hi Chaz! I wouldn’t take the fat down too much, but feel free to experiment taking it down a little–I’d be curious about half and half. I might try 1 tablespoon zest, or the zest of 1 orange. If you really want to boost that orange flavor, maybe try some orange blossom water as well. Happy baking!

  14. chaz

    P.S. Minor typo: “immersion” not “emersion” blender.

  15. Nick

    Have made the twice and it’s darn close to perfection. I had validation when I took it to my neighbors who spend their summers in Spain. Mine too, have experienced a bit of weepiness but not oily at all. I will be experimenting with adding different flavors (rum, cocoa) just to mix it up a bit. But this is now my go to. And if you’re using a stand mixer, it takes literally all the work out of creating this.

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND – you can’t go wrong.

    • CristinaSciarra

      So glad you like it, Nick! You’re right, it’s quite dense, and a bit prone to weeping. But still tasty

  16. Anastasia

    Just came from San Sebastián and need to make it as soon as possible!
    How big is your spring form?

  17. Rana

    Hi .. thank you for sharing .. i baked it many times and evry one loved it … but i dont know why it does not rise .. i tried every thing from changing the order of mixing the ingredients to changing the temp of the oven .

  18. Anna

    Thanks for simplifying this recipe! I can’t wait to try it. Do you thing springform pan is necessary? Would a regular 9” cake pan work since the parchment will lift out? Trying to limit myself from buying another pan.

    • CristinaSciarra

      The cake is pretty heavy, so you may have a hard time lifting it out. If it breaks, you could always serve it in dishes, with something drizzled over it.

  19. Sarah

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
    Can i bake this the night before and keep in the fridge? or it’s better to bake on the day that we have guests coming over?

  20. San

    Is it suppose to be burned ?

  21. CYNDI

    How to keep this cake, incase i can’t finish it

  22. Jocelyn Chavez

    Hi, can I use half and half instead of heavy cream? Thank you.

    • CristinaSciarra

      I don’t think it would be a problem; the cake might not be a luscious though.

  23. Tyadiera

    Hi just wondering if the base of the cake should be oily or dry?

  24. Khulood

    Hello ,,

    do you open the oven from top as well ?

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