Wednesday 20 May 2020

Bon Appétit Recipe Test : Basque Burnt Cheesecake

The Basque Burnt Cheesecake craze is still alive and well in Malaysia and every other cafe or bakery has their own version of the rich, cheesy, crust-less, burnt-top cheesecake. Each slice is not cheap and I've seen some places charge up to RM20 a slice which could mean two meals for some. I had to try making it to see why they were charging so much for it.

My first attempt was in a air fryer which has its limitation in terms of size but the results were satisfactory. Mildly burnt all over. Eggy when eaten fresh, cheesier and richer chilled. I still had to try making it in a proper oven since I have access to one now.

Right out of the oven vs sitting at room temperature

Room temperature cake vs chilled cake

The recipe on Bon Appétit is by Molly Baz and is available here. The ingredients are straight-forward but a little difficult to get during the MCO, it was always the cream cheese or whipped cream missing from the shelves. I got my hands on a litre of Anchor whipping cream while a colleague of mine managed to get a kilo of Anchor cream cheese. Hey, maybe using slightly higher quality ingredients will result in a better cake?

I couldn't get my hands on a 10" springform pan (another baking item that's difficult to get!) so I made do by bending a rectangle aluminium foil tray to a sort of square shape, whatever works I guess. And as per Molly's video, there was a satisfying jiggle when it came outta the oven.

Boing boing boing!

The cheesecake come out really tall and pretty then sank in the middle as it cooled, detaching the burnt top in the process.

The cake was beautifully burnt all round, on all sides and despite its wonky shape, the brown all over was very satisfying.

Mmm... more toasty goodness. The high temperature really did a good job.

The cheesecake was sufficiently burnt and very creamy at room temperature. It was nowhere as eggy as the air fryer version but did sweat into the parchment paper as it was cooling. I like it chilled as it has that creamy ice-cream like texture. Bear in mind, this is a very, very rich cake. Just a small slice fills you up easily and is probably a dinner ruin-er if eaten at tea time.

I'm still not sure why it costs so much out there with its common ingredients and fool-proof recipe. I do know that I will make this again and you should try it too!