Basque burnt cheesecake

If you are someone for whom the smoke alarm tolls when you are active in the kitchen, this is the recipe for you! This cake is actually meant to be burnt – admittedly there are layers of burnt and charcoal is not where you want this to end up. However, shades of hazel, cocoa, cinnamon to a tad of inky coal black is delicious and actually what this cheesecake is all about.

This recipe hails from Basque in the northern part of Spain. It’s deceptively simple and decidedly good. It was one of two desserts I made for a dinner party, so it travels well and is best served a couple of hours after cooking. I made this the night before and it was fine, but next time I will follow Matt Preston’s instructions and eat it more promptly. I’ll let you know if it really makes a difference.


  • 600g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 300ml double thick cream
  • 1 tbs flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease and line a springform pan with baking paper, ensuring it extends over the sides of rim by around 2cm. Not sure why.
  2. Using electric beaters, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Gradually beat in the sugar, then the cream, followed by the flour.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and tap gently on the bench to remove the air bubbles.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the top is brown but the centre still has a slight wobble. Remove from the oven and cool completely before attempting to remove it from the pan.

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