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Basque Cheesecake

With its signature burnt surface, this creamy cheesecake is a great dessert to have in your repertoire.

Photographs: Natasha Liviero

Text: Natasha Liviero

Basque Cheesecake

Makes 1 x 18cm cake


550g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)

140g castor sugar

15g vanilla paste

3 XL eggs

170g cream

4g salt


  1. Before beginning, ensure all ingredients are at room temperature.

  2. Set oven to 2500C.

  3. Prepare an 18cm round baking tin by cutting 2 x pieces of baking paper large enough to line the base and sides with at least 10 cm of paper sitting above the tin.

  4. Place the baking tin on a baking tray, scrunch up the baking papers, smooth slightly, then place them one on top of the other in the cake tin, flattening the base and sides as much as possible (it is not supposed to be smooth).

  5. With a paddle attachment on medium-low speed, beat the cream cheese, castor sugar and vanilla paste until smooth.

  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as you go along.

  7. On low speed, add the cream and mix until the mixture is combined.

  8. Lastly, add the salt. If the mixture has small lumps at this stage, whisk by hand until smooth, being careful not to incorporate too much air. The cake will still be okay if a few lumps are left behind.

  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and tap a few times to release any air bubbles. Rest for 5 minutes before gently bursting any other bubbles that rise to the surface.

  10. Bake the cheesecake for 21 - 23 minutes.

  11. The surface will appear burnt and wobbly, but it will firm up as it cools. Leave to cool in the cake tin at room temperature before refrigerating overnight.

  12. When ready to serve, remove the tin and baking paper. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.


This cake is traditionally soft in the centre and firm on the sides. However, if you prefer a firmer consistency throughout, bake the cake a little longer.

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