Burnt Basque Cheesecake

From Michelin star kitchens to home ovens, this precursor to the New York cheesecake has become a global success. It is cooked at a high temperature so that the top is cracked and burnt to become a deep mahogany - in fact, it is almost impossible to overcook. It is this foolproof cooking technique and simplicity that has been a large part of its popularity with cooks. Oh and also because it taste delicious - the deep brown crust adding a hint of bitterness to counter the sweet curds below.

La Viña Origins

The burnt Basque cheesecake, or torta de queso, is said to have been created in 1990 by chef Santiago Rivera of La Viña Bar in San Sebastian. It is still server there and such is demand that cakes cool on the bar, on shelves and even above the front door. The recipe is simple, 1kg cream cheese, 500ml whipping cream, 5 large eggs, 350g caster sugar, 1tbsp plain flour - bakes at 200c for 50 minutes. A recipe so simple and adaptable it is no wonder it has become a global success.

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