Just hearing the phrase “Basque cheesecake” makes my mouth water when someone simply says “cheesecake”. And if there is one Spanish dessert that fascinates me above all others, not because it is Spanish but because of the way it is made, it is cheesecake.
With a biscuit base, without a biscuit base, with a topping or on its own, cheesecake is one of the best desserts there is, in my opinion.
I always used to complain a bit that in Spain there are not as good desserts as there are in Mexico and especially in the United States, which for me are the masters of all kinds of desserts. But once I got to know cheesecake the Spanish way, I fell in love with it and my perception changed.
I’ve come to understand that Spaniards in general don’t love things that sweet, and therefore aren’t much dessert people, so the cheesecake they make is not as sweet as the American one, it’s much creamier (almost runny) and has a very intense cheese flavour, this is because they usually use a little more intense cheeses, like blue cheese or sheep’s cheese to give it a more pronounced flavour.
For me the key to Spanish basque cheesecake is just adding a touch of intense cheese and baking it just long enough to make it very soft on the inside, almost raw.
I now love cheesecake, and while in Madrid I have tried lots of them with a friend who shared my passion, and she was the one who gave me the tip of adding camembert or blue cheese, but as I’m not a fan of the second one I decided to go for the first one.
It’s a joke how easy this cheesecake is to make, but you have to be clever with the cooking time. The biscuit base can be omitted, but it’s up to your own taste.
- (200 gr) maria* type cookies
- 1/2 C (115 gr) unsalted butter, soft
- 8.80 oz (250 gr) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1.80 oz (50 gr) camembert cheese at room temperature
- 1/4 C + 1 tbsp (2.60 oz) (75 gr) granulated white sugar
- 1/2 C + 2 tbsp (5 oz) (150 ml) whipping cream
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 eggs, big
Preheat the oven to 375º F (180°C). Line a round springform pan of about 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter with parchment paper.
Crush the cookies in a blender or food processor until you get a fine powder and place in a medium bowl.
Add the butter and mix with your hands or a spoon until you obtain a sandy dough.
Place this dough in the pan and flatten with your hands to form a base. Bake at 375º F (180° C) for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside while you make the filling.
Raise the oven temperature to 410º F (210°C). In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese with the camembert cheese and sugar together with an electric mixer or hand whisk for 3 minutes until smooth.
Add the whipping cream with the salt and whisk for one more minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.
Carefully pour this mixture over the base and bake in the middle part of the oven for 20 minutes at 410º F (210°C).
Raise the oven temperature to 428º F (220°C) and bake the cheesecake for ten more minutes.
Once this time has passed, remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool down completely before you turn it out. It is best not to put it in the refrigerator but to eat it like this so that it has a softer and creamier texture.