Nothing is quite as decadent and rich yet unbelievably simple as a Basque burnt cheesecake. Originating in the 1990s in what some claim to be the food capital of the world, San Sebastián, Spain, the popularity of Basque burnt cheesecake has surged as of late, especially in the Toronto food scene. Encased in a pleated wrapping of singed parchment, the light and fluffy centre is contrasted by the dark and complex (almost burnt) crust-like top.
Basque Burnt Cheesecake 7 Steps
Cut two large parchment paper rectangles measuring around 16"x20". Grease a 10"-diametre springform pan. Taking first rectangle of parchment paper, press down into bottom and sides of pan (the parchment will be pleated, that is fine). Grease top of first parchment and along sides again and take second rectangle of parchment, overlapping with first and pressing down into bottom and sides of pan. The pan doesn't have to be lined perfectly, rustic is good for this application!
Preheat oven to 450°F, make sure rack is placed in the centre of the oven.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups of sugar on medium. Mix until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary, around 2 minutes.
Turn mixer down to low, while still on, add in one egg at a time, mixing for 8-10 seconds before adding the next egg and eventually the last egg yolk, mix for 10 more seconds. Stop and scrape down sides.
Add heavy cream, salt, vanilla extract and lemon zest, mix on low for 15 seconds or until thoroughly combined (be careful not to over mix) and turn off. Sift flour over top of batter, mix on low speed for 10-15 seconds or until combined. Batter should be very smooth.
Pour batter into pan, sprinkle top with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar, place on centre rack and bake in oven for 25 minutes (do not open oven). After 25 minutes, turn oven up to 500°F and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. Sides should be firm and centre should be slightly jiggly with a dark top crust. You can also check the temperature of the centre of the cheesecake, it should register 150°F.
Remove from oven and onto a wire rack on the countertop. Let sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours before serving but is is best to transfer to fridge overnight (still in the mold and uncovered) to let set. Remove latch, unmold, cut desired slices and let come to room temperature before serving the next day.