Time for a little romance. Basque mini-cheesecakes are a cross between créme brulée and cheesecake. Their small size is excellent for sharing or individual portions and they can be ready in less than an hour.
King Arthur Baking sent me a recipe for a full sized basque cheesecake as part of a “five ingredients or less” newsletter.
Basque cheesecakes are cooked in a very hot oven and intentionally burnt on top. The goal is to set the outsides and just barely set the middle so you have a creamy cheesecake with a caramelized sugar top.
What’s truly amazing is that these cheesecakes cook incredibly fast compared to traditional cheesecakes.
There’s no gradually turning down the oven and leaving the cheesecake inside to cool gradually. There’s no water bath. Just blast it on high heat until the temperature one inch from the edge is 185°F.
King Arthur’s recipe has no vanilla which seemed odd to me so I doctored the ingredients a bit. I also reduced a nine-inch cheesecake into two 4.5 inch cheesecakes that bake even faster.
Preparation is very simple. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Pour into pans lined with two layers of parchment. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool in the pans.
The small size of these basque mini cheesecakes also makes it easy to remove the parchment for serving. They can be served at room temperature or chilled.
The result is cheesecake-like sides encasing solid, pastry cream, custard-like center with caramelized sugar on top.
I served mine with some fresh raspberries.
- 12 ounces cream cheese
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1 ¼ Cups + 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 500°F.
- Cut four 12" squares of parchment paper. Crumple them into balls. Uncrumple two of them and line a 4.5" springform pan with one and then line it with the other so there are two layers of parchment lining the pan. The parchment won't lie flush on the sides. Fold the excess parchment down on the outside of the pan. The top of the cake needs to be exposed to the oven's heat. Repeat with the second pan.
- Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 2 minutes and scrape down the bowl. Then process the batter until it's smooth and lump free (about 1-2 minutes more).
- Divide the batter between the two pans and place them in the middle of the oven rack.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is dark brown. The center will be very jiggly. The cakes are done when a thermometer inserted 1" from the side and 1" down measures 185°F. For best results. Take the temperature at 15 minutes and then at 1 minute intervals until they are done.
- Cool the cheesecakes in their pans. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate.
- These cheesecakes can be served in their parchment paper or you can place one hand over the top of the cheesecake while you turn it upside down to remove the parchment. Then place a serving plate over the bottom and turn right side up.
If you don't have springform pans, you can bake these in 4.5 inch cake pans. You can use the parchment to lift the cheesecakes out of the pans.
These will keep 1 week in the refrigerator.
Serving Size:1/2 cheesecake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 519Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 233mgSodium: 307mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 0gSugar: 41gProtein: 9g
Nutrition information is provided as a guide only. Please consult a professional dietician for specific dietary needs.