Burnt Basque Cheesecake

I spied on famed Spanish chef Jose Pizarro`s Instagram page, a `Burnt Basque Cheesecake`, and I was determined to make one. I have seen slices of this unctuous confection in panaderias up and down Spain, but finding a good recipe proved tricky, as the ingredients varied so much ,as did the quantities in various guises of `cups of this , or odd extra ingredients like sherry ,or kosher salt). Indeed, many of the recipes I found were American, which considering it hails from the Basque region (North West) of Spain, is odd really.

It was first created only in 1990, by chef Santiago Rivera of La Vina, in San Sebastian. And like so many of the best dishes, only has five ingredients, castor sugar, double cream, cream cheese, flour and eggs ( seven of those!).

It looks like a sort of over large clumpy Camembert with a blackened top. To make it was easy, once I had found the authentic recipe below, but it was fiddly to pour the sort of batter textured filling into the tin, which was sort of overwhelmed with parchment paper. It needs an hour in a hot oven, and after 30 minutes I panicked as there was a distinct smell of burning heading my way, ( I think it was mainly the paper). But its blackened top , and caramelised edges with a frill of burnt paper, hide a texture of soft custard. Oh and it must have a wobble. It tastes a little like the Baked American Cheesecake , and I have to say I was very pleased with my first effort, and it tastes absolutely divine. I think it would work well served with fresh, or slightly stewed cherries with a touch of cherry brandy or liqueur added.

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