Baked cheesecake, I have to confess, was new to me and I had spent my culinary training years knowing only about the set cheesecake with a biscuit crust. I spent all those days not loving the cheesecake and not understanding about it except in fancy food magazines or culinary shows. Then, lo and behold, it was during my first Delhi trip that my husband took us for lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s where I was introduced to the classic New York baked cheesecake.
This lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s was like one of my fondest memories and we were lucky to get the rare treat of New York cheesecake. The simplicity of the dessert slowly created a bond with our family and baked cheesecakes. Here the quest began to recreate it at home because it was a challenge as we didn’t have the advantage of cream cheese. It was the spectrum of flavors and textures from the cream cheese that makes cheesecake a trusted go-to option for my innovative recipe development.
All I knew was using a blend of hung curd, cottage cheese and whipped cream for the set cheesecake. I was very sure that this option will never work for baked cheesecakes. I tried different variations for cream cheese that was available as cheese spreads mixing with curd or yoghurt and full fat cream. I even tried my hand at making cream cheese at home which I was not satisfied. It also led me to making quark and also using soft cheese triangles which was also not so easily available those days. One day to my surprise I got a small tub of cream cheese for a hefty price from a supermarket in Gurgaon. I loved the cheesecake I made with it. Eventually I started making baked cheesecake developed with my own cream cheese and sometimes using quark with my style.
Those were the magical times of my initial blogging days, almost ten years back and I kept on searching connections for cheesecake ingredients. We kept trying cheesecakes at different eat outs too from cafes to fine dine-in; from Regular cheesecakes to Japanese Cotton cheesecakes which was very fancy those days. I was then hooked to my version of baked cheesecake that was similar to a Greek cheesecake.
This Burnt Basque cheesecake is entirely my version of cheesecake. The original Basque cheesecake uses cream cheese. I have worked and added in ingredients till I got all flavors perfectly punctuated to be called “My Food Trolley’s own Burnt Basque cheesecake recipe”. This recipe paved the way to become my new favorite recipe perfect with the richness, creaminess and with the tangy flavor of a cheesecake without having a fuss of using an electric mixer or a water bath or any of the other challenges of making a baked cheesecake.
Baking this cheesecake will eliminate all the fears that a person normally would have while baking a regular cheesecake. I would say it is just the opposite of what you would imagine of a perfect cheese cake. It is absolutely delicious, burnt, cracked and sunk in the middle. It has no base or a bottom biscuit layer and has a slightly sweet burnt caramelized texture on top. You don’t even need a specialty spring form or a loose bottom cheesecake pan to make this cheesecake. You can double line the pan with good quality parchment paper or use good quality cake liners.
I decided to bake it in muffin pan for mini cheesecake for individual servings. It gives us convenience when we want to serve it to our guests while there are many other things we have to be involved in while entertaining them. You can also use a 6” inch cake pan instead of a muffin pan. I have tried my best to recreate and this is my take on this burnt baked cheesecake. I am sure it will definitely steal your heart and you will thoroughly enjoy it with your family and friends.
- Hung Curd/ Greek yoghurt- 210 gr.
- Soft cheese triangles- 40 gr (2 nos.)
- Powdered sugar – 90 gr.
- Custard powder- 1 tablespoon
- Eggs – 2 nos. large
- Heavy cream- 150 ml
- Vanilla powder/ sugar- 1 teaspoon
- Vanilla essence- 1 teaspoon.
- Plain flour- 7 gr.
- Take Greek yoghurt or hung curd in a bowl. Add two triangles of soft cheese. Combine well with a spatula till smooth.
- Add powdered sugar, custard powder, vanilla sugar and essence. Mix well.
- Add eggs and vanilla essence, mix well using a whisk till the mixture is smooth.
- Add heavy cream to the prepared and combine well.
- Sieve in the flour to this mix and gently fold in the flour. Pour them out into the prepared muffin cavity.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 200 C. Once brown allow it to cool.
- Keep it refrigerated for 4 hours before serving.
Read on before you bake the cheesecake…..
- Prepare hung curd by tying it in a muslin cloth or a fine strainer and leave it overnight in the refrigerator till all the water drains off. Measure the hung curd after the whey or the water is drained. You can use store bought cream cheese and Greek yoghurt too.
- I have also made it using homemade quark cheese with the same measure and the result is almost the same.
- I have used soft cheese triangles of Laughing Cow brand. It is tastier and has a creamy zing to it. You can also use regular processed cheese of the same measure. Make sure to grate them or blend them well into the hung curd mix.
- If you prefer a very soft center, you can reduce the baking time. Keep checking as every oven is different. I have shared my oven temperature and have baked it in a convection oven.
- If you are using an OTG keep the temperature around 240 C. The bigger your oven decrease the temperature after preheating.
- Allow to cool at room temperature before cooling it further in the refrigerator. You can make ahead these mini cheesecakes and store them in a glass airtight container lined with kitchen towel to prevent condensation.
- This recipe gives around 7 muffin case mini cheese cakes. The recipe is also perfect for a six-inch cake pan. You easily double the measure for larger quantities.
- This cheesecake doesn’t need a topping as it has its own caramelized top. If you prefer you can top it with honey, berries or a dollop of whipped cream.
This recipe will make a perfect holiday dessert, I will encourage you all to try this recipe and give your comments for the same. See you all in the next year with some more good recipes and Wishing you all the timeless treasures of Christmas…the warmth of your home, the love of family and the company of good friends. Our best wishes and a very Happy New Year.