If I'm honest, I am not that into cheesecake. But my dad, who visited recently, is. I'd had this recipe bookmarked for a while and was biding my time til he next came to try it out. The thing about cheesecake for me, apart from it being so rich, how fiddly it is to make. Biscuit bases, water baths, chilling time... But this recipe had none of those things. All you had to do was mix together a few ingredients, pour it into a tin, bake til burnt (bonus: no anxiety about that then), let cool to room temperature, and eat. Amazing!
The only slightly tricksy thing about the process is the lining of the tin - because of the eggs, the cake rises a lot (before sinking back down) so you have to use a few pieces of overlapping baking paper to ensure it's contained. Easy really but should you be at all anxious about this, just watch this video of the recipe's creator, Bon Appétit's Molly Baz, making it. If the quantities of cream cheese are horrifying to you (4 bricks!), do as I did and halve the recipe and bake it in a smaller tin. Make no mistake, this is rich, whichever size tin you use, but that's what cheesecake is all about after all. Embrace it.
Burnt Basque cheesecake
Adapted from a recipe by Molly Baz in Bon Appétit
I really recommend watching the video link mentioned above to understand the tin-lining process. It's not hard at all, just hard to describe! If you decide to halve the quantites and bake in a smaller tin, as I did, then just be mindful the cake may not need as much time in the oven. Set your timer for a bit less than the recipe says (say 45 minutes) and keep checking after that for signs that it's done.
Unsalted butter (for tin)
2 lb (907g) cream cheese, room temperature
1½ cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 cups cream
1 tsp sea salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
⅓ cup flour
Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 400 deg F / 200 deg C.
Grease a 10 inch diameter spring-form tin and line so that baking paper comes up at least 2 inches (5cm) up sides of tin. Don't bother cutting to fit - just use 2 or three overlapping bits and pleat to fit around sides. No need for neatness as the cake just looks all the better for not having a perfectly smooth edge. Place fully lined tin on a tray lined with baking paper.
In a food processor or stand mixer blend together cream cheese with sugar until very smooth and no lumps remain. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add the cream, salt and vanilla and beat at a slightly lower speed til combined. Add flour and beat at low speed til just incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed to make sure mixture is smooth, homogenous and silky.
Pour mixture into prepared tin. Bake til deep golden brown on top and still very wobbly in centre, about 60-65 minutes.
Let cool to room temperature, then release from tin, remove baking paper and serve.