This cheesecake has a burnt outer crust and creamy interior and a subtle earl grey flavor, making it the ideal dessert!
You may or may not have heard of Spain’s famous Burnt Basque cheesecake, which, at first thought, sounds absolutely horrendous. However, it is actually the exact opposite of that. People from all over the world flock to La Viña Restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain to get ahold of one of these black cheesecakes. I have not been to Spain yet but many people have shared their recipes and documented what the cheesecake should taste like, so I decided to whip up my own. Every recipe includes the same base ingredients of cream cheese, heavy cream, and egg, but the recipes differ with the other ingredients like salt, fruits, flour, etc. This cheesecake lacks a crust and relies on the browning and hardening of the exterior to form a crust. The purpose of the “burnt” exterior is to balance out the creaminess and sweetness of the cheesecake. Cheesecake can often be overwhelming with how dense and creamy it is, and the texture and flavor of the burnt outside reduces some intensity of the creamy inside.
I added my own twist by flavoring the cheesecake with earl grey, which was subtle, but delicious. You may consider adding other flavors such as matcha powder or some other tea.
If you think you aren’t a good at baking, this is a great recipe to begin with. It is so simple to make, and you can burn the cheesecake! This is one of the few times where it is actually okay to burn the food. The biggest challenge of the cheesecake is having to be patient. It takes about only 10 min. to bake the batter, but 50 minutes of baking, 2-3 hours of cooling, and 3 hours of setting in the fridge. It’s a long process but is absolutely worth it. With that being said, if you plan on serving this for an occasion, you should bake the cake the day before so that you may let it set in the fridge overnight.
Earl Grey Basque Cheesecake
yield: 9″ or 10″ cake pan
- 4 bars full-fat cream cheese (32 oz.)
- 6 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 2 c. heavy whipping cream
- 8 bags earl grey tea (*this is edited from the video. 2-3 bags created a very faint taste so I have found 8 tea bags is better OR infuse the tea for a couple hours with 2-3 bags).
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 5 tbsp. all-purpose flour or 2 tbsp. cornstarch for gluten-free (either works just fine)
- 9 or 10 in. springform pan
- electric beater (Can beat by hand, but I recommend on to help speed up the process and for better incorporation).
- From the 2 c. of heavy cream, take about 3 tablespoons out and place into a small bowl. Microwave until steaming hot and steep 10-12 bags of earl grey tea in it. Allow heavy cream to then cool.
- Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut a circle or parchment paper to fit the bottom of the springform pan. Cut thick strips to line the pan on the side, making sure that the parchment paper is about 2-3 in. above the top of the pan. (This is shown in video). You may use some of the cheesecake batter you will make to help the parchment paper stick to the pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed for about 2-3 min. until it is very creamy and incorporated.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat on low speed. Beat for about 20 sec. before adding the next egg. Once the mixture is smooth, use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl down.
- Add the cream, vanilla extract and salt and beat on medium for about 1 min.
- Sift the all-purpose flour in and beat for 1 min. on medium until the mixture is fully incorporated and lump-free.
- Filter the batter using a sieve directly into the pan or into another bowl and then pour the batter into the pan.
- Bake cheesecake for 50 min. and remove the cake. The cake should have risen A LOT but will deflate gradually. It should be jiggly and appear as if it is not completely cooked through. Allow the cake to cool to room temperature for about 2-3 hours. Then cover with a plate or wrap and allow cake to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Remove the cake from fridge, peel away the parchment paper, and enjoy!
Enjoy this cheesecake with family and friends, with a cup of coffee or tea! It is so delicious and will be an instant hit with anybody. Refrigerate cake in an airtight container for up to 5-7 days.
*Nutrition facts are estimates
This looks amazing. I love cheesecake! Definitely making this one.
Take if from a former Pastry Chef, this recipe looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it!
I don’t bake but this is really worth a try!
Thanks! It’s definitely delicious.
Looks really yummy. I can imagine eating this will a little strawberry coulis.
That would be delicious!
I love cheesecake and yours looks delicious!
This looks fabulous and I will try to make it at some point.
Hi dear Jamie,
your video/making the cake was absolutely fabulous! Congrats…
Thanks so much!
I just started a diet, and this is not helping! DROOL!!!!
This sounds and looks amazing! Never even heard of this cheesecake. I’m plantbased but I could substitute I’m sure.
This is cool. I like tea so this should be right up my alley.
Great video. Very pleasing to watch.
In my experience, you can get a super creamy cheesecake by adjusting the oven temperature and cooking time. Specifically, set the oven temperature no higher than 275 degrees F. and bake for 3-4 hours. Higher temperatures cause the eggs and cheese to harden, resulting in a grainy texture.
Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try it out.
My favourite bake at the moment! Interesting with a touch of earl grey, thanks for the inspo
Great to hear! I hope you enjoy it.
This sounds and looks amazing! Was it worth the calories?!
what a gorgeous video! The music, the lighting, THE FOOD! Really nicely done!
Wow! I actually just baked this too, haha. Yours fluffed up a whole lot!!
Yeah it did! It’s so tasty:)
This looks so good! Looking forward to watching your video!
Great video! Looks so easy:-) great post, thanks for sharing.
This looks so yummy! Definitely one to try!
Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Makes me Yummy when I read your article. You are a good gourmet . Anand Bose
This looks incredible – can’t wait to try it! I love Earl Grey tea.
Do you happen to know if this would work with a sugar substitute such as Splenda? I’m pre diabetic and have to avoid sugar, but this sounds too good to miss! Earl Grey is my favourite tea.
I feel like Splenda could work because cheesecake isn’t one of those dishes where sugar plays a huge role in the texture factor. The conversion factor seems to be 1 so that is relatively simple. I hope you try it out! I would love to know how it tastes.
Wow this looks divine! Love the tea twist. Definitely going to add it to my list of recipes to make.
Thanks! I hope you like it!
looks awesome! I have a recipe for this on my blog as well. looks like you and I are basque cheesecake fans!! love it! thx for sharing your recipe – i’ll have to try making your version now with the Earl Grey…cool idea! :O) have a wonderful day!
Ah yes Basque cheesecake is tasty! Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.
This looks really yummy! My boyfriend is celiac so i cant wait to make this for him!!
Yay! I hope you enjoy it:)
This looks delicious! I’ve always wanted to try the Basque cheesecake.
It looks so good!
Beautiful! Sounds delicious. Adding to my baking wish list!
I am loving this style of cheese cake…interesting touch with the earl grey…thank you for sharing
Great recipe and the tea addition makes an interesting twist! Looking forward to making it!
Aah, this looks amazing. I adore Earl Grey flavored desserts; when I have an afternoon and patience, this is on the menu. I made a rose flavored cheesecake once and I could also see that working here. Side note: my cheesecakes usually look like that anyway… Thanks for the post, I greatly enjoyed!
Thank you! And yes, earl grey is so good.