The Impatient Cook
New York is one of my favorite places (my fav uncle lives there), but I never understood how people enjoy its namesake cheesecake plain – no cherries, berries, chocolate sauce. That was until I made the burnt cheesecake that put a tapas bar in San Sebastian on the map. This cake is intentionally burned and that suits me perfectly, because I’m known for burning things, turning the stove/oven up a notch to make stuff cook faster! When it comes to desserts, I’m even worse, because I simply cannot wait to eat whatever is in the oven. My raging sweet tooth and propensity for burning food both qualify me for Basque citizenship. For once, burning something is a good thing.
This Ain’t Your Granny’s Cake
Cheesecake is the easiest dessert to bake. Anyone can make one, starting and ending with this recipe. This one is baked at a higher temperature than the standard 350*F and burned intentionally, but that isn’t the only thing that is unexpected about this treat. There is no crust and it won’t be missed. That means you save calories and it’s great for gluten-free diets. It also incorporates heavy cream, making the texture oh-so silky. Once you taste this one, you won’t ever bat a lash at another recipe again.
I often have so many recipes to share with you, but can’t until I get some decent photos to show them off. I have made this burnt cheesecake so often that I have more than enough pics!
When Shawn is out of town for work, my parents stay with Daisy and me. They often wake up in the middle of the night to enjoy an espresso together. This cheesecake is their Achilles’ Knee. As Dad cranks up the coffee machine, Mom asks what freshly baked goods I have for them. They know me all too well. Burnt Cheesecake has already made several appearances and is quickly earning its place as a staple.
A big sunken crater, delightfully buttery cracks with luscious creamy texture and an intoxicating vanilla scent, this delightful treat will send you into a dizzy tailspin. Indulge yourself for once. You deserve it. At least make it once just so you can understand why I’m crazy about this burnt cheesecake.
Serves: 8 hungry fishermen
Prep: 15 mins
Bake: 60 mins
Chill: 60 mins
3-4 Tb butter, @ room temp
2 lbs (4 bricks) cream cheese, @ room temp
1 3/4 cup superfine sugar
7 free-range eggs, @ room temp
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
30 mins before baking, take butter, cream cheese and eggs out of the fridge and set them onto the counter to warm to room temp.
Generously butter a 9-inch round springform pan.
Cut a piece of parchment paper so it will stand 3 inches over the edge of the pan.
Tuck it into the pan and brush more butter over the parchment paper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425*F.
Beat cream cheese with sugar til smooth.
Incorporate eggs, one at a time, waiting til one is blended before adding the next.
Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl several times.
Pour heavy cream and vanilla into the bowl and mix to combine.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and transfer to the hot oven.
Bake 55-60 mins, til the top of golden brown and the center a bit jiggly.
Don’t worry when it smells like the cake is burning – it should!
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temp.
Transfer to the fridge for at least 1 hour.
This last step will test your patience, because you will need to wait for the cheesecake to thoroughly chill before you can dive into it.
The Happy Wife
As the story goes, Hayk was a widower who remarried. His new Mrs, Ani was anxious to impress her husband and welcomed him home with an elaborate meal each night. When he came home, she set the table for him and waited with bated breath at his reply. But, each night, despite all her efforts, he said, “This is delicious, but my Vartanoush, God rest her soul, made it just a slight bit better.” Our bride tried harder and harder, making fancy dishes with opulent touches, all in vain, because her husband once again reminisced about his late love’s culinary prowess.
One afternoon, she was visiting a friend for coffee when time got away from her. She dashed home, tossed something together and burned the dish! When her husband opened the door, she took his coat and hat, watched him nervously as he sat down to eat. Before she could apologize, he’d taken his first bite. She watched with angst, when he slowly looked up at her, smiled and exclaimed, “Now you got it right! This is exactly the way Vartanoush would have made it!” I wonder if Ani ever made burnt cheesecake…