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Desserts

Basque Cheesecake

Basque Cheesecake
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

This dessert combines the flavor of an ultra-rich New York-style cheesecake with the velvet texture of custard; crème fraîche accentuates the tang of cream cheese while the nearly burnt top balances the sweetness of the batter. Read more

Total time: 35 minutes plus cooling and chilling | Makes one 9-inch cheesecake
  • 4 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups crème fraîche

Step 1Heat the oven to 450 degrees with rack in bottom third.

Step 2Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line with a 15-inch square of parchment paper, pressing it into the bottom and up the sides so that it extends above the rim of the pan. Crease and fold the paper as needed to keep it flat. Spray the parchment.

Step 3Put the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks and salt in a food processor. Pulse until very smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the crème fraîche and pulse until fully incorporated.

Step 4Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then tap the pan against a work surface a few times to smooth the top and eliminate air bubbles. Put on a half-sheet pan, then put in the oven.

Step 5Bake until the top is dark brown, the edges set and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, but the center is still quite jiggly, 20 to 25 minutes. If you shake the pan back and forth, the top should roll like a gentle wave.

Step 6Cool in the pan on a rack until room temperature, then refrigerate uncovered overnight.

Step 7To serve, release and remove the sides of the pan. Use the parchment to slide the cheesecake off the base onto a cutting board, then pull down the sides of the parchment. Use a sharp knife to cut slices, wiping the blade clean after each cut.

Note: Adapted from Dave Beran.
Make ahead: The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

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