Barely Burnt Basque Cheesecake

Barely Burnt Basque Cheesecake

We recently watched an episode of Nigella Lawson scandalising any of her new viewers with the revelation that she is the proud owner of a liquorice box, with an international assortment of liquorice that would dissolve teeth within minutes. She has had that box for a long time. Nothing was going to possess me to terrify my boys with the threat of a liquorice sauce, but I was very interested in the Burnt Basque Cheesecake she made, so I wanted to give it a try myself.


  • 600g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature – very important!
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
  • 300ml soured cream, at room temperature (spot the mistake in my photo – I accidently bought crème fraiche!)
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 25g/1oz cornflour


This is Nigella’s tip, not mine. To make the cheesecake you need a 20cm spring release cake tin. It is important to line it with two long pieces of baking paper. Then sir something heavy inside to keep the shape or create a well for the cheesecake mixture to be poured.

There will be creases but this is fine.


First beat the cream cheese with the sugar for at least 5 minutes by hand (two minutes if using a mixer) until light and smooth.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure they are fully mixed before adding the next.

Then pour in the soured cream, beating thoroughly. Beat in the salt, followed by the cornflour, a teaspoon at a time. Make sure everything is well stirred.

Pour into the lined tin. Tap the filled tin hard on the work surface about five times to get rid of any air bubbles.

Place in a preheated oven (200C/180C Fan/Gas 6) and bake for 50 minutes, until the cheesecake is burnished on top. After 50 minutes my cheesecake was pale, so I left it in the oven for another ten minutes.

I knew how dark Nigella’s cheesecake had ended up, so I was disappointed mine was paler, but I did not want to leave it in the oven any longer.

Transfer the tin to a wire rack and leave to cool. It will sink in the middle a little, but that too is part of its traditional appearance. It needs around 3 or 4 hours to cool.

My boys would have been horrified if I had made a liquorice sauce, so I tried to make a blackberry compote instead.

I added one pack of blackberries to a saucepan with some maple syrup (I did not measure the quantity and a cinnamon stick).

Once the blackberries were burst and I had a syrupy sauce, I removed the pan from the heat and added another packet of whole blackberries.

Once the cheesecake was cool, I peeled the paper carefully and cut slices to serve the boys with some blackberry compote on the side.

The cheesecake tasted divine. If you are a cheesecake lover you will be pleased with this delicious wodge of creamy cheesecake.

The taste of the Burnt Basque Cheesecake was no disappointment. However, mine did not really burn like Nigella’s did. You can see below what we were aiming for. Her sauce looks amazing too. But you need to have family who do actually like liquorice if you are going to hunt down liquorice pellets to be able to make Nigella’s sauce.

You can find her recipe here:

Basque burnt cheesecake with liquorice sauce

4 thoughts on “Barely Burnt Basque Cheesecake

  1. I really like the blackberry compote idea. I am not a fan of licorice Would it be ok if I reposted this recipe later in the week? I am thinking of doing a semi regular post which would have recipes I recommend trying.


    1. The cheesecake was extremely delicious. It is ironic because I always think I like the biscuit layer best. But this has no biscuit layer at all, yet tasted divine. I did wonder if I should have had the nerve to leave it in the oven for longer to see if the top would burn properly.

      Liked by 1 person

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