Tarta de Queso Vasca de la Viña
This Basque cheesecake recipe comes from La Viña restaurant in San Sebastian where it was first created in 1990. It is so delicious that once you have tasted it you may never want to eat any other type of cheesecake ever again. It has a slightly burnt exterior and a light, creamy centre and is not at all difficult to make.
Although it originates in San Sebastian you will find this cheesecake on menus in many cafes and restaurants around the world. It was named 2021’s Flavour of the Year in the New York Times.
Serves 8 – 16 slices
The cream that you use will depend on which country you live in. In order to get the creaminess required in the cake you have to use a thick cream. In Spain you should use ‘nata montar’, in the UK use double cream and in the US use heavy cream. All of these creams should have at least 35% milk fat.
You can use any cream cheese. I use Mercadona’s own brand as it is much cheaper than other famous brands.
- 1kg cream cheese
- 7 eggs (large)
- 400g sugar
- 20g plain flour
- 500ml cream (heavy cream)
Preheat the oven to 210C.
To make this cake you can use a hand whisk or an electric one but it’s very important to not introduce bubbles into this mixture at any stage so whichever method you use it should be on a gentle setting as the main point is only to mix the ingredients.
Start by putting the cream cheese in a large bowl and gently whisk until there are no lumps and it’s smooth.
Now add the sugar and mix well until it’s fully integrated. This should take about 2 or 3 minutes.
Next you add the eggs one by one and continue to mix. Don’t add the next egg until the previous one has been fully absorbed in the mixture.
Add the flour and again stir or whisk until it has been fully absorbed. The flour can be left out if you want to serve this as a gluten free dessert.
The final step is to add the cream and mix well until you have a lovely, smooth texture.
Line a springform baking tin with greaseproof paper making sure that it goes above the edges of the tin as the cake will expand. You may find it easier to do this if you crumple the paper that is going round the side. Now pour the mixture into your tin and put it into the middle of your preheated oven.
The amount of time you bake the cheesecake will depend on the size of baking tin you are using. I use a 21cm diameter tin and cook it for about 50 minutes and this gives a lovely creamy centre to the cake. You shouldn’t use a smaller thin than this as there will not be enough space for the mixture. A larger diameter tin will need a little less time.
Keep an eye on it after about 30 or 35 minutes and if the top isn’t lightly ‘burned’ or golden brown move it up a level in the oven and if it is starting to brown too much cover it with some aluminium foil.
Once it is ready, turn the oven off, open the door and leave to cool slowly for 3 or 4 hours. Once it is at room temperature remove it from the oven and put it in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready to serve it, take it out of the fridge and remove it from the baking tin and carefully remove the greaseproof paper.
Serve on its own or with some fresh berries.