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Before the world knows about the Basque Burnt Cheesecake, the cheesecake is an epitome of buttery crust base and a custardy rich cream cheese filling, sometimes topped with fruits or chocolate, and beautifully presented like a lady. Then in comes the Basque Burnt Cheesecake, rustic, burnt, unpretentious, full of the countryside charm. Today the whole world is raving about it. Caramelized on the top, soft and creamy on the inside, it can be made easily and quickly with just a few ingredients and without any special techniques. In this Dark Chocolate 2-layer Basque Burnt Cheesecake recipe, I’m topping the original version of the cheesecake over a base layer mixed with melted Gourmand 72% Dark Chocolate, baked in a heart-shaped cake pan, since it’s Valentine’s Day. So Happy Valentine’s Day my dear friends!
I have previously made the original version of the Basque Burnt Cheesecake and the Lychee Rose Burnt Cheesecake with different quantities of sugar (my family is very particular about sugar in our food) and different types of cream used – heavy cream, cooking cream, whipping cream. This recipe uses 100g of Stevia Sweetener, a substitute for sugar, which I have been using in a few of my other recipes such as my Pineapple Tarts. The last time I made the Basque Burnt Cheesecake with heavy cream and my entire family commented it was too dense and cheesy, that was not good. Thus this time round in this Dark Chocolate 2-layer Basque Burnt Cheesecake recipe, I used whipping cream and retained the same amount of 500g Philadelphia cream cheese. The responses from the family were great and very positive!
Watch my YouTube recipe video
What is Basque Burnt Cheesecake?
The famous Basque Burnt Cheesecake was invented three decades ago in La Viña, a restaurant in San Sebastian, the Basque region of Spain, hence its name. This delicious dessert is only made famous since 2018 and is deceptively easy to make. It is a charred cheesecake with soft and sometimes melting center, baked in high temperature wrapped around with baking paper, looking much like a badly burnt heavy muffin.
What are the ingredients for the Dark Chocolate 2-Layer Burnt Cheesecake?
The ingredients are really simple and you might already have some of these in your pantry:
- 500g cream cheese at room temperature – I used the Philadelphia brand. Note: I see the lactose free version on their Australian website which is not available in Singapore. Would like to try that out if it’s available.
- 100g Stevia sweetener – I used the Stevia sweetener but you can use normal sugar if you desire.
- 3 large eggs at room temperature – Large eggs weigh about 50-53g each without shell.
- 200ml whipping cream at room temperature – I used the Emborg brand with 35.1% fat. Many recipes out there call for heavy cream or cream with more than 36% milk fat, which is good to use too.
- 20g corn starch or sometimes called corn flour in Asia – I used the Pagoda brand corn flour I bought in Singapore. It’s a fine white coloured flour. In other parts of the world, it might be called corn starch. Apparently corn flour is a yellow coloured powder made from dried finely ground corn, and corn starch is a fine white coloured powder derived from the starchy part of a corn kernel. Corn starch when used in baking, will produce a more tender baked pastry. You can also substitute with cake flour or plain flour. I using cake flour in my previous bakes but find corn starch soften the cheesecake better.
- 80g dark chocolate – Melted before mixing into the batter.
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice – To lighten up the cheesecake with a hint of citrus. This is optional
- 1/8 tsp salt – Just a tiny bit of it to enhance the flavors and it is optional.
- Vanilla essence – This is optional, I didn’t use it in this recipe but I normally add it in the original burnt cheesecake recipe.
Tips on making the Dark Chocolate 2-Layer Burnt Basque Cheesecake
As I always refer back to my blog when cooking and baking, I like to make notes (for my own reference) what I learnt from the process:
- Take the chilled ingredients out from the fridge at least an hour before making it so it can reach room temperature. Cold ingredients do not work very well when mixing.
- I have used cake pans that measure about 6 inch in diameter and 3 inch in depth (round cake pan), as well as 7 inch in diameter and 2 inch in depth (heart-shaped cake pan in this recipe), both turns out great for the amount of ingredients in this recipe. However using a cake pan that’s higher in depth is better as the cheesecake will rise up when baking.
- Cut out 2 pieces of parchment paper to line the cake pan. Make sure the parchment paper is much bigger than the cake pan so it can completely cover the sides and edge, at least 2 inch above the top of the cakepan on all sides. My cake pans come with removable base, thus I remove the base and set the parchment papers into the cake pan and then press down with the base again to form the shape in the parchment paper. Before pouring the batter into the cake pan, place the parchment paper over the base of the cake pan.
- When mixing the batter, introduce each ingredients gradually and mix them thoroughly before adding another ingredient. Constantly scrape the batter off (if using spatula to mix manually) and mix again to ensure any unmixed ingredients stuck on the spatula are blended into the batter. This way we try to minimize lumps as much as possible.
- After mixing the ingredients, it’s normal to have air pockets within the batter, poke them with a chopstick or toothpick or run it through the batter. The idea is to reduce the air pockets as much as possible. Tapping the cake pan a few times on the countertop also helps.
- Pre-heat the oven to the right temperature before the actual bake. I used an oven setting with fan and top and bottom heating, as you can see I’m using an older type of oven. I placed a thermometer inside my oven so I can see the actual temperature and that really helps alot! Place the cake pan in the middle section of the oven. Try not to open the oven to check the cake. I know I like to do it sometimes too to see how my bake goes but opening it will make the hot air escape and affect the internal temperature. I baked this dark chocolate basque burnt cheesecake for 30 minutes and the top of the cheesecake look charred enough and not too dark, giving it the perfect burnt colour. However your oven might be different from mine so you will need to monitor the bake. If it’s already quite burnt even before the 30 minutes, you might want to take it out asap.
- The burnt caramelized top of the cheesecake should look very dark brown, not charcoal black.
- It is ok if the top of the cheesecake cracks a little. During the bake, the cheesecake will rise. Let it cool down in the cake pan on a cooling rack for a few hours, depending on your environment temperature, it takes mine about 3.5 hours. Once cooled, the cheesecake will collapse and the cracks might appear less visible.
- After you remove the cheesecake from the oven, give it a little jiggle, if the cheesecake is jiggly in the center, that’s a good sign that the cheesecake will have the right softness and texture.
- The Basque Burnt Cheesecake tastes soft and creamy after it’s cooled for a few hours. Chilling it in the fridge will make it slightly harder but tastes great too. I like to take it out from the fridge and let it rest till almost room temperature for the right texture.
- The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge chiller section for up to 3 days. If left on the countertop, it should be good until the next day.
Dark Chocolate 2-Layer Basque Burnt Cheesecake
- 500 g cream cheese Philadelphia brand, at room temperature
- 100 g Stevie sweetener or sugar
- 3 large eggs about 50-53g per egg without shell, at room temperature
- 20 g corn starch (or corn flour in Asia) or plain flour or cake flour
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 200 ml whipping cream at room temperature
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 80 g dark chocolate 72%
- Remove the 500 g cream cheese, 3 large eggs , 200 ml whipping cream from the chiller to bring these to room temperature at least one hour before the preparation.500 g cream cheese, 200 ml whipping cream, 3 large eggs
- Cut out 2 pieces of parchment paper. Using a removable base cake pan, remove the base, place parchment paper overlapped into the cake pan, then press down with the base, and press the parchment paper around the cake pan to form the shape.
- Before pouring the batter into the cake pan, remove the molded parchment papers and base, place the base back into the cake pan then place the parchment papers over the base and press the papers around the cake pan to fit nicely.
- Pre-heat oven at 220 degree celsius or 428 degree fahrenheit, using the oven setting of top and bottom heating with fan.
- Place 80 g dark chocolate into a bowl and place it over a pot of boiling water to melt it.80 g dark chocolate
- Use a spatula to press down the cream cheese until it's softened.500 g cream cheese
- Add 100 g Stevie sweetener and mix well with the cream cheese completely until the sugar can no longer be seen and the mixture becomes fluffy and smooth.100 g Stevie sweetener
- Beat 3 large eggs in a separate bowl. Add beaten eggs in 3 separate times to the mixture. Each time, mix the eggs well until the eggs are completely blended and becomes a smooth mixture. Ensure there's no lumps or visible signs of the eggs.3 large eggs
- Sift 20 g corn starch (or corn flour in Asia) and add to the mixture. Mix well to ensure there are no lumps or visible signs of the flour.20 g corn starch (or corn flour in Asia)
- Add 1/8 tsp saltand mix well.1/8 tsp salt
- Add 200 ml whipping cream gradually and mix well until no visible signs of the cream. The batter will become smooth.200 ml whipping cream
- Divide the batter into 2 equal batches.
- In the first batch, add 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix well.1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- in the second batch, add the melted dark chocolate and mix well.80 g dark chocolate
- Pour the chocolate batter into the base of the lined cake pan. Gently tap the cake pan 2-3 times on the table to remove any air pockets.
- Use the spatula to scoop out the original batter (first batch) and slowly layer it over the chocolate batter.
- Use a chopstick or toothpick and poke into the batter to remove any air pockets.
- Bake in pre-heat convection oven for 30-35 minutes at 220 degree celsius or 428 degree fahrenheit (45-50 minutes in conventional oven).Place the cake pan on a baking tray for easy removal from the oven. Note: if you are using conventional oven, it will take about 35-40 minutes for the top to get ‘burnt’. With convection oven, it takes about 20-25 minutes.
- Once baked, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack (cheesecake within the cake pan) and let it cool for a few hours (about 3 hours +/-). Once cooled, remove from cake pan.
- Cut, serve, enjoy immediately. Or chill in fridge to store up to 3 days. Or store on counter top until the next day.