A while ago I made a San Sebastian cheesecake because I was constantly seeing videos of people eating….I felt extremely left out.
I loved it, it was so creamy. It’s so different from the cheesecakes I’m normally eating but it was so good.
I ate it with melted chocolate poured on top. All the videos I was seeing served it like this but I just knew it would taste so much better with some salted caramel….so here we are!
San Sebastian Cheesecake
If you’ve never tried or seen San Sebastian cheesecake before, also known as a burnt basque cheesecake, here are some of the main characteristics of it:
- The creaminess – compared to a New York style cheesecake, this cheesecake is much creamier.
- The burnt top – this is probably the first thing you notice when you see this cheesecake. The top of it is burnt slightly, but burnt in a good intentional way; it gives the top of the cheesecake a caramelised flavour.
- The rustic-ness – most cheesecakes are typically perfectly round, however traditionally a San Sebastian cheesecake has a more rustic look. So when lining your baking tin, instead of adding a circle to the bottom of the tin, just get a large piece of baking paper and push it down into your tin. The baking paper will have folds and wrinkles in it, but this is the look we’re going for!
This cheese cake originated in San Sebastian, Spain. From what I have seen, it is usually served on its own or with fruit.
However, there is a restaurant in Turkey the sells this cheesecake but with melted chocolate on top. This cheesecake from this restaurant went pretty viral on TikTok, I saw videos of people going to Turkey just for this.
Honestly, this is the lifestyle I want to be living, I want to fly out to different countries just for dessert.
Anyway I digress, I ate it with melted chocolate too….it’s tastes great like this but it’s a whole different experience with salted caramel.
Ingredients for the cheesecake
This cheesecake uses pretty much your basic ingredients, but there are a few I wanted to talk about:
The brown sugar
Usually San Sebastian cheesecake is made with white granulated sugar, but in this recipe I used soft light brown sugar instead.
Instead of the only pouring salted caramel on top, I wanted the actual cheesecake to taste a little caramely as well. So brown sugar helped with this.
You can just use granulated sugar though!
I like to add some plain yoghurt to this recipe, it helps give the cheesecake a slight tangy flavour as well as helping with the creaminess.
You could substitute this with sour cream.
The lemon juice
I added a tablespoon of lemon juice into this, as well as a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Both of these ingredients are just for flavour.
If you wanted too, you could leave the lemon juice out. Don’t try leaving the vanilla out though, this is needed!
What to do if your cheesecake doesn’t brown on top?
One of the main characteristics of this cheesecake is the burnt top. Like I mentioned, this gives the crust of the cheesecake a caramelised flavour.
From what I have learnt, depending on your oven, your cheesecake might not brown on top. For me, it has never browned.
If this happens, don’t keep baking it until it browns, it will just end up over baked.
Instead, put it under your grill for a minute or two. Keep an eye on it though, it will brown pretty quickly.
Side note, if you’re American, I think you call this a broiler!
Tips on making the salted caramel
There are 2 ways to make caramel. The first way is by boiling water and sugar together, then adding butter and cream. This is called a wet caramel.
The second way is by cooking sugar on its own, until it melts, and then adding butter and sugar. This is called a dry caramel.
I prefer making it the 2nd way, I just find this way easier.
Here are a few tips when making the caramel:
- Keep your heat on medium – when melting the sugar, it can burn easily. So make sure not to increase the heat, you want to cook it slowly.
- Constantly stir – again, sugar can burn easily, so make sure to keep stirring to stop this from happening.
So….yeah that’s the tips, I don’t know why but I felt like I was going to have more but the rest of the steps are pretty simple!