NEW YORK: International recognition comes at a difficult time for Spain. The Basque Cheesecake being named ‘Taste of the Year’ by the New York Times will bring some solace to the region.
Basque cuisine is famous globally for its delicious fish dishes and pinxtos. Now a dessert has also received international recognition. The Basque cheesecake from restaurant La Viña, in the historic centre of the gastronomic city of San Sebastián, has been named ‘Taste of the Year’ for 2021.
However, the New York Times recognition comes at one of the worst times for tourism in San Sebastián. Some of the city’s most emblematic establishments closed their doors permanently in recent months.
Must for foodies
‘The cheesecake has no crust and is baked at a high temperature, which caramelises the top but leaves the inside soft and creamy,’ says Kim Severson, author of the gastronomic trends article. A dessert so delicious that you can eat it on its own, without a biscuit base or decorated with jam.
People all over the world are trying to recreate the cake – the recipe is not secret – but the original cake from La Viña seems unbeatable. For years, every well-informed foodie-tourist has found themselves at La Viña on the pintxos route through San Sebastián.
What makes the Basque Cheesecake so special?
The creator of this cake – which can be bought to order for €45 – is Santiago Rivera, a chef specialising in traditional Basque dishes. He decided one day to experiment with the recipe, which eventually resulted in this successful formula. What does the La Viña cheesecake have that the others don’t? The secret of its success lies in its smooth, creamy texture and its toasted edges.
Everything depends on the cheese
The cheese determines the taste and the structure; not every type of cheese is suitable and the quantity is important too. La Viña uses one kilo of creamy, mild cheese for each cake of about 2 kilos. La Viña’s cheesecake is also popularly called the Basque ‘burnt’ cheesecake and this is due to its toasted top. Because it lacks a base, it is also very delicate.
The recipe for the Basque Cheesecake, including some tips for baking, can be found here.