• Bharathi Tardif

Basque Cheesecake - Burn it to make it

Friday is here, YES! David comes to my office and says, "Babe, the new lawn equipment just arrived, wanna help me with some yard work?" My mind races, do I want to get a couple of shades darker, sprayed down with insecticide and be a good wife? "Oh, I would love to babe, it's just that I want to make the recipe for the blog this week. That means I have the entire day tomorrow to work with you". I now have 12 hours to think of an excuse to get out of tomorrow, but for now, I sit back and start looking for a recipe, preferably one that involves some alcohol to drown that annoying voice in my head singing MJ's "Bad".

Thank you Ali @ Gimme Some Oven, a cheesecake that doesn’t require a water bath, insists on heavy cream with no substitutes AND with an option to add bourbon, SCORE!!! I read up more about the burnt Basque cheesecake and am immediately transported to the cobblestone streets of San Sebastián, a city that boasts the second most Michelin stars per capita in the world.

A critical decision had to be made, which bourbon to use, that simply meant taste-testing all options before making an informed decision. I am nothing if not thorough, and no, it's not OCD (or CDO, letters in alphabetical order, as they SHOULD be). The Buffalo Trace comes out tops, and for all of you out there who enjoy an Old Fashioned, try it using this. Then feel free to send me chocolates or build a temple in my honor, I'm flexible that way. Jokes aside, shout-out to my sis & bro-in-laws, Lex & Bob for introducing us to an Old Fashioned made with Buffalo Trace; our world has changed.

The best part of making this cheesecake (other than a legit reason to drink booze) was that every stage of tasting was a song in my mouth, in fact, I did start to sing out loud. That was until I realized my singing was giving me a headache and my ears were going to go on strike and shut down. My singing caused me such distress that I misread the instructions and cracked open all the eggs in one go vs crack one and blend well before the next. Did a quick prayer to the cheesecake gods, promising that my first born will be named Basque and hoped for the best.

So, the batter was ready, oven was pre-heated and the only step left was to prep the springform cake pan. I'll be honest, it was a battle between the parchment paper and me, and I was clearly NOT winning. Oh my god, I rather be my mom's IT Tech support via the phone, ten thousand miles away, trying to fix some obscure mobile error that only she can see, than do this. Finally, get it done; batter poured, pan in oven, timer set and now, we wait. 50 minutes seems like a very long time, especially when the entire house has the aroma of cheesecake permeating the air.


When the bake was done and the cheesecake was cooling, I debated adding some fruit to fancy things up. I had a flashback of the most recent V Day celebration, where my attempt at breakfast for David involved decorating his breakfast platter with blueberries. His response to my artwork was "Why is there mini-poop on my plate?" Alright, we'll leave it to be a served as a timeless classic, and it sure was.


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