This story was first published on May 15, 2020, and updated on February 26, 2021.
Perhaps it is its delectably modest construction that we are finding hard to resist, but more than thirty years after La Viña bar-restaurant in San Sebastián, Spain, first proffered its crustless experiment, the love of Basque burnt cheesecake has spread across the continents to become one of the most replicated baked treats. It's even found its way onto the menus of some of the world’s best restaurants. But that is partly because this unassuming beauty is also deceptively complex to make—easy enough to put together but far from effortless to perfect.
Cooked at a uniquely high temperature, the intended result (if La Viña's cheesecake is the applied standard) is a signature scorched crown that hides an enticingly gooey cream cheese centre.
And this is not surprisingly one the main reasons why there are so many variations of the burnt cheesecake available today. Inspiring home bakers and professionals alike, alternatives range from the expectedly rustic amalgamation that sometimes includes the addition of a Spanish cheese, to one that resembles a large tart, crumbly crust and all.
It’s not new to the food-crazed here in Singapore, but oddly enough, it has taken the recent stay-home notice (to combat the covid-19 pandemic) to reignite a nation's penchant for this international hit. A we still can't get enough of it. Here’s a rundown of the island's more popular picks.