“I went to Copenhagen to do a quick stagiaire at Alchemist 2.0. During my time there, I visited Hart Bageri and ordered a fat slice of cheesecake. Wow! It was insanely delicious, with an incredible, almost mousse-like texture. Little did I know, it was the Basque cheesecake but done differently. Since then, I’ve obsessed about this cheesecake that I’d never heard of, and I’ve failed many times in trying to recreate it. Finally, Chelia Dinata, who I helped start up ByCcino Cookies (in Bali), expanded her range, obsessed and experimented on countless Basque cheesecakes until she perfected it. So, a very big thank you to her for sharing this wonderful recipe, which I’ve added my touches to.”
430 g cream cheese, softened
100 g white (granulated) sugar
15 g plain (all-purpose) flour
270 ml thickened (whipping) cream
15 ml lemon juice
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
Burnt honey glaze
150 g honey
50 ml water
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line an 18 cm (7 inch) spring-form cake tin with baking paper (I just get a big piece and punch it in to fit the tin).
Put the cream cheese and sugar in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until well combined. Add the flour and mix for a further 3 minutes.
Slowly add the cream, lemon juice and vanilla seeds and mix until smooth and creamy, scraping down the side of the bowl to ensure there are no lumps.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the tin. Bake for 25–27 minutes – the centre should still be wobbly. Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge.
Put the honey in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the edges begin to caramelise and burn a little. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the honey has turned a deep amber, then slowly whisk in the water. (Be careful not to add the water too quickly as it will bubble and spit.) Bring the mixture to a simmer, then turn off the heat and set aside to cool to 35–40°C (95–104°F).
Evenly brush the cooled honey glaze over the dark surface of the cheesecake. Remove the cheesecake from the tin and serve chilled.
Note: If the honey glaze is rock hard once it’s cooled, dilute it with some water. It should have the consistency of liquid glucose – if it’s too firm to brush over the cheesecake, heat it in the microwave for 8–10 seconds to loosen.
The Dessert Game by Reynold Poernomo, (Published by Murdoch Books, RRP $36.99) is available now from great Victorian booksellers such as Books for Cooks, Hill of Content, The Paperback Bookshop and Readings, as well as online.