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Hojicha Burnt Basque Cheesecake

My 阿公 (grandpa) is the health police in the family. Back in Taiwan, my parents would sneak 鹹酥雞 (Taiwanese popcorn chicken) in their shirt or bags and into our room so that they could eat something fried and oily. Whenever my grandparents would visit us from Taiwan, we wouldn't be able to ask them to bring instant noodles, Asian chips, or anything of the "unhealthy" sort. I was always annoyed whenever my grandpa would stand next to the toaster to make sure our toast did not burn. A slight char and he would use a knife to scrape it off while reminding us how bad burnt stuff is for our health. (I just like my bread a bit toasted ok.)

Now, whenever I actually burn my toast, it reminds me of how frantic my grandpa would get. This cheesecake is supposed to be burnt though! Well, not really. It's the caramelization on top from the high baking temperature that envelopes the souffle-y, creamy & moist interior. I had to tell my family not to scrape off the top. It's super light and probably very hard to mess up!

Affiliated with Ocha & Co.


Makes one 7-inch cheesecake

400 g cream cheese, room temperature

100 g sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

7 g cornstarch

7 g lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

200 g heavy whipping cream, room temperature

15 g hojicha powder (can exclude as well and it'll still taste good!)


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line parchment paper over a 6 or 7-inch cake pan, allowing the paper to extend above the cake pan.

  2. Using a flat beater on a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar together on medium speed until smooth.

  3. Add in the eggs one at a time. Continue to whisk until there are no lumps.

  4. Add in cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla.

  5. Slowly pour in heaving whipping cream while mixing, until fully incorporated. For a smoother texture, pass the batter through a sieve to get rid of the chunks that did not mix in.

  6. Tap the cake pan on the counter top to get rid of any air bubbles.

  7. Bake for 30 minutes. The top of the cheesecake should be brown and the center slightly jiggly. Let the cheesecake cool in the pan until it reaches room temperature. Serve the cheesecake at room temperature, or refrigerate overnight for a firmer texture.

Recipe by Rachel Lee |


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