A viral baked cheesecake, with a burnt top, that gives it a delicious caramel like flavor…
Hmm, where should I start? Of late, it has been very difficult to be committed to the blog. Somehow, my energy is getting expended everywhere except the blog. Maybe I am feeling burned out or maybe genuinely, I am not getting the time. But when I actually think about it, there was a time when the blog was priority to me. Cooking for it, clicking for it and posting for it was all that my mind would be thinking about, despite having work and family to take care of. Any new recipe would instantly excite me, any new challenge would let my head go into overrun mode, as to what to cook for that challenge. I used to post almost every day barring the weekends. When I went on vacations, I scheduled posts and went, and then would constantly check back to see and read feedback. Those were the times I enjoyed blogging without thinking too much…
But right now, I feel overwhelmed. If you have a blog, then you need to do your posts as per SEO standards so that Google would crawl onto it. If you want to grow on Instagram, then you need to be a literal reel churning machine, and that too playing the latest trending music, which sometimes literally grate on my nerves. Then there is Pinterest, there is Google Stories, YouTube and TikTok, and what not! Instead of being your own self, the need is to follow set guidelines so that whatever you do will grow. Maybe that is why I really don’t feel like blogging these days. Even though I still don’t follow any of these set rules, my mind is dismayed that my blog isn’t even growing or going anywhere. I so can’t wrap my head around shooting my meals. I lose the pleasure of cooking then. More than that, I hardly make any specials these days because we are all having our own dietary restrictions, plus I guess my girls are having a growing-up crisis, that they can’t stand my food. So you can imagine my horror, of having a label of “a food blogger” but with folks who don’t eat my food… 😀
In short, I seem to have lost it. I really want to feed my blog, try new recipes, get excited about clicking and posting, but somewhere, I don’t feel like it anymore. My head doesn’t want to concentrate only on food. Maybe, I am suffering from a mid-life crisis, along with my girls. It was easier to cook before – HD and B would eat my food and critique it, my ex-colleagues would always give a word of encouragement for my bakes, and my girls were too small to even comment. Life is different now, and I feel like cooking has become more of a chore than a delight. Any task, even something passionate, can change into a burden if the mood changes. I don’t want that to happen with cooking, however this is exactly what is happening. I cook only for survival and only food that my folks will eat, even if it means just repeated stuff. I don’t want to break my head as such anymore. I just want to spare myself from heartache… 🙂
But then how can I just let my blog be ignored? I can’t. So, you will see me posting here and there, albeit erratically. I will still come and peek, do some updates on old posts and do some new posts too. I won’t just let it go; I will still cling on to it. This week marks ten years of blogging – double digit figures! I am patting myself for holding on to the blog for such a period of time. I never expected myself to. Every of my yearly posts have showed my dwindling interest, but I still kept at it despite reducing number of posts. But this time, the slow down looks real and to stay for some time. I guess I can. My blog is a house of 1700+ recipes, which is not a small task in itself. At times, I can’t believe I did it. Starting this blog primarily to move my recipes from a general blog I had to having its own domain and a self-hosted space, I have come a long way, Alhamdulillah. But I have no energy to be pulled into the rat race of doing hundred things to make my blog work. It actually makes me lose my interest, rather than enjoying it as my passion. I refuse to get drawn into it. I am content with what I have, and I trust my content will carry itself forward in the long run… InShaAllah…
Just like all my yearly posts, this time’s post is special. My sister and B loves cheesecakes, so much that most of my cheesecakes on the blog, like the dates honey cheesecake, DDL cheesecake and the Nutella cheesecake were majorly enjoyed by them. Last year – oops, nope, the year before, we are already in 2023! – when I visited my sister, she wanted me to make a cheesecake. I managed to make one the day before we were flying back, and it was this baked cheesecake with a burnt top called the San Sebastien Cheesecake. Of course, I clicked pictures, but they were so bad that I decided to give it a miss to post on the blog. When I reached back and switched on my phone, my nephew sent me a Whassap voice note, “Ummi, this is the best cheesecake ever!” I instantly knew I had made a winner. My sister couldn’t stop raving about how creamy and delicious it was. So that means I had to repeat making it for B, the other cheesecake lover.
A little bit about this cheesecake – it is said to have been invented in a cafe in San Sebastien, Spain. It is also called “Burnt Basque Cheesecake” or “La Vina Cheesecake” – Basque is the place in San Sebastien where the cafe called La Vina invented this peculiar cheesecake. I am sure to have confused you, but that is what my search on Google says. 😉 Unlike other cheesecakes that are slow baked, this one is baked at higher temperature to get the burnt top. Not only that, the presence of more eggs than usual gives the cheesecake a very custard like flavor. Whatever said and done, if baked cheesecake is your thing, then you have to try this one. You will never go back to eating regular cheesecake. It is that delicious, that melt-in-the-mouth, that addictive… Many cafes here serve it with chocolate sauce or red velvet sauce, but trust me, this hell of a cheesecake can hold itself on its own, without any sides. What is the other thing I like about it? No crust! I am not a fan of the crust in cheesecake, so here you don’t have to discard anything, or take extra effort to make a crust. Just makes life easier… Hehe… So for your next occasion, bookmark this cheesecake and try it! Trust me, you will be blown, like we all were… 🙂
And before I forget, along with the blog, my little girl Azza celebrates her birthday today too! She was born two years before the blog, and I still can’t understand how I actually started doing this blog when she was in her terrible twos. Maybe, I did it to blow off steam. 😀 Alhamdulillah, time is literally flying and sometimes I have a lump in my throat thinking how much she has grown up. She had been tiny for a really long time and then suddenly had this growth spurt, that I find it hard to accept. May Allah keep our children steadfast and make them the coolness of our eyes… Aameen Ya Rubb… All I can wish for her is a good future with faith and hope…
San Sebastien Cheesecake | Burnt Basque Cheesecake
- 420 gm cream cheese 2 tubs, like Philadelphia - use full fat
- 250 gm thick cream
- 4 eggs large, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar increase for sweetness
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a 9 inch round pan with three pieces of parchment paper, one on top of the other, hanging out the pan for easy lifting. Brush butter between each of the paper to stick together, set aside.
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and beat on meduim speed with a hand beater for five minutes till the mixture is homogenous.
- Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes to one hour. Broil the top for 3-5 minutes till it looks burnt.
- Take out the cheesecake and allow it to completely cool in the pan.
- Transfer to the refrigerator and let it set for another 2 hours.
- Enjoy cold as is or with a drizzling of chocolate sauce - though it isn't necessary!