Where to begin with this dessert? I mean, it’s cheesecake. So right there, hashtag winning. And then there’s chai. Can’t get enough of chai these days. And then there’s the fact that this dessert looks like it took all day but was, in fact, so easy. There’s just no downside. So get ready to impress all your friends with this Chai Spice Burnt Basque Cheesecake and let’s get started!
What is a burnt basque cheesecake?
To really get into this Chai Spice Burnt Basque Cheesecake, you have to forget everything you know about traditional cheesecake. While classic cheesecake is dense and rich, Basque cheesecake is light, airy and creamy inside. While we strive for a perfect, crack-free top on a traditional cheesecake, the top of a Basque cheesecake is supposed to be flawed.
It gets its “burnt” quality from being baked on high heat so that the top caramelizes and turns a very dark brown. Don’t worry, it doesn’t actually taste burnt at all.
Another notable difference is that a Basque cheesecake does not have a crust! It also only calls for a small amount of flour, so it’s an easy modification to make it gluten free.
What is Chai spice?
If you haven’t jumped on the Chai spice bandwagon yet, what are you doing with your life? I’ve even got my kids on board.
Chai isn’t actually one single spice. It’s a spice blend that includes cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger and black peppercorns. It’s got a sweet, earthy and a tiny bit peppery flavor, and the aroma is incredible. It comes mixed with black tea in standard tea bags and also in powdered mixes that you can use to make lattes.
As with any other tea, the longer you let the tea bags steep, the more pronounced the Chai flavor will be. In this Chai Spice Burnt Basque Cheesecake, we are letting the tea bags steep in warm cream for about 15-20 minutes.
How to make Chai Spice Burnt Basque Cheesecake
Once the cream and Chai spice are steeped together, the rest comes together in one mixing bowl.
You’ll beat cream cheese and sugar together, and then add eggs. Then throw in the Chai-flavored cream, salt and vanilla, sift in the flour (gluten free if you desire) and pour it all into a springform pan.
When I first made a Basque cheesecake, I felt compelled to decorate it with some sort of topping. But, the whole point of this dessert is its simplicity. You want to see that perfectly imperfect, crackly, caramelized crust. So let it be naked, and I promise you’ll still get lots of “oohs” and “aahs”.
If you make this Chai Spice Burnt Basque Cheesecake, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment or drop a rating below. Enjoy!
Chai Spice Burnt Basque Cheesecake
- 32 oz. cream cheese room temperature
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 bags Chai tea
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in the tea bags. Let steep 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Double line a 9" springform pan with parchment. Make sure the parchment goes up the sides of the pan too.
- Beat cream cheese and sugar together in a stand mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
- Lower the speed. Beat in the cream, salt and vanilla until combined.
- Turn off the mixer. Sift in the flour, then beat on low speed, scraping down the sides until very smooth. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake 1 hour. The cake will still be jiggly. Let it cool completely before unmolding. Serve at room temperature.