Jul 28 2023

Spanish Cheesecakes: No Crumbs Left Behind

Spanish chefs prove that this recipe can be prepared in a thousand and one ways: happy July 30th, it's Cheesecake Day! 

In 2021, The New York Times chose the Basque cheesecake as "flavor of the year." Many people discovered this crustless, "burnt" cheesecake recipe, baked in a very hot oven so the top caramelizes but the inside remains soft and fluid. Among the most illustrious creators of this version is the restaurant La Viña, in San Sebastián.

However, this specialty is far from being the only one to attract attention in Spain. There are many chefs who make their own versions using local cheeses. One example is Dani García, who serves it at his BiBO establishments (with locations in London and Doha), which uses Payoyo cheese (traditionally from Cádiz, Andalusia) mixed with other ingredients such as fruits and berries.

Nino Redruello, who runs Madrid restaurants Fismuler as well as La Ancha, is another chef innovating with his cheesecakes. In his case, he mixes traditional cream cheese with smoked Idiazábal cheese and different Spanish blue cheeses. The result is a cheesecake with a complex and intense flavor, suitable for daring palates.

There are many possible combinations: at Michelin-star restaurant Gofio, in Madrid, the chefs use Majorero cheese, which comes from the Canary Islands. Two Canary Island cheeses also come together at Candeli restaurant (also in Madrid) in a cheesecake recipe to which blue cheese from Pría (Asturias) is included. And at Essentia restaurant (Tarancón, Ciudad Real), in the historic region of La Mancha, they serve cheesecake—to no one's surprise— made with a good Manchego cheese.

There are more examples: smoked Mahón cheesecake (from the Balearic Islands), pine nuts, honey, and quince, prepared by José Miguel Martínez Pi, from Cap Vermell Grand Hotel in Mallorca; it won the III National Tapa Alimentos de España Award in 2023. Jon García, chef at Jon Cake in Barcelona, ​​uses a variety of Spanish cheeses, although he believes that blue cheeses, such as Cabrales, are the ones that make the difference. There are many versions of cheesecake to celebrate July 30 in the sweetest possible way.