You may think that a mini basque blood orange cheesecake is magic enough – but what if we wrap it in a flaky phyllo crust? Well, it’s just otherworldly delicious! If you’re doubting making this into a 6-inch cheesecake, no worries, double the ingredient to make in an 8-inch instead!
What do I gotta know?
Why the cake flour?
Cake flour is ap flour sifted with a bit of cornstarch, so why the big deal? The addition of cornstarch achieves a lighter and more tender crumb. On the other hand, ap flour has a higher gluten content, which is great when you want a chewy texture. But for our mini Basque blood orange cheesecake, we want a light heavenly bite!
Here is how you how can make your own cake flour:
1 cup of ap flour, remove 2 tbs of ap flour and substitute for 2 tbs cornstarch.
Why did my Basque cheesecake crack?
Cracking around the edges is completely normal – perhaps more obvious in a 6-inch cheesecake! However, if it cracks in the middle, then your mini blood orange basque cheesecake is overcooked. Here is where you could run into a problem, say that you have a crack in the center but you still don’t have a brown top. In this case, set the oven to broil and keep an eye on it until you have a beautiful rich brown.
How to tell if Basque cheesecake is done?
In short, a 6 inch cheesecake will only need 22 minutes at 450 degrees to have a set center and a rich brown top.
If you need a little more detail, you are looking for the middle to do a soft jiggle! Then placing the cheesecake in the fridge to cool completely will stop the cooking process. Cooling at room temperature and then chilling in the fridge may seem like overkill, but think of the soft and creamy interior!
Why did my cheesecake fall?
High edges and a sunken center is actually the signature look of a Basque cheesecake! Which is why, this mini Blood Orange Basque cheesecake is deliberately undercooked in the center to have that smooth creamy middle. Now if you’re wondering about the science…it’s something steam pockets, something something proteins. Give this a read.
Can I make Basque Cheesecake ahead of time?
Ooh baby, did I not mention it needs to be chilled? This is why this mini blood orange Basque cheesecake is perfect to be made ahead of time. In fact, you can also choose to freeze it!
You can either wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap or freeze the whole thing in an airtight container. When you’re ready to enjoy, transfer to the fridge to thaw overnight. Pull it out for 20-30 minutes so that it gets to room temperature then enjoy!
If you will be in a situation where you may need to freeze it, then I would omit the phyllo crust – see notes below!
What’s the deal with the Phyllo Crust?
A creamy blood orange cheesecake wrapped in a crisp and flaky crust is perfection! You can add additional flavorings like various fruit sugars, crushed nuts or your favorite spices by sprinkling them in between the layers as you stack.
The number of sheets, for a 6-inch pan, 8 sheets made up the perfect layers to mimic a thick crust bottom! However, you can add and subtract to your preference!
Filled and baked phyllo crusts are best the same day they are baked – anywhere that can cause humidity will only dampen the phyllo crust. So keep this in mind if you are choosing to make ahead of time!
Mini Blood Orange Basque Cheesecake with Phyllo Crust
- 6 inch springform pan
- 1 block cream cheese (226g)
- 1 cup heavy cream (8.15oz)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 2 large eggs
- 2⅓ tbsp cake flour (15g) (see notes above!)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp blood orange extract (add more to taste)
- ½ tsp blood orange zest
- 8 sheets Phyllo crust, thawed (about 14x18")
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (113g)
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar (37g)
- Preheat the oven to 450° and pull out the phyllo sheets so they may defrost while we work on the cheesecake base.
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Divide the mixture in half into two bowls. One bowl, add the blood orange extract and zest, then fold gently together. Set aside, and in the second bowl add the vanilla extract, and fold.
- Set aside the cheesecakes, so as to give the air bubbles in the batter a chance to settle.
- Lightly grease your 6-inch springform pan and unfold the phyllo sheets on a clean surface and cover them with a damp towel. Set aside the sugar in a small bowl.
- On your work surface, place a large parchment paper. One phyllo sheet at a time, brush with butter, and sprinkle an even layer of sugar over the phyllo. Place another sheet of phyllo on top, arranging it askew. Try to make a starburst of angles so that none of the sheets match up! Brush with butter, sugar, and repeat!
- Transfer the phyllo crust to the prepared pan, carefully lifting the edges so that gravity does its thing, and pressing the sheets into the bottom. Workaround the edges with your fingers to scrunch the phyllo together so it doesn’t peak over the springform rim -- This way you can lift the rim over the cheesecake without damaging the crust!
- Fill the crust with your two fillings, whichever layer first!
- Bake for 15 minutes, then check periodicaly for the next 6 minutes for your preferred caramelized top. After the 21-min mark, the top should be close to black! The cheesecake should still be very jiggly in the center when you remove it from the oven.
- Cool at room temperature for 15 min to eat warm or then place in the fridge to eat the cheesecake chilled.