Leeds restaurants: How to cook this Bonfire Basque Cheesecake from the bakers behind CORA

This Burnt Basque Cheesecake is sure to jazz up any Bonfire Night celebrations.

Sunday, 7th November 2021, 4:45 pm

It's the creation of Mary-Jane Walker and Rosie Wilkinson, the head bakers at CORA in Boston Spa, who love to add unexpected flavours and twists to classic bakes.

Mary-Jane and Rosie have shared the recipe for CORA's Bonfire Basque Cheesecake exclusively with Yorkshire Evening Post readers.

This rich autumnal treat is decorated with apple butter and crystallised shiso leaves.

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CORA's Bonfire Basque cheesecake (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

Burnt Basque cheesecake:

900g cream cheese

300g caster sugar

6 eggs

The cheesecake is the creation of Mary-Jane Walker (pictured) and Rosie Wilkinson, the head bakers at CORA in Boston Spa (Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

480ml cream

1tsp smoked salt

1tsp vanilla extract

45g plain flour


Double line a 9” tin

Beat cream cheese and sugar until completely smooth.

Add eggs and combine.

Add cream, salt and vanilla combine until smooth.

Sift flour in and mix until no lumps remain.

Bake at 195C for 60-65 mins until the cheesecake reaches a deep golden brown colour and is still jiggly in the centre. Don’t worry if it looks burnt - that’s where all the flavour is.

Leave to cool at room temperature, preferably overnight. Do not refrigerate as it is best served at room temperature.

The following day, slice the cheesecake up into individual servings and place each slice on its side.

Sprinkle the cut edge generously with caster sugar and, if available, brûlée using a blow torch until beautifully caramelised. Repeat on the other side and leave for a few moments to set.

Apple butter:

2 Bramley apples

75g caster sugar (or to taste)

1tsp vanilla

1tsp cinnamon

1/2tsp smoked salt

Few drops of smoked oil

Peel and chop the apples into chunks. Add to a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.

Cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the apples have broken down. Make sure to keep stirring to avoid the apple butter sticking to the pan and burning. The mixture should be thick and jammy.

Leave to cool.

Once cooled. Place the apple butter in a piping bag, and slice the end off on a diagonal. Pipe the butter onto the edge of the cheesecake in a zigzag motion.

Crystallised Shiso

Shiso leaves

Egg white

Caster sugar

Dry the leaves with kitchen towel and slice in half down the centre. Then, using a pastry brush, paint on a light coat of egg white onto both sides of the shiso leaf.

Immediately dip into a bowl of caster sugar, ensuring the entire leaf is coated.

Place the sugared leaf onto a scrunched up piece of parchment to give the leaf a structural shape.

Leave to dry for at least 24 hours.

Once dried, place on top of the brûlée’d cheesecake and rest the leaf on the apple butter to secure.