Tiramisu Basque Burnt Cheesecake

Tiramisu is timeless. The classic Tiramisu, said to be originated in a northern Italian town of Treviso in 1800, is a combination of savoiardi (or known as lady fingers sponge) layered with mascarpone cheese, soaked in espresso, or in some cases coffee liqueur, and then dusted generously with cocoa powder. While Tiramisu is a very common dessert nowadays, the fact that it was actually invented in Treviso, a town renowned for its brothels, implies that it’s more than a mere “simple” dessert back in those days. In fact, Italians believed Tiramisu was a potent aphrodisiac. Infused with strong coffee and cocoa, the cake was served to reinvigorate clients of brothels before, during and after heavy and multiple sex sessions to keep them going and, more importantly, the business flowing (credit: news.com.au). What a surprisingly SEXY history behind this popular dessert!

With creativity and modern touches added to this classic Italian dessert, many “mutants” of Tiramisu were born. As long as a dessert has the typical elements of Tiramisu, i.e. lady fingers biscuit, coffee, mascarpone and cocoa powder, it is called Tiramisu. I don’t know about other places, but in Singapore, some dessert shops offer contemporary variations of tiramisu, such as matcha tiramisu, earl grey tiramisu, lychee tiramisu, Baileys tiramisu and mango tiramisu, just to name a few. Here, I introduce to you a fresh interpretation of tiramisu using a coffee Basque burnt cheesecake as the base.

Follow this video to make a Tiramisu Basque Burnt Cheesecake:


(A) Coffee Basque Burnt Cheesecake

  • Cream cheese 250g (softened at room temperature)
  • Sugar 65g
  • Egg 2 no.
  • Whipping cream 180g
  • Instant coffee 10g
  • Kahlua coffee liqueur 20g
  • Hot water 10g
  • Cake flour 6g

(B) Mascarpone Cream

  • Hot water 1 Tbsp
  • Gelatine powder 1 tsp
  • Whipping cream 100g
  • Mascarpone cheese 125g (return to room temperature)
  • Sugar 40g
  • Vanilla essence 1 tsp
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting


  1. To make the coffee burnt cheesecake: Preheat oven at 200 degree Celsius.
  2. Prepare a 6″ round cake pan, and line with parchment paper. Make sure parchment comes at least 2″ above top of pan on all sides, because the parchment needs to be pleated and creased to fit in pan,
  3. In a small bowl, put in instant coffee, Kahlua and hot water. Mix to dissolve the instant coffee. Set aside for later use.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add egg in two to three additions to the cheese mixture. Mix well.
  6. Pour in whipping cream and coffee mixture prepared earlier. Mix until well combined.
  7. Add sifted cake flour, and mix well.
  8. Bake at 200C for 25-30 minutes. Unlike other burnt cheesecakes, the top of this cheesecake does not have to be very brown. Make sure that the centre of cheesecake is still jiggly when you take the cake out from oven.
  9. Let it cool down in cake pan completely. (No need to remove the cake out from cake pan at this stage)
  10. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  11. To make mascarpone cream layer: In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatine powder over hot water. Stir to dissolve gelatine powder. Set aside for later use.
  12. Whip the cream to soft-medium peak and keep it chilled for later use.
  13. Mix mascarpone cheese with sugar and vanilla essence until smooth and creamy.
  14. Add warm (~ 40C) dissolved gelatine to cheese mixture and mix well immediately.
  15. Fold in whipped cream, and our mascarpone cream is now ready.
  16. To assemble: Pour mascarpone cream onto the coffee Basque cheesecake. Chill in refrigerator until the mascarpone cream layer is firm.
  17. Hold the parchment paper, and lift up to remove cake from cake pan.
  18. Dust the top of cake with a layer of cocoa powder. Serve chilled.
Tiramisu Basque Burnt Cheesecake

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