While there’s nothing like the dramatic appeal of a perfectly caramelized Basque cheesecake straight out of a 10-inch springform pan, there’s only so much cheesecake a one- or two- or three-person household can eat in a weekend. This is where a muffin tin can come in extremely handy for scaling down one of our favorite recipes. Even working on this smaller scale, you can achieve that beautifully burnt exterior and creamy center—just make sure your oven has been thoroughly preheated, and that your ingredients are nice and cold when you get started.
4 individual cakes
- Preheat the oven to 500°F for a half hour (to ensure that it’s fully up to temperature) and set a rack in the top third of the oven. Cut 4 5-inch squares of parchment paper, lightly grease a standard muffin tin, and fit the prepared parchment squares into its cavities, making pleats around the edges so the parchment fits flush along the bottom and the pleats lie along the sides. The parchment paper will extend a bit above the tin.
- In a food processor, blend all the ingredients together for 2–3 minutes, until luscious and completely smooth, stopping and scraping with a spatula around the edges and blade a few times to ensure the mixture is uniform.
- Portion batter into parchment-lined muffin tin and place swiftly in the oven. Avoid opening or closing the oven during baking—use the oven light if you cannot help but peek! Bake for 11–13 minutes, until the top is dark and caramelized but the center is a little jiggly but not cracked (the cakes are so small and cook so quickly, you do not want to risk them overbaking here).
- Remove pan from oven and let cool briefly. Carefully grasp the tall edges of the parchment to remove the cakes, place on a cooling rack, and let cool to room temperature. The cakes will fall as they cool. If you like your cakes a little more custardy, serve at room temperature. Otherwise, for a more set center, you can transfer them to the fridge to chill completely before serving.