Creamy and rich with subtle earl grey tea flavor and fragrance, this delightful Earl Grey Burnt Cheesecake is a perfect dessert for your afternoon tea.
Have you tried Earl Grey flavored baked goods before? I have done this with my previous Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies and they taste so good. They made me hooked with earl grey tea ever since. This actually motivated me to experiment adding earl grey flavor to my latest Basque Burnt Cheesecake recipe.
Tips for Making Earl Grey Burnt Cheesecake
If you have not tried making a Basque Burnt Cheesecake before, you will have to trust me when I say it is probably one of the easiest cheesecake to bake for beginners. It consists of several ingredients only and there is no special technique involved for making this. Maybe the hardest part is to wait for the cheesecake to chill before serving. But let me tell you some tips to achieve the greatest result.
1. Do not boil the heavy cream
I add the earl grey flavor by infusing loose earl grey tea with hot heavy cream. The effect of acidity on the milk proteins is accentuated by heat, which is often why dairy products curdle when heated. Heavy cream with higher fat content is not as likely to curdle if you reach boiling point. But if you try to go with less fat content you will probably get curdling once the cream boils. For safe, I usually just heat the heavy cream just until before it reaches the boiling point or until it starts to simmer.
2. Use loose-leaf tea for more flavor and aroma
For the earl grey tea, I used the loose leaf tea form instead of tea bags. The difference between loose leaf tea and tea bags are numerous, and it goes far beyond the surface. The leaves used in most bags are actually the dust and fannings from broken tea leaves. Finely broken tea leaves have lost most of their essential oils and aroma. More importantly, most tea bags constrain the tea leaves, keeping them from expanding to their full flavor and aroma potential. That is why I love using loose leaf tea for making baked goods because it is fresher and more flavorful.
3. Weight the infused heavy cream
Maybe you get curious about why you need to weigh the cream twice in this recipe. In the original Basque Burnt Cheesecake recipe, we used 270gr heavy cream. The problem is the heavy cream evaporated during heating and the loose leaf tea absorbs so much liquid after the infusing process. After it had cooled down, I strained the infused heavy cream and weighted it back. Somehow I ended up with 170gr infused cream. When using whole loose leaf tea, the leaves absorb more water. It also depends on the brand of your tea leaves because some may also absorb more or less liquid.
The amount of heavy cream you need to add is probably more or less depending on the heating process and what kind of tea you use. But in the end, you should end up with 270gr earl grey infused heavy cream. If you use less than that, your burnt cheesecake will probably end up too dense and dry
How Much Earl Grey You Need For The Recipe
There are hundreds of different popular tea brands out there. They have a range of flavors and textures that appeal to different people from floral to strong to sweet. I find that the best teas for making baked goods are those that have flavorful, strong, and complex flavor. You will need strong tea, especially when combined with cream cheese because cream cheese tastes pretty strong in burnt cheesecake. If your tea does not taste as bold, the cream cheese flavor will end up overpowering and covering up the mild taste of tea.
For this recipe, I used 15gr loose earl grey tea. It is about 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons in volume and the amount of tea works for me. I know that is a lot of tea for a recipe, but that amount only enough to create a subtle earl grey flavor for each bite of cheesecake. As I have told you in the upper paragraph before, the cream cheese tastes strong and you need bold tea flavor.
Someone even tagged me that she made burnt cheesecake with 5 tea bags and it did not taste like earl grey at all. Just to let you know that 1 tea bag is about 1.5-2 grams so I assume that she used about 7.5-10 grams of earl grey tea. Moreover, let me remind you that tea bags are less flavorful and aromatic than loose leaf tea, so you will probably need to add more if you are using tea bags.
Based on my past experience, a good indicator to know if your earl grey cheesecake will work is to see the color of the raw batter. Well-infused earl grey cheesecake will have a slightly brownish color (earl grey color) instead of yellowish cream cheese color. Do you see that light brown color compared to my previous Burnt Cheesecake recipe? That is how I know that this cheesecake recipe will surely have that earl grey taste.
More Cheesecake Recipes
Do you love cheesecake? I have some cheesecake recipes that you will love!
- No-Bake Avocado Lime Cheesecake
- Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Cake
- No-Bake Thai Tea Cheesecake
- No-Bake Blackberry Cheesecake