Nico Norena Lets Us In On The Secret To A Good Basque Cheesecake - Exclusive

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If you know anything about Nico Norena — anything at all — you know that he adores cheesecake. Creamy brie cheesecake, blueberry cheesecake, Key lime cheesecake, raspberry dark chocolate cheesecake, tiramisu cheesecake — you name it, Norena's made it. The foodie and food influencer's new cookbook, "The Succulent Bite: 60+ Easy recipes for Over-the-Top Desserts," contains no less than 18 cheesecake recipes. Here's how you know Norena is both a cheesecake aficionado and an acolyte: Even 18 recipes aren't enough.  

"I'm telling you the cheesecakes are the banger," Norena told Mashed in an exclusive interview. "I think I'm going to have a second book ... I've developed so many other flavor variations after the ones I selected for the book that I feel like we could create a whole new book just on cheesecakes. [It] could be called "Succulent Bite's Passion for Cheesecakes Volume 2." You heard it here first. Of the recipes that did make the first book, Norena says his no-bake Kinder cheesecake and Oreo Basque-style cheesecake are particular crowd pleasers. What's so special about Basque-style, you ask? Norena has the answers. 

Nico Norena's Basque-style cheesecake tips

Norena fell in love with Basque cheesecake while growing up in Madrid. Forget the churros that the European capital is famous for. "The best [dessert in Madrid] is cheesecake. Absolutely," Norena affirmed to Mashed. "Those come from [the] north of Spain, but [they're the] best style of cheesecake, for me. [They] are an absolute home run." For the uninitiated, a Basque-style cheesecake is mousse-reminiscent and gets gooey on the inside, thanks to a high cooking temperature.

As with a New York-style cheesecake, overcooking a Basque-style cheesecake is a cardinal sin. Unlike New York-style, says Norena, undercooking it is not. "[If] you're doing a Basque-style, [then] you can get away with a little bit of undercooked-ness," Norena advised. "Overall, I like to say for Basque style cheesecakes: high temperature, no bain-marie. No steam bath inside of the oven, and definitely hit it on the 45-minute mark at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason why is because that creates that perfect texture inside without over-baking it and then it comes out like stiff blocks."

Get ready to sharpen your cheesecake-making skills by pre-ordering Nico Norena's first cookbook, "The Succulent Bite: 60+ Easy recipes for Over-the-Top Desserts," here. In the meantime, follow Nico on Instagram & TikTok for daily content fixes and recipe inspiration.