Cuajada Cheesecake

Cheesecake number 2:  Spanish version, using cuajada.

Cuajada is a creamy dessert typical from the North of Spain, made of milk coagulated using “cuajo”.  Cuajo contains peptidases, that is, proteins that break other proteins :). These peptidases break a protein in the milk, the “casein”, and this causes the milk to go from liquid to a gel-like consistency.  This is because the casein swims in the milk forming “micelles”:  the casein molecules arrange themselves nice and cosy, hiding away from the water the parts of the protein that hate water, and that makes them soluble.  By chopping the casein molecules, the peptidases alter this micelle structure making it go solid (micelles cluster and “precipitate”).  This is also the procedure to make cheese out of milk:  acidification or proteases disrupt the casein micelle structure causing milk to “curdle”.

Cuajada can be bought as a powder that contains cuajo, starch, fructose, sugar, and some E additives.  This gives the cheesecake a very nice and characteristic milky taste.


Cuajada Cheesecake

Ingredients for a 23-cm diameter springform:

  • 210 g digestive biscuites
  • 150 g butter
  • 500 g whipping cream
  • 100 g sugar
  • 400 g cream cheese
  • 250 ml milk
  • 24 g cuajada powder
  • a pinch of NaCl
  • 150 g raspberry jam

Crumble the cookies by placing them in a plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin (or use a food processor).  Mix with the melted butter and use to cover the bottom of the springform, use the bottom of a glass to press down. Place in the fridge.

Dissolve the cuajada in the milk (start by adding a very little amount of milk, and slowly add more, or it won’t dissolve).

Heat up, stirring, the cream, sugar, cheese, and salt in a pot until it starts boiling.  Add the cuajada-milk mixture and return to the heat until it starts boiling again, then remove from heat.  Let cool down a bit, but keep stirring. 

Place the warm mixture on the springform (break the flow by placing a spoon in the middle to avoid disrupting the base).  Bring back to the fridge for 4 hours or best overnight.

Add the jam on top before releasing the cake from the springform. 




A.k.a. Spanish muffins.

P1130304.JPGFluffy Magdalenas

  • 2 eggs
  • 170 ml milk
  • 170 ml sunflower oil
  • 170 g sugar
  • 250 g flour
  • 15 g baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon

Beat the eggs with the sugar, vigorously, until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the oil slowly, beating.

Add the milk, lemon zest, and baking powder, mix.

Fold in the flour.

Fill muffin liners with batter to 1/2.  Add a bit of sugar on top.

Bake at 190°C fan for 15 minutes.


Sobaos Pasiegos

These are rich and fluffy cakes typical  from the north of Spain that take almost no time to make (once one has developed the necessary origami skills for the paper cases) and are deliciously perfect for a holiday morning breakfast with a big cup of milky coffee.

Happy New Year!

SobaosSobaos Pasiegos

Makes 6  of them:

  • 250 g softened butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 g flour
  • 220 g sugar
  • 30 g honey
  • grated zest of a lemon
  • 8 g of baking powder
  • pinch of NaCl
  • 3 sheets of baking paper, size A4, cut in two

First shape liners out of baking paper following this diagram:

Moldes para sobaos pasiegos

Sobao Cases


Preheat the oven to 160 °C fan.

Beat together butter with sugar, honey and salt until light and fluffy. Then beat in the lemon zest and the eggs, one at a time.

Fold in the combined and sifted flour and baking powder.

Divide the batter among the 6 liners placed in an oven tray (with some space in between them), and spread it with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes. The tops will be browned, but you can cover them with foil after 15 minutes in case you prefer them whiter.

Storing them in a plastic bag once cool will give them a softer texture.