This distinctive cheesecake is baked in a high heat oven, giving it a delicious dark brown top that tastes of caramel and toasted sugar. Made without a crust, it was inspired by a dessert served at the restaurant la Vina in San Sebastian, Spain.
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Lay one 16-inch piece of parchment across the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and lay another 16-inch piece on top crosswise. Press the parchment into the bottom of the pan and crease along the sides, making it as flush as possible to the sides of the pan and allowing the parchment to come at least 2 inches above the sides. Put the pan on a baking sheet.
Combine the cream cheese, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed, scraping down the bowl once halfway through to ensure there are no lumps of cream cheese, until the mixture is very smooth and light, a full 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer running, beating 30 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl, turn the mixer to low and add the cream and vanilla; raise the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Remove the mixer bowl. Sift the flour over the batter and fold the flour into the batter with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until the cheesecake is deep golden brown on top but the center is still quite jiggly, about 2 hours. Let cool completely (the cake will fall dramatically as it cools).
Release the pan to remove the cake and gently pull the parchment from the sides. Transfer the cake to a serving platter using an offset spatula.
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