People Are Eating Burnt Cheesecakes On Purpose And This Is Why
And no, it's not a mistake.
If you've ever received a plate of slightly charred food, no doubt you've probably questioned whether or not to eat it -- partly because of the common belief that burnt food can cause cancer.
Well, one French dessert is challenging this theory by taking the "well done" approach to a completely new level. One might even say, it takes the cake.
Introducing the "Tourteau Fromage" -- a rather unique take on the classic cheesecake with a distinctive burnt crust -- very, very burnt! -- from Deux-Sèvres in the Poitou-Charentes region of France.
It's made with flour, sugar, egg yolks, whipped egg whites, and fresh local goat's cheese, which gives the cake a pleasant tang.
Now, France is pretty well regarded for its fancy fare, and its culinary techniques are the foundation of training for some of the world's finest chefs, so we can only assume there's a reason for this blacker than black dessert.
Before we go into how it came to be, however, we should point out that while there has been some research to suggest eating burnt or charred foods may increase cancer risk, the evidence is still unclear. Just sayin'.
But back to the fromage.
According to culinary blogs about the region, Tourteau Fromage kind of happened by accident back in the 19th century when a cook apparently put her cheesecake into a scolding hot oven, burning the surface of the cake.
In an attempt not to be wasteful, it's said the cook tried to salvage the cheesecake by lowering the temperature, allowing it to continue cooking.
When she later tasted the cake, the cook found that while burnt to a crisp on its top, the cake was deliciously soft and fluffy on the inside -- more so than usual. From then on, it was considered a delicacy among culinary circles and has being popular ever since.
The charred cake is so well regarded by connoisseurs that it's traditionally served with Champagne at weddings, but it's also common to find it being consumed at other times of the day, including breakfast.
Judging by the many Instagram posts with the hashtag #tourteaufromage people can't seem to get enough of the treat. And while some people eat the crust, others don't -- it's just a matter of personal preference.
"Still dreaming of Tourteau Fromagé," one fan wrote on Instagram. "The cake is made with Chèvre. It's sweet, soft and spongy, and covered in a crust that is purposely blackened. The contrasting textures and flavours were out of this world."
If you're now thinking to yourself you'd like to sample the treat fresh, you may need to start packing because it's currently only baked locally -- although some international French supermarkets often carry a commercial version, so it's worth asking your local store.
Feature image: Instagram/@chocoholicnao.