Chef Recipes

Albert Adria’s Legendary Cheesecake and Mind-Blowing Recipe

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina cheesecake adria ok

Disguised as a well-aged Camembert or similar cheese, it is a reinterpretation of cheesecake that can be replicated at home – a delightful game that translates elBulli's conceptual alchemy into a dessert to that can be delivered to your door.

Albert Adria’s Cheesecake

The story

This was a signature dish at Tickets, created before Enigma, and naturally has made its way to Cakes & Bubbles, the pastry shop that Albert Adrià opened at Café Royal Hotel in London that is dedicated to pairing bubbly wines and dessert. It incorporates two key stylistic elements of elBulli: trompe-l'oeil by making it seem as if it is a real washed rind cheese instead of the usual cake, and the semantically playing up the shift from meaning to signifier, from imaginary to literal.

It's called ‘cheesecake' and is literally a ‘cheese’ cake that is relatively faithful to the American model but takes on the appearance of its identifying ingredient in an idiosyncratic and vaguely pungent way. Despite the ochre crust, a sign of advanced maturity, it doesn't emit the stench of God's feet, as is often jokingly said in France about this cheese, but a delicate hazelnut aroma.


The Cake

To make it, Adrià uses Coulommiers, a cheese like Camembert, or Baron Bigod, a kind of British ‘Brie de Meaux’ (that is more characteristically brie than many of the Protected Designation of Origin wheels produced in France). It is obtained by following the traditional recipe using raw milk from Montbeliarde cows providing an indispensable flavor profile to the plate. Instead of the traditional biscuit base, a packet of Breton sablé is packed with the cheese round. All of this is priced at 15 pounds, paired with an unmissable glass of Champagne.






200 g of double cream

30 g of pasteurized egg yolks

30 g of sugar

100 g of Coulommiers cheese, diced

½ a sheet of gelatin, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes

40 g of cream cheese

36 g of white chocolate

24 g of hazelnut paste



How to


To make the Coulommiers cheesecake, place the cheese in a heatproof bowl. In a heavy saucepan, combine the cream, egg yolks, and sugar, and heat while stirring constantly until it reaches 85 °C to obtain a smooth custard.

Squeeze the gelatine sheet from the excess water and add it to the mixture, stirring well. Pour the mixture over the cheese, mix with an electric whisk, and strain through a fine sieve into another bowl. Let it rest for 24 hours.

Whip 60g of the Coulommiers custard with the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Using a pastry bag with a smooth tip, pipe the mixture into 7.5 cm diameter rings. Freeze and remove from the rings.

To coat the cheesecakes, melt white chocolate in a double boiler and blend with hazelnut paste. Place the frozen cheesecakes on a wire rack and glaze them well, removing any excess with a hairdryer.

Let the glaze set completely, then wearing gloves, wrap the cheesecakes in cheesecloth and press gently to create the illusion of a rind. Remove the cheesecloth gently to leave the imprint on the cheesecakes.








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