Saturday, June 9, 2007

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

This is an outstanding cheesecake. Not overly rich, but very good. And the sauce over the top is so indulgent. I pretty much followed the recipe on Taste and Tell. But I cooked it in a water bath, as per my usual cheesecake procedure, then let it stand in the oven, turned off, with a wooden spoon handle in the door to keep it open and let it finish setting up for an hour before removing to cool. I tried to make the Dulce de Leche using the procedure I saw on Slashfood. It seemed simple enough, simmer 3 cans sweetened condensed milk for 3 hours. It didn't work as well as I would have liked. Maybe I didn't have the water hot enough, but it simmered for at least 3 hours and didn't look much different than sweetened condensed milk. So I did the microwave method below. It worked pretty well. But I think next time I'll try Alton's method that we just saw on Good Eats.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

1 1/2 c crushed vanilla wafers
4 T melted butter

24 oz cream cheese
1 c sugar
2 T all purpose flour
2 t vanilla
3 eggs
1/3 c milk
1/2 c Dulce de Leche (see recipe below)

For Serving:
Extra Dulce de Leche

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Mix crust ingredients together, and press into the bottom of a lightly buttered 9-inch springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, until it is lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

3. Reset oven temperature to 325°F.

4. With an electric mixer beat cream cheese, sugar and flour together until well mixed and smooth. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth. Add milk and mix until well blended.

5. Measure 1/2 cup of the cheesecake batter and pour into a small bowl. Add Dulce de Leche sauce and stir until well combined.

6. Pour plain batter over crust. Top with Dulce de leche batter by placing rounded spoonfuls over the cheesecake batter and gently swirl into plain batter with the tip of knife or spatula.

7. Bake in preheated 325°F (160°C) oven for 45-55 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven and gently run metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cheesecake (this helps prevent cracking). Let cool 20-25 minutes before covering and placing in the refrigerator. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or overnight before serving. If desired, serve each slice drizzled with a little bit of dulce de leche sauce, or pass around a bowl of dulce de leche sauce for guest's to help themselves.
Makes 16 servings.

Dulce de Leche

1 can sweetened condensed milk

There are several ways you can do this. I removed the label, poked a couple of holes in the top of the can and put the can in boiling water for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Next time, I would open the can and cook in a double boiler. Mine cooked more at the bottom and not enough at the top, so I ended up microwaving it to get it to the right consistency. With the double boiler, you would be able to stir it, and I think the consistency would be much better. You could also just microwave it from the beginning, cooking on 50% power and stirring every minute or so. You can tell it is ready when it thickens and becomes a tan or light brown color.

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