A few years ago, my daughter became a fan of all things dulche de leche. It is a pretty great thing – dip fruit in it, smear it on bread, eat it on a spoon…. Last year I made her a dulche de leche cheesecake for her birthday. It is apparently now a tradition, so I made it this week. Happy Birthday!
I used the best quality dulche de leche I could find. A few brands have nasty addtions – so look for one with the fewest ingredients, or make your own ( I will next time for sure!)
Dulce de Leche
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press)
Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).
Pour one can (400 gr/14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish. Stir in a few flecks of sea salt if you like.
Set the pie plate within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate.
Cover the pie plate snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary).
Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, whisk until smooth.
Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Warm gently in a warm water bath or microwave oven before using if it is too thick and sticky.
The easy-er method:
Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk, into the top of a double boiler. Heat for 1-2 hours depending upon how thick you like. The top of the double boiler should be touching the water as it boils. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. It will thicken upon cooling, too.
Apparently, you can make this on a campfire by puncturing a few holes in the lid and letting it sit on hot rocks at the edge of the fire. I will try it this summer and let you know….
And now for the cheesecake….It is not a tall cake, but it is really rich! This recipe is adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe published in June 2010
I use an oreo crumb crust, but a graham crust would be great too
1 1/2 cups of oreo crumbs
3 tbs. melted butter
Stir crumbs and butter together, and press into bottom of a buttered and parchment lined 11” springform pan, or a 9 x 13” pan.
3 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature (I use the light one…)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
½ cup dulche de leche
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Blend cream cheese and sugar in food processor until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed (about a minute).
Add eggs one at a time, processing a few times before additions.
Add dulche de leche and vanilla, and process until blended (10 seconds)
Spread batter evenly over crust. Bake until just set in center and edges are puffed and slightly cracked, approximately 40 minutes. Let cool completely.
GLAZE (it will not ever firm up):
2/3 cups dulche de leche
3 tbs. (or more if needed) heavy whipping cream
a tiny bit of Fleur de sel if desired
Heat dulche de leche and 3 tbs. cream in a microwave-safe bowl in 10 second intervals until melted. Stir to blend, adding more cream if too thick to pour.
Cool, and pour over cheesecake. Refrigerate until chilled
Sprinkle with salt (if using) right before serving.
Sorry I forgot to snap a photo before it was devoured…next year!