Dulce de leche swirl cheesecake
Why I Love This Recipe
The manager of the kitchen store I work at loves my cheesecake and she also loves dulce de leche. At inventory, the store was closed for the day and everyone was asked to bring something to share. My manager asked for a cheesecake. I had made some dulce de leche for some cookies I'd made the week before. I'd done chocolate marble cheesecakes before so I thought why not use up the left over dulce and make my manager twice as happy. It was a huge hit.
Ingredients You'll Need
¾ Cup flour
2 ½ Tablespoons sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ Cup butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Dulche de Leche Filling:
24 ounces cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons whipping cream
4 large eggs
1 egg yolk
12 ounces dulce de leche (see below or use a jar of commercial dulce)
1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
12-20 whole pecan halves, toasted (for decoration)
Dulce de Leche
One or two 14-ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
For the crust:
In a medium bowl stir together flour and sugar. Add egg, butter and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer till well combined. With generously grease fingers, press the dough onto the bottom of a greased 9” springform pan or 9” cake pan with 3” sides (see note).
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 or 15 minutes or till lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
For the filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar and whipping cream. Beat with a paddle attachment until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Remove 1 ¼ cups of the mixture and put into a small bowl. Stir in the dulce de leche, making sure it’s smooth and fully incorporated.
If using springform pan, place the pan with the cooled crust in it on an 18” square doubled layer of heavy-duty foil and wrap bottom and sides with foil. Pour plane filling over crust. Spoon the dulce mixture onto the filling. Staying above the crust, swirl a blade of a knife or a skewer through the cake to create a marbling effect.
Place the cake in a roasting pan. Set the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water to come about half-way up the side of the springform pan.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and lower temp to 225 degrees and bake for 1 hour to 1hour 15 minutes or until the center of the cake is slightly wobbly when the pan is shaken and the center of the cake registers 145-150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Run a paring knife around the cake to loosen. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and set on a wire rack and cool until water is just warm, 45 minutes. Remove cheesecake from the water bath, if using springform, remove the foil and set the cheesecake on wire rack and continue to cool until barely warm, about 3 hours. Place a sheet of paper towel on top of cheesecake to absorb condensation, cover cake pan securely with foil and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
To serve: For springform pan, remove the sides of the pan, place ground pecans in a jellyroll or other low-sided baking pan and using your hand, press on to the side of the cake creating a masking. Slide a thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen and slide cake onto a serving platter. When ready to serve, whip 1 cup of whipping cream with ¼ powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spoon cream into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Alternate whipped cream “stars” and pecan halves evenly around the edge of the cake and in a star pattern at the center.
For a cake pan: run a knife around the side of the pan. Holding the pan over a stove burner at medium-high, move the pan in a circular motion over the burner for about 30 seconds to loosen the cake from the bottom of the pan. Place a cake circle of flat plate or pan on top of the cake pan and invert. The cake should fall onto the circle. Remove the pan and place either another cake circle or serving platter on the bottom of the cake and invert the cake again (it is now right-side up), gently lift the circle or plate off the top of the cake. When ready to serve, whip 1 cup of whipping cream with ¼ powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spoon cream into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Alternate whipped cream “stars” and pecan halves evenly around the edge of the cake and in a star pattern at the center.
For the dulce de leche:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Pour sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish. Stir in a few flecks of sea salt.
Cover the pie plate snugly with aluminum foil. 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.
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.
I use a 9-inch cake pan with 3” sides for my cheesecakes that don’t have a topping baked on at the end. I don’t have to worry about water leaking through the foil wrap and it’s easy-peasy to remove the cake and finish it. You can also use commercial dulce de leche instead of making your own.