Wednesday, March 26, 2008

i can haz cheesecake

dulce de leche cheesecake bites

right off the bat, i'll tell you two things. one, this recipe is another from smitten kitchen's blog. two, this recipe is worth the time it takes to make it.

i really love cheesecake. of course, the more i write this blog, the more it seems like i really love a lot of things. that's certainly not true. it's just that i blog about only good things...things that i like. anyway, back to cheesecake. i like turtle. i like mint chocolate. i like all of it except for the kind with canned cherry pie filling (and possibly pumpkin, with makes me gag a little). however, it's another item on my list of things i've never made. overall, it was successful and tasty. i took most of them to work because it's quite easy to pop 2 or 3 (or 11) into your mouth without realizing what you've done.

i'll be honest - this recipe has a number of steps and takes a lot of time. the nice part is that the individual steps are fairly easy and the time is mostly spent waiting, not working. i'll offer the recipe in parts.

dulce de leche
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1. heat milk in a double boiler, covered
2. stir occasionally for 40 - 50 minutes, until thick and caramel colored
3. remove from heat and whisk until smooth

graham cracker crust
1 c crumbled graham crackers
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1. line 8 in baking pan with 2 sheets of foil, crisscrossed with 2 inches overhang
2. finely grind graham crackers, sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor
3. with motor running, slowly add butter until combined
4. press mixture evenly into baking pan
5. bake for 10 minutes at 325°F
6. cool completely

oops - this is a little messy. pouring sticky caramel substance while operating a camera is hard to do!

cheesecake filling
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/4 whole milk
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 lg eggs
3/8 tsp salt
1 c dulce de leche

1. sprinkle gelatin over milk in a bowl, let stand for 2 minutes
2. beat together cream cheese, eggs, salt and gelatin mixture until combined, about 2 minutes
3. stir in dulce de leche gently but thoroughly
4. pour filling over crust and spread evenly
5. bake in a hot water bath for 45 minutes, until center is set
6. cool cheesecake for 2 hours, cover and chill for 6 hours

i enlisted husband's help to get a better shot here. the lighting was bad. i can't win!

chocolate glaze
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (i used 71%)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp light corn syrup

1. heat all ingredients over a double boiler, stirring until smooth
2. pour over cheesecake, tilting pan until evenly coated
3. chill, uncovered, for 30 minutes

to make the bites: lift cheesecake from pan using foil. cut into 1 inch squares, wiping the knife between each slice.

a few more notes here. one, nobody said this was low fat. i said it was cheesecake. two, i would have chilled this even longer after the chocolate step because when i cut mine it hadn't hardened completely. i could have stopped and waited, but that was too difficult. i had waited all day and wanted mah cheesecake. three: i will make these again and get better pictures. (yep, just for the pictures. i won't even eat one. or eleven.)

with a one inch piece, people will, more please?


Thomas said...

Um, I don't love cheesecake, but I'm totally bitter I missed out! I made sort of good, but so bad-for-you-they-taste-good-anyway chocolate cookies with white and chocolate chips yesterday. Mmmm. I will likely bring most in tomorrow.