April 2009 celebrates my 2 year anniversary with the outstanding group that call themselves the Daring Bakers. Back in April 2007 we were just 30 members and my first ever challenge was the tough but rather yummy chocolate crepe cake. Today the group is pushing it’s 2000 member mark and we have our own Daring Kitchen, where we get together to discuss the ups and downs of any given challenge.
I can’t help but reminisce about the group back then. We all pretty much knew each other and it was just like an extended family all getting together once a month. I had a far better overview of who was a Daring Baker, today while the challenges are still exciting, the group has grown incredibly and I am afraid I do not know half of the members. The positive side is that I am finding new blogs through the group and always am amazed at the enormous effort and fantastic talent my fellow DBs present with each challenge.
The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. Abbey T. is Jenny’s friend and according to Jenny this cheesecake is the creamiest she has ever tried. I will second that.
This really was a deliciously creamy cheesecake, not too sweet and had a perfect texture. Cheesecake would not go down as my most favorite type of cake because I often find them heavy and far too sweet. However, this recipe really is great as one can do so much with it, as you will see all across the blogs today.
I had dulce de leche on my mind for quite some time and after I made my own homemade dulce de leche it was clear to me that I would make my cheesecake using the addictive sauce. I followed the recipe, just making a few minor changes to integrate the dulce de leche.
After 2 years with the group, 23 challenges (I missed only one so far!) and 1 as a hostess, this challenge will be my last one for a while. Most of you know by now, I am counting down to the big move in July to Qatar. As much as it pains me to miss out on the next baking challenges I have to make time for other challenges. Selling, sorting and packing are all on my To do list right now. Once I am settled in Doha I shall be back.
The recipe here is the one with my own modifications for a dulce de leche cheesecake. You will find the recipe for the original Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake here.
Dulce De Leche Cheesecake
Printable version of recipe here.
180g graham crackers, crushed – I used whole wheat biscuits from Bahlsen Leibniz
115g butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
680g cream cheese
200g superfine granulated sugar
150 ml dulce de leche
80 ml whole milk
1 vanilla bean, insides scraped
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly butter a 22-cm springform pan. Wrap the springform with a couple of layers of heavy duty-foil, to avoid leaking and water seeping into the cake.
- Mix crust ingredients together, and press into the bottom of the springform pan. Set crust aside.
- Combine cream cheese, sugar, milk and the insides of the vanilla bean together in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Divide the mixture in half. Leave one half plain, pouring the the dulce de leche in the other half. Using a spatula gently combine the dulce de leche into the cream cheese mixture.
- Pour plain batter over crust, then top with dulce de leche batter.
- Bake in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost set. This can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill – preferably overnight. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
- Serve topped with fresh berries and/or a drizzle of dulce de leche.
- I like using the springfrom pan or pans with removable bottoms. However, as this is being cooked in a water bath you might want to wrap such kind of baking forms in foil. Secure the springform generously with foil as you might have some leakage or water seeping into the form.
- You can be as creative as you like with the recipe. Instead of dulce de leche, use chocolate sauce or a fruity based coulis.
I made this for my brother-in-law’s 30th. Soeren, his girlfriend and I pinched a slice to test and we found it hard to wait till the guests came around! In Germany cheesecake is often made using quark, which gives the filling a totally different flavor and texture. Therefore, the birthday boy and the guests found this form of cheesecake very interesting as it was more compact and cheesier in flavor. The dulce de leche is incredible in this cheesecake. It highlights the creaminess of the cheese with a rich caramel note. As I poured the two batters in layers one really enjoyed and noticed the different flavor levels of the filling.
Would I make this again?
Yes! It’s not too sweet or heavy and the possibilities are immense. It’s going to be a base for several exciting creations for sure.
What did I learn from this challenge?
That this cheesecake could become a favorite.
I thank Jenny and Abbey for sharing the secret to a delicious cheesecake recipe, which will be used often I can assure you. A great challenge and a great way to say a short goodbye! I am also celebrating with cakes for my last mingle and would love you all to come over for a celebration of Spring Cakes for this Monthly Mingle. Hope to see you there!
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