Monday, February 21, 2011

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

I'm going to give you fair warning about this recipe - it's rich and the calorie count isn't pretty either.  Due to these reasons, the serving size is 1/12th of the recipe instead of that standard 1/8th or 1/10th (see below).  With that little disclaimer out of the way, I will tell you this cheesecake is delicious!!!!!  Honestly, it's so decadent, you'll be fighting with yourself to finish your small slice!  But it's well worth the effort.  Now, I shall try not to do what I'm about to do a lot.  I prefer to use ingredients that most people can find in their local grocery store because I always want people to not have a problem making these recipes.  However this is one recipe that will require a quick trip to your local Williams-Sonoma store (and my husband is asking, "There is a such a thing as a quick trip to W-S?"   He would be right.  I tend to spend lots of time {and money} there but I digress...) to pick up a jar of Dulce de Leche Milk Caramel made by Farmhouse La Salamandra (only $10 for one jar).  This is what it was made with both when I made it and when I tried it at the W-S store so I don't know how another jar of dulce de leche would work in this recipe.  If you have a dulce de leche caramel you like, by all means, use it!

The recipe originally called for this to be made in a 9-inch springform pan but it was easier to me just to grab a 10 serving graham cracker crust from the grocery store.  I cannot say this enough - you need the 2 extra serving graham cracker crust!  Do NOT use the regular 8 serving crust!!  The filling for this cheesecake is quite a lot and if you use the regular 8 serving crust, you filling will overflow and you'll have a big, big mess on your hands.  Next, plan ahead when making this recipe.  You'll need to bring your cream cheese to room temp and that usually requires around 2 hours of sitting out on your counter.  So if it's 5 and you're expecting guests at 6, forget about making this.  Make it the day before so it has plenty of time to chill and you'll be a-okay.  So now, the recipe!!

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
(from Williams-Sonoma kitchens)

1 - 10 serving Graham Cracker Crust (*very* important that's it has those 2 extra servings!)
18 oz. Cream Cheese (Philly 1/3 Less Fat), room temp
3/4 c. Sour Cream (Daisy Light)
1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. Sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (Nielson-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste)
1 jar (16 oz.) Dulce de Leche (W-S also carries a Chocolate Dulce de Leche and this recipe would work great with either flavor)

Preheat the over to 300.
Using a mixer, mix the cream cheese until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the sour cream and sugar and blend until combined.
Add one egg at a time and then add the vanilla.  Remember to keep scraping the sides of the bowl while you're blending everything!
Reserve 1/3 c. of the dulce de leche in a small bowl.
Add the remainder of the dulce de leche and blend until smooth and is one uniform color.
Pour filling into your graham cracker crust.
Place cheesecake onto a foil-lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.

Now, what was the point of holding out that 1/3 c. of the caramel?  Topping!  Microwave the caramel for around 15 to 30 seconds and drizzle over the slices of cheesecake.

(Forgive the little air bubbles that formed.  Normally, I'd bang the pan on the counter but the crust was so full I didn't want to risk it!)

Calories - 466 per 1/12th slice (not including topping).

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