I’ve never a made a cheesecake before, but I love to eat them. I particularly like dense, rich, uncooked cheesecakes. The ones of which you can only have an exquisite, but alas narrow slice.
My Dad’s 55th birthday was the perfect opportunity to try out a Dulce de Leche Cheesecake as Dad loves caramel, and loves cheesecakes.
Dulce de Leche
If you’ve never tried this melt-in-your-mouth caramel sauce, you must try to find some, immediately!
Originating in South America, dulce de leche translates as ‘sweet milk’, but in Australia it’s quite close to the caramel we put on top of caramel tarts. Dulce de leche is just a little smoother, and not so thick.
If you can’t find it, you could be perfectly satisfied with a can of caramel top ‘n fill and a spoon.
Choosing the Cheesecake Recipe
I really liked the look of the Baked Dulce de leche Cheesecake on Taste.com.au, but I really didn’t want to bake it. I’ve heard all sorts of disasters of baked cheesecakes; splits in the top, sunken middles… not a nice confidence builder for the first one.
I took the idea of using the dulce de leche, and applied it to this Caramel Cheesecake recipe instead, substituting the can of condensed milk for a can of carmel top ‘n fill.
Grappling with Gelatin
One of the biggest issues I had was working with the powdered gelatin in this recipe. The Caramel Cheesecake recipe called for dissolving 3 teaspoons of powdered gelatin in boiling water, and then adding it to the cream cheese mixture.
The gelatin dissolved just fine, but when I added it to the cream cheese mixture it it created long chunky lumps in the mix. I tried whisking the mix… but the gelatin lumps remained.
I figured the temperature difference between the two was too great, so I strained out the mix, and then tried again with the gelatin, letting it cool a bit more before adding it the 2nd time. This was more successful, but I’m not completely confident the final mix was free of gelatin lumpiness. Next time, I’ll let it cool a lot longer.
The cheesecake was amazingly smooth, and much more delicious than I was expecting! The slightly brown caramel tinge to the cheese looked beautiful, but more importantly tasted amazing.
Even though I strained a fair bit of the gelatin out, the mix set much harder than it should be. It was almost the consistency of cheesecake jelly. It so so firm in fact that it easily separated from the biscuit base. I’ll go much easier on the gelatin next time.
And… the buttersnap biscuits with the butter were far too salty. The recipe didn’t specify for unsalted butter, but it needed it.
I topped the cheesecake with a luscious coconut caramel sauce, and an almond praline which turned out more like a brittle. See the recipes below for more detail.