Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares

Dulce de Leche (Milk Caramel)I know that most of the world makes this by boiling the milk inside a closed can, but honestly, that scares the bejesus out of me and according to the Carnation can label I pulled this technique from, is not recommended by them (likely because they do not want to get sued, but still). This method works just as well.Pour one can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk into top of double-boiler pan; cover. Place over boiling water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until thick and light caramel-colored.Remove from heat. Whisk until smooth.

Source: dulce de leche cheesecake squares | smitten kitchen

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
Adapted from Gourmet, December 2003

If you’re looking for a strong dulce de leche flavor in a baked good, this unfortunately isn’t it. Oh, it’s there, but it’s not front and center. It has to share the spotlight with cream cheese, and, well, I’m not sure that it wants to. But, it lingers subtly in the background and, honestly, if there was ever a way to make cheesecake more heavenly, this would have to be it.

I’m sure you’ll notice that there is some gelatin in this recipe, and think it’s odd. Heck, even Alex did, which really just made me beam with pride that he knows so much about baking right now that he knows that gelatin is atypical in (baked) cheesecakes. But, if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. The reason why most cheesecake recipes don’t fare well as squares is that they’re too soft to easily pick up; the gelatin fixes addresses this perfectly.

Makes 64 (1-inch) cheesecake squares

For crust
3 1/2 ounces (100 grams or 1 cup) graham crackers, crumbled
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For filling
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-ounce or 7-gram envelope, will be just about half an envelope)
1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dulce de leche (12 1/2-ounce or 355-gram can) (recipe follows)

For glaze
3 ounces (85 grams) fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
1/2 stick (2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Make crust: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with 2 sheets of foil (crisscrossed), leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Finely grind crackers with sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor. With motor running, add butter, blending until combined. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of baking pan. Bake 10 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.

Make filling: Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, salt, and gelatin mixture in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes, then stir in dulce de leche gently but thoroughly. Pour filling over crust, smoothing top, then bake in a hot water bath (I was able to fit mine in a 9×13-inch baking pan) in oven until center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours.

Glaze cake within 2 hours of serving: Heat all glaze ingredients in a double boiler or a small metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth, then pour over cheesecake, tilting baking pan to coat top evenly. Chill, uncovered, 30 minutes.

Lift cheesecake from pan using foil overhang and cut into 1-inch squares with a thin knife, wiping off knife after each cut. (Don’t skip this step! A clean knife is essential for uber-neat squares.)

Note: Cheesecake (without glaze) can be chilled up to 3 days.

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

The white chocolate chips are really nice as polka dots on this cake.Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Serves 8 to 10

1 crumb crust (recipe below)

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped

1/2 cup sour cream

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

4 large eggs1 teaspoon vanilla

Source: chocolate caramel cheesecake | smitten kitchen

A Cake for Canada Day

red-velvet-white-chocolate-cheesecake-crop-slAlthough this comes from a US magazine, I’ve seen the idea on other websites. This one has more layers and does not use a cake mix. The photo (from Southern Living) also makes this cake look really good. I made one very much like it, with 3 layers.
CHEESECAKE LAYERS:
2 (8-in.) round disposable aluminum foil cake pans
1 (12-oz.) package white chocolate morsels
5 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
RED VELVET LAYERS:
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 (1-oz.) bottles red liquid food coloring
3 (8-in.) round disposable aluminum foil cake pans
WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
2 (4-oz.) white chocolate baking bars, chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup butter, softened
1 (32-oz.) package powdered sugar, sifted
1/8 teaspoon table salt

Preparation

1. Prepare Cheesecake Layers: Preheat oven to 300°. Line bottom and sides of 2 disposable cake pans with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.

2. Microwave white chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl according to package directions; cool 10 minutes.

3. Beat cream cheese and melted chocolate at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in 1 Tbsp. vanilla. Pour into prepared pans.

4. Bake at 300° for 30 to 35 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecakes stand in oven, with door closed, 30 minutes. Remove from oven to wire racks; cool completely (about 1 1/2 hours). Cover and chill 8 hours, or freeze 24 hours to 2 days.

5. Prepare Red Velvet Layers: Preheat oven to 350°. Beat 1 cup butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add 6 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

6. Stir together flour and next 2 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in 2 tsp. vanilla; stir in food coloring. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch disposable cake pans.

7. Bake at 350° for 20 to 24 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely (about 1 hour).

8. Prepare Frosting: Whisk together chocolate and 1/2 cup boiling water until chocolate melts. Cool 20 minutes; chill 30 minutes.

9. Beat 1 cup butter and chilled chocolate mixture at low speed until blended. Beat at medium speed 1 minute. Increase speed to high; beat 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.

10. Assemble Cake: Place 1 layer Red Velvet on a serving platter. Top with 1 layer Cheesecake. Repeat with remaining layers of Red Velvet and Cheesecake, alternating and ending with Red Velvet on top. Spread top and sides of cake with White Chocolate Frosting. Store in refrigerator.

Source: Red Velvet-White Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe | MyRecipes.com

Cheesecake Layer Cake 

This is a cake with a middle layer of cheesecake. I made this recipe about a year ago, it turned out great. One of the times the recipe looked like the picture, even after I made it myself.

Source: Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake Layer Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting | Yum! Therapy

Today I found more ideas for the cheesecake cake idea. One for St. Patrick’s Day and the other a Christmas theme. I’m sure both would be great. The recipe is pretty simple and would be easy to adjust for birthdays, other events and holidays.

I’m planning to adapt this recipe and make a turtle cake (with chocolate, caramel and pecans) for my sister this month.

The Best-Ever Pancake Recipe: Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes | The Kitchn

Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes

Makes 18 to 20 3-inch pancakes. Serves 4 to 6

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 large eggs, separated

2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup milk

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Canola or peanut oil for frying

Heat the oven to 225°F and prepare a large baking sheet by setting a cooling rack inside. Place both in the oven.

Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the egg yolks, buttermilk, and milk. Add the melted, cooled butter and whisk until well combined.

Pour the yolk and milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until barely combined. Add the egg whites and stir just until a thick batter is formed. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, film with 1/2 teaspoon of neutral oil such as canola or peanut oil. After about 30 seconds, when the oil shimmers but is not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and use a soup spoon to drop in heaping spoonfuls of pancake batter.

The batter will spread into a pancake about 3 inches wide. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes. (If the pancake scorches or the oil smokes, lower the heat.) When the bubbles that form on the edges of the pancakes look dry and airy, use a thin spatula to gently lift one side and peek underneath. If the pancake is golden brown, flip and cook on the other side for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until the bottom of the pancake is golden brown.

Remove from the skillet to the baking sheet in the oven. Scrape any stray crumbs or scraps out of the skillet, add a little more oil, and continue to cook the remaining batter.

Serve as soon as possible, with butter and warm maple syrup.

Recipe Note:

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use plain yogurt instead. Just use about 2/3 cup and thin it with some milk until it reaches the 1 cup mark. You can also quickly make a buttermilk substitute by mixing 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar with 2 cups of milk.

via The Best-Ever Pancake Recipe: Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes | The Kitchn.

Duck Fat Dinner Rolls for Thanksgiving

Duck Fat Dinner Rolls
Adapted from Donald Link’s Real Cajun, by way of Amateur Gourmet

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/2 cup shortening or lard
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water

1 egg, lightly beaten
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted

In a small bowl, stir together the yeast and warm water. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to combine the shortening, sugar, salt, and boiling water. Allow this mixture to cool for a few minutes. (Alternatively, you can combine the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat for 2 minutes using the paddle attachment until combined, then cool.)

Use a fork to stir the beaten egg and yeast into the shortening mixture, then add 3 cups of the flour (add the remaining 1/2 to 1 cup as you knead). When the mixture pulls together into a dough and you can no longer stir it with a fork, use your hands.
Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough until it has a smooth sheen and doesn’t fall apart; 5 to 10 minutes. Try not too add too much flour here.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 30-40 minutes, until it has increased 25%. Punch it down, knead it briefly (up to 1 minute).
Roll the dough into 2-inch balls (there should be enough dough for about 16 rolls), and space evenly on a butter baking sheet.
Cover and let rise for 15 minutes. Heat the oven to 325F.

Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Brush with copious amounts of melted butter. Eat hot.

via Duck fat dinner rolls | heartful mouthful.

Halfway through the recipe to make these for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Could have doubled it but I’m just too tired (and the kitchen is over warm for the bread making – too warm for me) and don’t have the energy for all that more kneading. Will see how they turn out. The duck fat was interesting to work with. Right now they are having the first rising time and I am starting the cheesecake recipe.