Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dessert for a Dinner Party

The other day my Dad had a few of his colleagues over for dinner, so I decided to try out something new for dessert! I settled on this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for dulce de leche cheesecake squares since we had a bunch of neufchatel in our fridge! I changed it up a tiny bit, though since I was using a rectangular tart pan, and I also added my own embellishment to it to snaz it up a bit!

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares

yield: around 20 large squares

for the crust:
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp,. sugar
6 tbsp. butter, melted

for the dulce de leche filling:
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1/4 c. skim milk
8 oz. neufchatel (or cream cheese), softened
2 large eggs
a dash of salt
dulce de leche*

for the chocolate glaze:
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
4 tsp. Lyle's golden syrup
  1. First, make the crust: preheat the oven to 325F. In a food processor, process graham crumbs and sugar until finely ground, then pour in melted butter. Pour out into a rectangular tart pan and press evenly into the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes, then let pan cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Next, make the filling: pour milk into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over, and let stand for 2 minutes. In a mixer, beat together cream cheese, eggs, salt, and gelatin mixture until well-combined. Then, gently stir in the dulce de leche. Pour filling into crust and spread it out evenly. Bake it in a hot water bath in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until cheesecake is set. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours, then refrigerate for at least 6 hrs. (preferably overnight).
  3. 2 hours before serving, make the glaze: heat all glaze ingredients in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Pour over cheesecake, spread it out evenly, then refrigerate, uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  4. While chilling, make the brittle (recipe below).
* To make dulce de leche, pour a 14 oz. can of fat-free, sweetened condensed milk into a double boiler and cook, stirring every so often, for about an hour, or until light caramel-colored and thick.

Orange Hazelnut Brittle

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1/4 tsp. orange extract
1/2 c. roasted chopped hazelnuts
  1. Sprinkle roasted chopped hazelnuts onto a silpat, and spread out evenly.
  2. In a saucepan, combine first 3 ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns a light caramel color, and comes to a rolling boil (it will also thicken considerably).
  3. Pour sugar mixture over hazelnuts, and spread around to cover all of them.
  4. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
  5. When ready to serve cheesecake, cut into small pieces and put on top of each cheesecake square.
These were soooooo good and sooooo rich, and everyone seemed to love them (including me)! The brittle definitely was a nice accompaniment, and I loved how the graham, dulce de leche, and chocolate flavors combined so smoothly! Definitely an indulgence, but so worth it!


1 comment:

  1. Wow! These look really good! You were not kidding that you bake a lot. You could have kept the entire office fed all summer long on nothing but sweets. LOL. We will see you when you get back in the winter! -ist