The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars

November 14, 2012 , ,

The weekend flew by in a flurry and as I work towards my departure to the other side of the world, I worry that I’m not doing enough to prepare. Visa – check. Suitcase – check. Currency – check. Camera? Backpack? Banking? Insurance? Four times check. And “OH MY GOD do I have enough contacts?” Yeah – check. List of dresses I want to have replicated in Hong Kong? Def – check.

Preparing to travel is not my forte but something about China has gotten under my skin. My trips are never really that long so I wing it and it’s never gotten me in much trouble. The closest thing to a panic was L and I’s recent adventure to Costa Rica. It took us a plane ride and a trip through the airport to realize “Ohhhhhh right, we need to know Spanish. Opps” and “Ummmm how are we actually getting TO the hotel?” A touch of OCD is making a grand appearance as I worry about China which I suppose is for the best.

So, to calm it down a little bit, I spent last Saturday cooking Ducle de Leche cheesecake bars with P. I know, if that doesn’t calm me down, I’m not sure what will.

These bars are good. Excellent even. But do not kid yourself, they do need the time to sit. The first taste, meh. The second day, okkkkk. The third? I had to take the knife out of my hand and pack my gym bag before I did too much damage.

The original recipe is from Gourmet and you can see it here. P and I, and other the others who tastes our wares, found the chocolate topping to be too much. Next time, we double the filling and take off the topping. What will that leave us with? Perfection.


For crust
• 3 1/2 oz wheatmeal crackers (sometimes called digestive biscuits), crumbled (1cup)
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling
• 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope)
• 1/4 cup whole milk
• 8 oz cream cheese, softened
• 2 large eggs
• 3/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup dulce de leche (12 1/2 oz)

For glaze
• 3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
• 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) 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 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. (Or do as we did and stick that shit in the freezer immediately.)

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. (Again, do as we did and stick that shit in the freezer immediately.)

Lift cheesecake from pan using foil overhang and cut into 1-inch squares with a thin knife, wiping off knife after each cut.


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