Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Tart

This is the last indulgent dessert I make for a while. It’s the perfect calm before the festivities storm. Like every other year, we will be hosting Ganesh puja at our house for 3 days. It is going to be 3 whole days of some praying, some meeting old friends and family and lots  and lots of food!

I really want to sell this as indulgent but the cheesecake is perfectly light and fluffy without being overbearingly sweet. It is a legitimate fear because Dulce de Leche can be a bit of a sugar overkill (for SOME people – I can drink it like soup). Anyway, it makes for an interesting addition against the natural tang of cream cheese. Make this for a casual dinner party or a fancy evening in. I’d suggest making the Dulce de Leche fresh since it thickens as it keeps. If you make it a day before, thin it down by whisking it with a little bit of milk. It might seem resistant at first but it will slowly yield. To learn how to make Dulce de Leche at home the tear free way, see here.

As for the great biscuit crumb vs shortcrust pastry debate – biscuit crumb it is for me. It’s just more accessible than blending, rolling, weeping, freezing and rolling again. Of course, there are times nothing less than pastry would do but the reason why this simple cheesecake gets bumped up from cake to tart is because it’s baked in this rectangular tin (thanks Nayana!) from London that I just can’t get enough of. New toys totally warrant a brand new recipe, right?

NOTE: My tart tin measures to 13 x 4″ and I had some cheesecake filling left over. I used the excess to pour into 2 tiny Le Creuset pots to have later, as contingency planning, of course.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Tart

Serves: 4 – 6 (depending on how you cut it)

Source: The Vanilla Bean original

For cheesecake crust:

14 Marie biscuits

2 tbs butter, melted

1. In the bowl of a processor fitted with a blade, add biscuits and melted butter. Process till biscuit mixture resembles sand. Dump the contents onto the tart tin and press down with your fingers forming an even base. Alternatively, you can always add biscuits to a zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to beat it down till its crushed. Add melted butter and mix it in with a fork. Freeze for 20 minutes.

For Dulce de Leche layer:

See here.

For Cheesecake filling:

16 oz. (two 8 ounce packets) Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature

2 eggs

1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1. In a large bowl, add cream cheese, eggs and sugar. Whisk till the mixture is smooth but do not overbeat. Add vanilla essence and set aside.

To assemble:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 175 deg C.

2. Remove frozen biscuit base and spread Dulce de Leche over it. Please note that the base must be absolutely frozen or else the Dulce de Leche will stick to it causing the entire mixture to clump. Also, the Dulce de Leche must be of pouring consistency and at room temperature. Spread with the help of an offset spatula and pour cheesecake filling over it, till its nearly full.

3. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes till the sides are slightly puffy and set and the centre is jiggly. Refrigerate for 2 – 24 hours and serve cold!

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