Dulce de Leche Swirled Cheesecake

  • Serves: Makes one 9- or 10-inch springform cake or one 9 x 2-inch cake
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 350
  • Views: 9015

Recipe by Sarah Phillips © 2007 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

Variations: Frozen Cheesecake Sundaes, Chocolate Swirled Cheesecake, Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake

stock photo

This cheesecake is a show stopper. I first tasted a Dulce de Leche Cheesecake at a restaurant in California and flipped, and decided to create my own recipe. Dulce de Leche means sweet milk and is a thick rich, and creamy caramel syrup. You can make it yourself or buy it ready-made. I have included a recipe should you decided to make it yourself.
My cheesecake makes a perfect sturdy base for swirling any type of flavoring into. Try raspberry or strawberry jam or even chocolate syrup!
CHEESECAKE RECIPE HELP

SARAH'S SECRETS

Dulce de leche can be made a couple of ways - in the oven or on the stovetop. The stovetop way makes a thinner syrup, perfect for this recipe, and is made by combining milk with sugar and baking soda and cooking it until it is reduced to a thick amber syrup. When swirled into a cheesecake, it adds a lot of flavor and color. You can make Dulce de Leche up to a week ahead; it needs to be made at least 2 hours ahead. It takes an hour to cool before swirling it into the cheesecake base.

DULCE DE LECHE SYRUP*
Makes one cup
INGREDIENTS
2 cups whole or 2% milk (do not use 1% or skim milk)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

SARAH'S CHEESECAKE
INGREDIENTS
Graham Cracker Nut Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs; from 9 full-size crackers (18 squares total)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted, optional; measure, chop and toast for 5 minutes at 350 degrees F, turning often. Cool before using
1 tablespoon grated orange peel; from one orange
1/3 cup (5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) unsalted butter, melted

Filling
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
32 ounces (four 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, cold; Philadelphia Brand
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream, cold
2 large eggs, cold

INSTRUCTIONS
STEP 1: MAKE THE DULCE DE LECHE SYRUP AT LEAST TWO HOURS IN ADVANCE
1. In a heavy 5- or 6-quart saucepan with at least 4 1/2- to 5-inch sides, stir the milk and sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the baking soda. Be aware that the mixture will bubble and rise to the top of the pn pan, but will eventually fall back down.

2. Reduce the heat to low to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula. Don't scrape the side of the pan. The pot will look like a mess, but will clean easily if soaked with hot, soapy water.

3. Cook about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the mixture is amber colored and syrupy, but thinner than maple syrup, and is reduced to about 1 cup. It should coat the back of a spoon.

4. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof glass bowl; discard residue. Stir in the vanilla.

5. Let the mixture cool about a half hour before using. It will thicken as it cools.

*DULCE DE LECHE VARIATION: Take the label off a can (14 ounce) of sweetened condensed milk. Poke a venting hole with a bottle opener on each side. Place the can in a pot with the holes facing up. Put water in the pan up to 1/4 -inch from the top of the can. Bring the water to an easy simmer. Allow the can to simmer in the water for about 4 hours, adding more water as needed. The condensed milk will thicken and change to a dark golden brown.

STORAGE
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

STEP II: MAKE THE GRAHAM CRACKER NUT CRUST
1. Generously spray the bottom and side of a pan with vegetable oil spray. Optionally put a disk of parchment paper in the bottom and grease that.

2. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, pecans, and orange peel right in the pan. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and mix until moistened. Press into the bottom of the pan.

3. Refrigerate crust.

STEP III: PREHEAT THE OVEN, MAKE THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
1. Position one oven rack in the middle, and another one rung down. Place a 9- x 13-inch pan on the lower shelf. (You will later fill it with boiling water.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, blend the sugar and cornstarch together.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the sugar-cornstarch mixture. Beat on low speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese and the vanilla.

4. With the mixer on low, beat in the remaining sugar-cornstarch mixture. Add the heavy cream in a steady drizzle at the side of the bowl. Blend in the eggs one at a time, until completely mixed after each one. Be careful not to overmix.

5. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. With a large rubber spatula, scrape and mix in any unblended ingredients with a couple of folding actions. (If the batter has a few tiny lumps, it is okay.) Tap the bowl's bottom on the countertop a half dozen times or more to get rid of any large air bubbles.

STEP IV: SWIRL THE CHEESECAKE FILLING AND THE DULCE DE LECHE SYRUP. BAKE THE CHEESECAKE AND SERVE.
1. Pour the cheesecake filling into the unbaked chilled graham cracker crust.

Place large spoonfuls of Dulce de Leche Syrup over the surface of the batter. Swirl mixtures with spoon, pulling plain cream cheese mixture up to surface, taking care not to disturb the graham cracker crust.

Tap cheesecake pan on its side with the side of the handle of a wooden spoon about a dozen times to get rid of air bubbles. Gently smooth the top.

6. Place the cheesecake on a foil lined baking sheet and put it in oven. Immediately pour about an inch of hot water in heated pan and shut the door.

7. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Bake the cheesecake about an hour or until the top of the cake moves as one solid piece rather than like liquid cream when you tapped with the handle of a wooden spoon. The center circle will wobble a bit more and look wet, more than the sides, but not be soupy.

When the cake is done, remove to wire rack for 1 – 2 hours to cool completely. The cake will come from the oven slightly puffed and will fall back down and flatten as it cools; it will not overflow the solid cake pan, even though it may look like it will during baking. Remove pan of water from the oven once its cooled.

Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and chill it at least 12 hours, preferably for 24 hours, especially if using a solid cake pan.

8. To unmold, remove the sides of the springform pan. Or if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate. Otherwise invert cheesecake. And with a sharp knife, lift off bottom of springform. Place a flat plate on top and quickly invert.

STORAGE
Store the cheesecake in the refrigerator or freezer for 4 - 5 days tightly covered with plastic wrap. It can be frozen for 2 to 3 months. Cut before thawing for clean and neat cuts. Thaw in the refrigerator in its wrappers.

VARIATIONS
Frozen Cheesecake Sundaes 
Freeze cheesecake slices. Place in a rimmed bowl. Drizzle with Hot Fudge Sauce before serving and top with Whipped Cream. Delicious!

Chocolate Swirled Cheesecake 
INGREDIENTS
1 cup (6 oz.) Semi-sweet chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS
Melt chocolate chips, and cool. Pour cheesecake batter over chilled graham cracker crust. Place large spoonfuls of the melted chocolate over the surface of the plain cheesecake batter. Swirl mixtures with spoon, pulling plain cream cheese mixture up to surface, taking care not to disturb the graham cracker crust.

Tap cheesecake pan on its side with the side of the handle of a wooden spoon about a dozen times to get rid of air bubbles. Gently smooth the top. Bake as directed.

Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake

Photo and Cheesecake Charlotte by odetteganda

odetteganda, Premium Member, Says: I made a "strawberry cheesecake charlotte". LOL! The bottom layer is the Cream Cheese Pound Cake, the filling is this recipe with Strawberry Swirls (seedless jam) and with the Ladyfingers on the side.

SARAH SAYS: Use up to 1 cup seedless fruit preserves or jam. Pour cheesecake batter over chilled graham cracker crust. Place large spoonfuls of jam over the surface of the plain cheesecake batter. Swirl mixtures with spoon, pulling plain cream cheese mixture up to surface, taking care not to disturb the graham cracker crust.

Tap cheesecake pan on its side with the side of the handle of a wooden spoon about a dozen times to get rid of air bubbles. Gently smooth the top. Bake as directed.