So I had an open can of dulce de leche in the fridge and thought maybe before I/we eat it all with apples (not that that would be so bad but...) I could maybe concoct a rich creamy cheesecake with it? Ahh, Yum!!
I was originally going to name it after one of my favorite turtle candies (Coblentz Chocolate where are you when I need you?!) and really deck it out but decided it's rich and decadent enough without adding MORE caramel and MORE chocolate. And the truth is, it would work with pecans as well and maybe even as a caramel apple cheesecake? Who knows? I decided to leave it plain and make the decision of which piece by piece as I/we go along.
And just for the record, I have no plans of feeding this whole thing to me or my family so if you are local and need a dessert, or simply want a taste :) Please do not hesitate to give me a shout out and say you want it. I merely wanted the pleasure of creating and a tiny taste and that's all over with now so , yeah, do stop in!!
I did add cashews to the crust but roasted pecans or even roasted peanuts would be perfect as well, so, there ya have it, I couldn't decide. I could tell you that indecision is unusual for me because I pretty much see things in black and white and know what it is that I want or don't want but this is not one of those important things where it's really useful to know for sure, so... not gonna insist on either/or. Ha!
Preheat oven to 300°.
Place a small bowl (ovenproof) of water on the bottom rack. Makes the top of the cheesecake glossy :)
1¾ cups crushed chocolate cookie crumbs
¾ cup almond flour
2/3 cup roasted, salted cashews
Pulse to chop in a food processor (love my Ninja!) then when it's super fine and the cashews are evenly chopped add 7 Tablespoons cold butter, and mix well. Press into a prepared 10 inch Spring form pan. (By prepared I mean, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper with the pan apart. Place the outer rim over the bottom and close the clasp. Cut the excess paper off with a scissors and spray the bottom (paper) and sides lightly with non stick spray and wipe excess with a paper towel if necessary). Press the crumbs on the bottom and evenly up the sides about 1 inch. Set aside.
6 (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temp.
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
6 eggs, room temp.
Dulce de leche, to swirl
In a mixer bowl combine the cream cheese, sugars, vanilla, and salt. Beat on high several minutes until creamy and fluffy. Scrape down sides as needed.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs. Pour into mixer and mix until incorporated. Don't over mix! You know, cracks in the cheesecake and all that if you do.
Pour half of batter into prepared crust. Drop small dollops of caramel randomly over the batter. Use a wooden skewer to create a swirly effect. Use quick motions and don't stick the skewer too far down into the batter for best results. Pour the rest of the batter over top and repeat with the caramel. Place Spring form pan on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
Bake for 1 hour or till sides look puffed and dry. Turn the oven heat off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon handle for another hour. This also helps prevent cracks from forming by allowing the cheesecake to cool down slowly.
Allow to cool on the counter and then refrigerate over night, lightly covered with a tea towel (to absorb condensation) before removing from pan and serving.
Garnish as desired.
Blessings to you!