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Dulce de Leche Chocolate Cheesecake

Posted by King Arthur Baking & Inspired With A Twist on Sep 22nd 2020

Ana's twist on a delicious King Arthur Baking Company Recipe - using our chocolate, of course!  

We have always loved King Arthur Baking Company, not only because every employee-owner is a baker at heart, but also because of their mission. We relate to the hard work they do to be the ultimate resource and inspiration in the kitchen, how they inspire connections and community through baking, and how they use their business as a force for good. And, we've been following Ana’s Instagram feed, @inspiredwithatwist and blog for about a year now and have always been impressed. Not only does she have a talent for making messy food look beautiful in her photography, but we also love the Caribbean twists she puts on traditional recipes.

We knew she'd be the perfect person to use our chocolate and add a new spin on this already delicious King Arthur Baking recipe.  In this video, Ana will show you how to make a Dulce de Leche Chocolate Cheesecake from scratch using Theo Chocolate 70% Dark Chocolate and Unbleached All-Purpose Flour from King Arthur Baking Company.  

Crust Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, finely chopped or crushed

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups Theo Chocolate Pure 70% Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 1 cup (213g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 pound + 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder

Ganache Ingredients:

Garnish Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of toasted hazelnuts 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • ¼ cup of water 
  • Remaining dulce de leche 
  • Optional: extra shavings of chocolate and 1 sprig of lavender  

Instructions:

  1. To make the Dulce de Leche: Lay the condensed milk can on its side in a deep pot and cover with water and bring to a gentle simmer. Check on the pot every 30-45 minutes to see if the water needs topping up. Simmer for 3 hours for a thick set dulce de leche. Cool the can completely to room temperature before using it.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" or 10" springform pan.
  3. To make the crust: In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar, salt, vanilla, and cocoa powder until smooth. Add the flour and hazelnuts and mix until combined.
  4. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and 1/2" up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes until the bottom has set and you can smell chocolate. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
  5. When the pan has cooled, crimp some foil around the base where the edges meet the bottom; this will protect against leaks during baking.
  6. To make the filling: Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl; set aside. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes, then stir to combine.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, and cocoa powder until well blended. Add the cream cheese and beat at low speed until the mixture is smooth. Mix in vanilla extract and espresso powder. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until the egg is absorbed before adding the next.
  8. Scrape the bowl and then add the melted chocolate mixture and mix until there are no visible streaks of chocolate in the batter.
  9. Pour half of the batter over the cooled crust in the springform pan. Then add ¾ of the dulce de leche to the remaining batter and mix until well combined. Pour the remaining batter into the pan to create your second layer.
  10. Place the pan inside a large baking dish (a deep-dish pizza pan works well). Pour hot water into the larger pan to a depth of 1". Bake the cheesecake for about 55 minutes, or until the top of the cake is set; the center should still be wobbly. When the temperature of the cake 1" in from the edge reaches 165°F, turn off the oven, prop open the door, and let the cake cool slowly in the turned-off oven for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a rack. Carefully run the tip of a thin-bladed spatula between the edge of the cake and the pan; this will help prevent the cake from cracking as it cools. After the cake has cooled for 30 minutes, refrigerate it for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.
  12. To make the ganache: Put your last chopped chocolate in a heat-resistant bowl and set aside. Heat the heavy cream in pot before pouring over the chocolate. Let the cream and chocolate sit for about 2 minutes before stirring. Chocolate should be fully melted and combined with the cream.
  13. Place the cheesecake in a roasting pan and pour chocolate ganache over the top, so that the entire cheesecake is covered in chocolate. Place the cheesecake back in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  14. To make the candied hazelnut garnish: Heat a 1 cup of brown sugar and ¼ cup of water in a pot until the sugar is completely melted. Place toasted hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking pan or sheet and pour over the melted sugar. Wait until completely cooled before breaking it up into smaller pieces.
  15. Place remaining dulce de leche into a piping bag. Take the cheesecake out of the fridge and drizzle over the dulce del leche on the top the cheesecake. Add candied hazelnuts and sprinkle on chocolate shavings and lavender buds. Enjoy!