Recipe: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Cup
- 1-1/2 sheets bronze gelatin
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup sour cream
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Dulce de Leche Topping
- 8 ounces dulce de leche
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Macadamia Nut Croquant
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 ounces whole macadamia nuts
- 1/4 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Submerge gelatin sheets in a bowl of ice water and allow the sheets to soften or “bloom” (approximately 5 minutes).
Place cream cheese in a metal bowl above boiling water and allow cream cheese to melt, stirring occasionally.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream and salt. Whip using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
Remove the cream cheese from heat. Squeeze excess water from softened gelatin sheets and whisk gelatin into cream cheese. Add approximately 1/2 cup of the whipped sour cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture and whisk until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining sour cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture.
Using a 4-ounce scoop, portion 4 ounces of the combined mixture into rocks glasses or glass coffee cups. Glasses should be approximately 6 ounces in capacity or, if 8 ounces in capacity, make 5-ounce portions. Tap each glass onto a soft towel to allow the filling to settle in and remove any possible air bubbles. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 2 to 3 hours before topping them with the dulce de leche topping (see below). Untopped cheesecake can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.
Dulce de Leche Topping
Place the jar of dulce de leche in a pot of hot water for approximately 5 minutes. Remove the jar from the hot water and spoon the caramel into a small bowl. Add the cold cream and whisk until smooth. Allow the caramel to rest until it reaches room temperature.
Transfer caramel into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip and pipe a small layer of caramel (approximately 1 tablespoon of topping per cheesecake) on top of each cheesecake in a coil, starting in the middle and piping outwards. Tap each glass onto a soft towel to allow the caramel to be smooth across the top.
The caramel should only be added to the top of each cheesecake on the day on which they will be served. If you are not serving the cheesecakes immediately after topping, return them to the refrigerator.
Macadamia Nut Croquant
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the sugar in a small saucepot, and add just enough water so it resembles wet sand. Put the saucepot on the stove on high heat and cover it with a stainless steel bowl.
While the sugar is heating, place the macadamia nuts on a baking sheet and toast in preheated oven, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.
Once the sugar has caramelized and achieved a dark amber color (approximately 300 to 320 degrees Fahrenheit), whisk in the butter, vanilla extract and salt. Using a high heat rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in warm nuts.
Pour mixture onto a silicone baking mat or other non-stick surface, and spread thinly. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Turn out onto a cutting board and remove the baking mat. Using a rolling pin like a hammer, tap the hardened mixture to break it into big pieces. Roll the pin over these pieces to create small shards of croquant. Sprinkle over top of each cheesecake’s dulce de leche topping just prior to serving.
Makes 8 (5-ounce) servings