Saturday, May 22, 2010

You Sweet Thang!

I discovered the rich joys of Tres Leches cake in a Mexican restaurant in Beeville, Tx. I can't remember the name of the place, but, if there, I could drive us right to it. "Tres leches" translates to "three milks" and by tasting I figured they'd used regular milk, sweetened condense milk and whipped cream.

Now comes this month's edition of Bon Appetit with a recipe for Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars. Since "dulce de leche" means, essentially, sugared condensed milk I thought it sounded good. Unfortunately, this is one of those desserts that you should eat with only what a toothpick can carry ONCE to your mouth. It's that bad for you ... but, knowing that my readers are all thin sophisticates, I'm not going to worry that I've killed about half of you by giving it to you.

Note: Dulce de leche is available in some supermarkets and/or Latin markets. In a pinch I think you could use canned, condensed sweetened milk instead.

2 1/4 cups finely-ground Graham crackers (about 17 whole ones)
2 T sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 1/4 sticks of butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350, spray a baking pan and mash the above into a crust in it. Bake for about 10 minutes or until it's a light golden brown. Remove, set aside and let cool.

3 8-oz packages cream cheese at room temperature (damn! that's a lot of cream cheese!)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup dulce de leche (or sweetened condensed milk)
2 teas. vanilla

Cream the sugar and cream cheese together, beat in the eggs one by one and add the vanilla. Spread this batter over the cooled crust and then bake it (presumably 350 - they didn't say) for about 35 minutes or until the batter edges are puffed and slightly cracked.

Optional Glaze
2/3 cup dulce de leche and 3 T heavy whipping cream heated together. Slather over cake top and chill in the refrigerator. Cut it into bars, using a knife -- dip the knife in hot water, wipe it clean, cut, repeat as needed. Sprinkle with sea salt just before serving.

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