Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Dining with the Bloggers - February 16th.

For this week's Dining with the Bloggers, Cathy suggested she and I tried out ingredients that we've never cooked with before. If you are anything like me, you too have there, in the back of the cupboard, weird stuff that you bought on a whim, simply because you remembered seeing it used somewhere, thought it looked interesting or read about it somewhere on the net - I think it's a tell-tale sign of a true foodie, that what they come home with from a trip somewhere is not weird souvenir-paper maché horses or something like that - it is most likely something food-related. This time, the trip was to be made in food-blog land, and, as always with Dining with the Bloggers, the inspiration should come from one of the many great blogs kept by YOU out there!

And behold, in the dark corners of the back of my cupboard I found a can of condensed milk. Not brought home from somewhere, but bought because I, three years or so ago, spend three months traveling in South America, where I was introduced to the wonderful, gooey, fudgy, caramelly thing that is dulce de leche. I've only had it spread on bread before, not actually used it - so I thought it would qualify as my "never-used-before" ingredient. I read somewhere that boiling a can of condensed milk for a couple of hours would give you the hard-to-come-by-in-Denmark fantastic thing, and I tried the method before, but with no luck - it became more of a caramelly colored condensed milk, and not fudgy at all.

This time, I was determined. Or rather, my Man was, so he boiled the can, when I was conveniently away in school. Three hours of boiling, cooling in the water, I opened the can, and look at that:



Is it any wonder I love him??

I have to add, there are stories out there of cans exploding during boiling etc. etc. - I think as long as you KEEP THE BOILING WATER SO THAT IT COVERS THE CAN BY AT LEAST 3 CM. you should be fine... Just don't come say I didn't warn you...:-) Also, remember to remove any glue stuck to the can - my pot now has a nice little ring of boiled glue inside it.

Now you're thinking: but I thought this was a Dining with the Bloggers post? So it is. The reason I, no wait, I made my Man go through all that boiling is this: White Chocolate and Dulche de Leche Cheesecake that Santos of The Scent of Green Bananas made a while ago. Just look at it, would you?? Try not to drool, I dare you!

It had to be made. I wrote Santos asking where exactly she put the dulce de leche, figuring she'd just layered it between the base and the cream cheese - I couldn't think of any other way, so I just went ahead and made it like that. Well, there was another way - Santos actually beat in the dulce de leche with the cream cheese, but she (luckily!) approved of my method - and came with the excellent suggestion of rippling the dulce de leche through the cream cheese layer too. Doesn't matter how it goes in there, as long as it's there!


A really bad picture, but just to give you an idea of the layering - go look at Santos' picture, it's a guaranteed drool-inducer!

The cake has only 7 ingredients: chocolate covered digestives - butter - dulce de leche - cream cheese - mascarpone - cream - white chocolate. I loved it, loved it, LOVED IT! It's only problem is that it's heavy (how could it not be?!) so you can only eat small slices at the time. Not sure that even qualifies as a problem, if you know what I mean?;-) Fortunately, the flavors meld well together after a day in the fridge, I'd even say it got better! I made half the recipe, making a 18 cm. cake, and it worked perfectly.

And don't forget to go and check out Cathy's adventures in pomegranate molasses and fleur-de-sel!


Someone licked the spoon? Who licked the spoon??

10 comments:

LeeLoreya said...

....that's IT?

Woops I'm, I'm not talking about the cheesecake that looks marvelous and I seem to be able to taste it through the world wide web thanks to the simplicity of the ingredients.

No I'm talking about Ducle de Leche: is that all??? I never knew it could be so easy. Or sound so easy I might correct, because I still have the task of taking a rocking chair next to the stove and stir stir stir for the entire afternoon like a cute ole grandma.

Niki said...

That can looks incredible! I've heard about this method, and would really love to try it. Can't think why I haven't got around to it yet....!

Santos said...

hi zarah! if something goes wrong it will with me. won't do it until i get protective headgear and eyewear--still fear shrapnel and burning sugar! just as well that dulce de leche is easy to come by here :-) great job!

Stephanie said...

Oh, dear God. That sounds (and looks) incredible. Again...if only Matt would eat cheesecake; what would I do with a whole cake!?
Still...I might have to try this.

Anonymous said...

Nice job, Zarah! I was drooling over the cake that Santos made, too, but since there's no chance of chocolate digestives hanging around in our house, never mind a cheesecake, this recipe is right out until I have an occasion for it. If I made this, I'd gain back all the weight I've lost this year over the span of a weekend!

Moira

Cathy said...

Hi Zarah - that former can of sweetened condensed milk now dulce de leche does look amazing! I'd heard about this technique before but I'm too chicken to try it (been around product safety stuff too long!).

Zarah Maria said...

Hi Lee! Yup, that IS it! And I personally think you'd make a cute grandma! I actually don't think you have to stay right next to it all the time - you just have to check every now and again that the water is over the surface of the can - it's supposedly when it's not, things get messy!

Niki - you should try it, it obviously works - or better yet, let your MAN do it, tee-hee!

Santos - that's what I mean - what am I doing here in cold, snowy Denmark when I could be sunbathing, drinking from coconuts AND eating dulce de leche sans headgear in Guam?? I'm just stupid...

Moira - I know exactly what you're saying - that's why I left half of the cake (of which I'd already halved the recipe!) at my Mom's... I'm a bad girl!

Cathy - thank you! I think boiling cans is a bit like making your own mayonaise - if you don't know it could curdle, it never does, but as soon as someone tells you it will from time to time - it curdles! The same with cans - if you don't know it might burst, it's not happening! Or so I'd like to convince myself - I'm just thinking it's not gonna happen with me! Speaking of which, I did see a recipe somewhere where someone did it in the microwave... yes, metal + microwave = not a god idea, or is that just me?

Zarah Maria said...

Oh Stephanie, I missed your comment! You could make a quarter recipe... It's dead easy to do... No, I'm no temptress!

kissekatten said...

Oh, my God... I now have an important mission this weekend:

1. Bake White Chocolate and Dulche de Leche Cheesecake.

2. Eat it.


/Dagmar

Sandra said...

I am a huge fan of dulce de leche, and cheesecake is a great place for it! Your recipe looks great, but for the best ddl impact, I like it mixed in. My favorite recipe is this one:

http://www.chicaandjo.com/recipes/dulce_de_leche_cheesecake.html

It's heaven on a plate, I tell ya!!