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??