I had a very interesting weekend at work. It ranged from moments of sheer boredom to what could have been moments of sheer panic if such a luxury was afforded in my profession. When someone else’s newborn baby’s life rests in your hands, there is no time for panic. You do what you’ve been trained to do, breathing for a baby that isn’t breathing on it’s own…while barely remembering to breathe for yourself. When it’s all said and done, you go home on an adrenaline high…and barely sleep that night, reliving that experience over and over again.
I’ve said it before..I bake to clear my head. I definitely needed a clear head after my experience in Birth Care over the weekend. I’d attempted a new brownie recipe last week that didn’t turn out right. I wanted to try brownies again, but I’d also seen a recipe for Dulce de Leche Cheesecake bars that looked good. I decided to take elements of both and make up a new recipe. Brownies, a layer of Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, a layer of Dulce de Leche, and a chocolate glaze. I wasn’t sure if this would turn out or not, but it did…perfectly. The brownies are exactly what I envisioned-rich, creamy and decadent. The process of deciding how to put this recipe together and then making each of the elements definitely cleared my head and left me relaxed, just as I hoped it would.
I adapted elements from a few different sources to come up with these Brownies. The Brownie itself is from David Lebovitz via Cake or Death. The Cheesecake and Chocolate glaze come from Becky Bakes. The Dulce de Leche is from The Perfect Pantry. I only take responsibility for having a sweet tooth and wanting all of these goodies in one!
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Brownies
First, the brownies.
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
Line an 8’x8′ square pan by criss-crossing two sheets of foil to leave foil hanging over the sides of the pan. Grease the foil with butter or non-stick spray.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate melts. Remove from heat and add cocoa powder, whisking until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add sugar, vanilla, and flour, whisking until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and set aside.
Now, my favorite part, the Dulce de Leche
I use the microwave version of Dulce de Leche. It’s the only method I’ve ever used to make it, but I’ve had good results and it’s fast.
(2) 14 oz cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk
Pour contents into a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap with a little bit left uncovered to vent steam. Microwave for 2 minutes on 50% power. Remove from microwave and stir with wire whisk. Repeat for another 2 minutes at 50% power, remove and stir. Continue to microwave for 10-12 1/2 minutes, now in 2 1/2 minute increments, stirring after each. The milk will start to bubble up as it heats, and will darken in color. When the color and consistency look right to you, stop microwaving. It’s that easy. Set aside and let cool, covering bowl when completely cool.
Next, the cheesecake…
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup milk
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dulce de leche * recipe follows
Pour milk into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top and let stand until it softens.
Pour over brownie batter, and bake for approximately 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove from oven when cheesecake is lightly browned, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
Immediately top with one cup of dulce de leche, cover with foil, and place back in the oven for a few minutes to soften the dulce de leche and make it spreadable without destroying the cheesecake layer. Remove from oven, and spread dulce de leche to cover cheesecake. Let cool.
Finally, the glaze.
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 stick butter
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and corn syrup, and stir until chocolate is melted. Pour immediately over the brownies, and tilt pan to spread.
Refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes to set glaze. Then, cover and refrigerate until serving.
Enjoy, and let me know what you think!