Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crust

So I got this idea from an interview of Ben Platt, lead actor from a Broadway musical titled Dear Evan Hansen, by Broadway.com. His favorite cereal is Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and he shared that he likes to ground it out and use this as a base for cheesecake. I love that idea so I decided to try it out for myself. And I have to say that as much as I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast, I fell in love with it as a cheesecake base crust. So thank you, Ben Platt for the idea. 🙂

With that, I want my cheesecake itself to complement the intensely cinnamon crust. I pondered between Dulce de Leche and Salted Caramel. I want that gooey caramel flavor to pair with my cinnamon crust. In the end, Dulce de Leche won my heart. I love the flavor of it because it reminds me of a local Filipino treat called Pastillas de Leche, which I love to death.

So here is the recipe for this simple yet amazing dessert that I fell in love with instantly. You will need a 9-inch springform pan or a ring mold with the bottom covered with aluminum foil and set on top of a sheet pan.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crust

Ingredients

    Cinnamon Toast Crunch Crust
  • 152 g. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  • 70 g. Salted Butter, melted
  • 5 g. Cinnamon powder
  • Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
  • 746 g. Cream Cheese
  • 123 g. Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 230 g. Dulce de Leche
  • 15 g. Vanilla Extract
  • pinch of Kosher Salt
  • Dulce de Leche Glaze
  • 160 g. Dulce de Leche
  • 25 g. Heavy Cream

Directions

    Make the Crust…
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Place Cinnamon Toast Crunch and cinnamon powder in a food processor, and pulse until you achieve a fine, powdery texture.
  3. Transfer the Cinnamon Toast Crunch powder into a medium bowl and stream in the melted butter into the bowl and mix it with your hands until you can form the mixture into a ball.
  4. Using the palm of your hands or the bottom of a flat glass, press the crust into the pan you will use to bake your cheesecake.
  5. Bake the crust inside the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool into the wire rack.
  6. Make the cheesecake…
  7. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and sugar for 2 minutes or until smooth. Scrape.
  8. Add the eggs one at a time and cream for 3 minutes more. Scrape.
  9. Add the Dulce de Leche, Vanilla Extract, and Salt into them mixture and mix until smooth.
  10. Pour into the baked cheesecake crust.
  11. Bake for 55 minutes. To test if done, jiggle the pan a little bit, the sides of the cheesecake should be firm but the center should slightly move a little bit.
  12. Let it cool to room temperature and set inside the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  13. Make the Dulce de Leche glaze…
  14. In a small saucepan, heat the Dulce de Leche and heavy cream together until emulsified and has a syrup-y consistency.
  15. Finishing…
  16. Release the cheesecake from the mold.
  17. Pour the glaze on top of the cheesecake.

 

Raspberry, Yogurt, and White Chocolate Entremet

Making entremets is one of my favorite things to do in the pastry kitchen. I love the intricate process of making each component of the cream-based cake. It is very tedious, but very rewarding after you successfully created one of the popular dessert trends today.

Personally, I like eating these cream-based cakes because it reminds me of my favorite cake growing up–the triple chocolate mousse cake. I find the traditional layered sponge cakes to be one-dimensional and generally unsatisfying.

Maybe it’s the minimalist in me, but I really hate those tall and overly-designed cakes. I hate eating that.

I’m also not a fan of fondant cakes. I’m sure a lot of people would agree with me that the purpose of those cakes are just for decorations. I haven’t met a single person who enjoys eating those cakes.

Anyway, it’s just my preference so no hate.

For V-day this year, I decided to go for full-on cliché and make a heart-shaped cake. Surprise, surprise

Raspberry, Yogurt, and White Chocolate Entremet

Ingredients

    Vanilla Sponge Cake
  • 125 g Granulated Sugar
  • 102 g All-Purpose Flour
  • 7 g Baking Powder
  • 47 g Grapeseed Oil
  • 167 g Eggs
  • 10 g Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 68 g Whole Milk
  • Raspberry Cremeux
  • 150 g Raspberry puree
  • 36 g Egg Yolks
  • 45 g Eggs
  • 30 g Granulated Sugar
  • 45 g Butter
  • 3 g Gelatin
  • White Chocolate and Yogurt Mousse
  • 300 g Yogurt
  • 300 g White Chocolate
  • 400 g Heavy Cream
  • 6 g Gelatin
  • 5 g Vanilla Extract
  • Red Glaze
  • 125 g Water
  • 225 g Granulated Sugar
  • 225 g Glucose
  • 23 g Gelatin
  • 225 g White Chocolate
  • 160 g Condensed Milk
  • 90 g Neutral Glaze
  • Red Powdered Food Color

Directions

    2 Days Before:

    Make Vanilla Sponge Cake…

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Prepare a quarter sheet pan sprayed with cooking oil and lined with parchment paper.
  3. Combine all-purpose flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk granulated sugar and eggs on medium-low speed until combined.
  5. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and gradually add grapeseed oil for 2 minutes. Scrape.
  6. Adjust the speed of the mixer to low, and add the dry ingredients in two additions for 30 seconds. Scrape.
  7. Gradually stream in the milk into the batter for 1 minute or until combined and homogenous.
  8. Pour batter into the prepared sheet pan lined with parchment paper. With an offset spatula, spread the batter until it covers the sides of the pan. Level accordingly.
  9. Bake for 6 minutes then rotate the pan 180°, then bake for another 6 minutes.
  10. Let it cool to room temperature and set aside in the refrigerator until needed.
  11. Make Raspberry Cremeux…

  12. Prepare a heart-shaped metal ring mold, slightly smaller than the heart-shaped silicon mold, by covering the bottom with a cling wrap (making sure it is stretched so that it does not imprint into the raspberry insert). Line the inside with an acetate cake liner. Set aside in a sheet pan.
  13. Bloom the gelatin.
  14. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, and granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  15. In a small saucepan, set the raspberry puree to a boil.
  16. Once boiling, gradually pour the raspberry puree into the egg mixture while whisking to prevent the eggs from clumping.
  17. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and continue cooking until it reaches 83°C.
  18. Remove from heat, and add the gelatin.
  19. Strain in another bowl then let it cool to 32°C.
  20. Add the softened butter and emulsify.
  21. Pour to the prepared mold filling half-inch of the height of the mold. Cover with cling wrap.
  22. Freeze overnight.
  23. Day before:

    Make White Chocolate and Yogurt Mousse…

  24. Bloom the gelatin.
  25. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream to soft peaks. Set aside inside the refrigerator until needed.
  26. In a double broiler or microwave, melt the white chocolate.
  27. Add the yogurt and vanilla to the chocolate
  28. Melt the gelatin in a microwave for 10 seconds, and then add into the chocolate mixture.
  29. Gently fold one-third of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture.
  30. Once completely combined, fold the rest of the whipped cream into the mixture making sure not to deflate the mixture.
  31. To assembly…

  32. Gently release the raspberry cremeux from the mold. Remove the acetate.
  33. Cut the sponge cake with the same mold that was used to create the raspberry insert.
  34. Pour the yogurt mousse into the heart-shaped mold until it reaches an inch of the mold. Use a small offset spatula to spread the mousse into the edges of the mold.
  35. Gently insert the frozen raspberry cremeux inside the mold with the mousse. Make sure it sets in the middle.
  36. Pipe some mousse on the sides and on top to cover the cremeux insert. Use an offset spatula if necessary.
  37. Once reaching the top of the mold, gently push the sponge cake on top. It will release some of the mousse, just use an offset spatula to clean the bottom of the cake.
  38. Tap the filled mold on the counter to fill the mold entirely.
  39. Freeze overnight.
  40. Day of:

    Make the red glaze…

  41. Bloom the gelatin.
  42. In a small saucepan, combine granulated sugar, water, and glucose, and boil until it reaches 103°C.
  43. Remove from heat and add the bloomed gelatin.
  44. Pour the white chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute before mixing.
  45. Add the condensed milk and neutral glaze, and use an immersion blender to emulsify the glaze.
  46. Once emulsified, add the red food color.
  47. Strain to remove lumps. The glaze is ready to use once it reaches 35°C.
  48. Finishing…
  49. Gently unmold the cake from the mold.
  50. Set it on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan lined with cling wrap.
  51. Pour the glaze over the frozen cake; making sure the entire cake is covered completely.
  52. Using two offset spatulas, gently lift the cake away from the wire rack and set it on a plate or cake board.
  53. Add white chocolate pearls on the sides to hide the imperfections.
  54. Chill the cake for 2 hours before serving.

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

 

Everyone has his or her own idea of what a perfect chocolate chip cookie should be like. My perfect chocolate chip cookie is soft, extremely chewy, and with the right amount of crisp on the edges. I am also a fan of dark chocolate chips and chunk in my cookie. I think it balances the sweetness of the cookie dough itself to give that perfect flavor contrast in the whole cookie.

This recipe is adapted from Bouchon Bakery’s cookbook. I added a small amount of vanilla extract because I like a hint of vanilla in my baked goods. I think it is the unsung hero of home-baking. I also increased the amount of chocolate chunks and chips in the recipe.

For this particular recipe, I decreased the total weight of each cookie by half so it would yield more cookies. In the book, it should weigh 150 grams per cookie, but I am not really a fan of cookies that is bigger than my face. Ha ha ha

Chocolate Chunk and Chip Cookie


Adapted from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 238 g All-Purpose Flour
  • 2.3 g Baking Soda
  • 3 g Salt
  • 134 g Dark Brown Sugar
  • 104 g Granulated Sugar
  • 12 g Molasses
  • 167 g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 60 g Eggs
  • 5 g Vanilla Extract
  • 150 g Chocolate chunks (70-72% Chocolate couverture), chopped
  • 150 g Chocolate Chips (Bittersweet Chocolate)

Directions

    Day before:

  1. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, and molasses. Break down the clumps.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 2 minutes until it holds a peak. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add the sugar mixture to the butter, and mix on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  5. On low speed, add the eggs and vanilla extract until combined, and mix on medium-high for another 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  6. On low speed, add in two additions the dry ingredients for about 30 seconds. Do not to over-mix the dough.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and chunk to the dough.
  8. Weigh and portion 75 grams of cookie dough, and shape it into a ball. It should yield to 12 cookies.
  9. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
  10. Day of:

  11. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  12. Arrange the cookie dough on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or Silpat.
  13. Slightly flatten the top of the dough.
  14. Bake for 7 minutes, then rotate the pan 180° and bake for another 7 minutes.
  15. Let it cool on a wire rack.
  16. The cookies are best consumed the day they are baked, but they can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.