In honor of National Cheesecake Day (and let’s admit, because I had some mascarpone cheese in the fridge that I absolutely had to use ASAP), my husband and I whipped up a cheesecake for yesterday’s dinner with my sister and her family. And yes, I am enough of a piggy to admit that it didn’t even cross my mind to take a picture of it until I had already made my way through part of a piece.
We modified the original recipe a little bit. For instance, did you guys know that you can make dulce de leche right at home by using a can (or more) of condensed milk and a pot of boiling water? That’s right. You peel off the label, and boil an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of water for 3 hours, and it magically turns into dulce de leche (milk caramel). Something to do with the Maillard reaction, if I remember correctly. Just make sure you let it cool down before opening it or the pressure from the carbon dioxide will make it explode all over your kitchen. Well, not really – but it will make a mess. Also, make sure the water level stays above the level of the can(s). We had to add additional water twice during the boiling process.
Also, instead of making our own candied pecans, we bought some at the grocery store. It worked in a pinch, next time around, I’d want to pick up something that has both a sweet and salty coating (since I love the combination). Either way, it is one of the better cheesecake recipes I’ve had. Nice and light and not too rich.
Mascarpone Cheesecake with Candied Pecans and Dulce de Leche
modified from this recipe
1 cup flour
1/3 c. pecans
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 8-ounce containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 can dulce de leche (either already made or made as noted above)
8 oz. candied pecans
Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind pecans in processor. Mix butter, flour, ground pecans, sugar and vanilla extract. Press into greased 9″ springform pan.
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add mascarpone and flour; beat until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Gradually add sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla and lemon juice. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Pour filling over crust in the springform pan. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake cheesecake until top is golden and cake is almost set (center 2 inches will still move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Chill overnight, and before serving, frost top of cake with dulce de leche and top with pecans.