Flip back to 2016 when I sat down at a strangers table for a true taste of what an Argentine family gathering is all about. The dessert came in the form of a dulce de leche cheesecake, a pudding that couldn’t have been worse timed after stuffing my face with some of the best South American steak fresh off the grill.
Still, I gave it a good go and my goodness it was delicious. I just had to recreate this at home and I went and did just that. Click here for the baked version of this awesome cheesecake as you’ll need the filling part of it for this recipe. The only difference in this case is that i’m going to be all flash and cook it in a waterbath.
Why not just cook it in the oven then? Well after my experiment with the creme brulee done in the water bath I just can’t resist the texture that accurate temperature cooking gives. I was craving the custardy, smooth texture that sous-vide cooking gives compared to the often varying temperatures inside a conventional oven.
The slight drawback here is that instead of one large one (it is possible using the same method and a larger, sealable tub) I was going for miniature versions with my trusty mason jars. These are so good for this kind of thing.
I went ahead and whipped up the cheesecake mix, follow the recipe here for the mix itself but halve the quantities of cream cheese, cornflour and dulce de leche. Similarly with the base just halve the amount of biscuits and butter that you need, in this case I used oreo’s instead of digestives for a more chocolatey hit.
Once the biscuits are crushed and the butter is melted, combine the two. Press the biscuit mix into the base of pre-buttered mason jars. Screw the tops onto the jars and place them into the fridge for around an hour to harden the butter. In the meantime, set the water bath to 80C (176F).
Pour in enough mix to just reach the ridge of the jar, not all the way to the top. Screw on the lid until it just closes, also known as ‘fingertip tight’. This will allow the air to release from inside the jar ensuring that the jar doesn’t crack or break inside the water bath.
Place the jars carefully into the water bath and cook for an hour. Once the hour is up, remove the jars and dry with a cloth. Refrigerate the cheesecakes for at least 6 hours or overnight before you serve them.
Once the cheesecakes have chilled, prepare a deep dish or bowl of hot water. Plunge the jars into the water and count to 10. Remove the jars and run a flat bladed knife around the edge of the cheesecake to release it from the sides. Using a small bread plate wrapped in cling film, invert the cheesecake onto this and then flip the cheesecake delicately onto your serving plate.
Garnish with raspberries or other soft fruit such as strawberries and dig in! The texture of the sous vide cooking really brings out the best in this recipe. You can still get great results with the baked version but to bring it a level higher and achieve the optimum texture there’s only one way to go for me.