Friday, January 22, 2016

Two awards and one dulce de leche cheesecake

Last Saturday was the award ceremony for the first ever Greek food blog awards organized by VimaGourmet and for those of you who don’t follow me on social media, I’m happy to announce that I won two awards! Best Cooking Blog, Critic’s award and People’s award. It made me so happy, and I want to thank everyone for supporting me.

I couldn’t travel to Greece for the ceremony so the experience may not have been the same for me as it was for the rest of the contestants and winners who had the chance to enjoy the festivities and be part of the celebration, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of receiving the awards one bit. My mom was there to accept them on my behalf and she was so thrilled and proud of me which filled me with even more joy.

I celebrated here in the Netherlands in a major way and of course I made something sweet; a dulce de leche cheesecake. It was actually the same one I made to celebrate my feature in The Guardian early last week, and because it was such a huge hit, I had to make it again. There’s no such thing as too much cheesecake, right? Especially when dulce de leche is involved.

It was everything you’d expect a cheesecake to be, and more. Creamy, smooth, dense and veeeery rich, with a buttery, thin base made with digestive biscuits and a hint of cinnamon, sweet, with a slightly milky and sharp flavor from the cream cheese and a subtle, caramel flavor from the dulce de leche. It is calorific, sinful and indulgent, and, seriously, the best dessert to share with friends when you win an award, or two.

Dulce de leche cheesecake
Slightly adapted from David Lebovitz

This cheesecake, as scrumptious as it may be, it is also heavy. So serve thin slices and you will enjoy it more.

Back in May 2010 (when no more than 20 people followed my blog), I shared a recipe for homemade dulce de leche and a recipe for chocolate-dulce de leche bars with shortbread crust and Fleur de Sel that to this day is among my favorite sweet treats.
I used homemade dulce de leche for the cheesecake but if you don’t have the time or don’t want to bother making your own you can use ready-made. Bonne Mamman is my favorite because it’s not overly sweet.

David Lebovitz, whose recipe I slightly adapted here, adds also a dulce de leche glaze on top. The cheesecake in my opinion has enough sweetness and it doesn’t need it, but if you feel like adding it, head on over to his site to see the recipe.

Keep in mind that after baking and cooling the cheesecake, it needs to go in the fridge for several hours (ideally overnight), so if you want to serve it at a party/gathering then you need to bake it the day before.

Yield: 12-14 pieces (thin slices)


for the base
185 g digestive biscuits
85 g unsalted butter, melted
20 g caster sugar
⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

for the filling
905 g cream cheese, full-fat, at room temperature
150 g caster sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
280 g dulce de leche (homemade or store-bought), at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
A big pinch of salt

A little unsalted butter for greasing the pan

Special equipment: 23 cm springform pan, aluminum foil, rimmed baking sheet, food processor (optional), stand mixer (or hand held mixer)

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Butter the bottom and the sides of the springfrom pan. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the springform pan on top. This will ensure that while baking, no fat will drip to the bottom of your oven and it will be easier to move around the pan.

for the base
Make crumbs out of the digestive biscuits by pulsing them in a food processor or by putting them inside a plastic bag that you can seal, and pounding them with a rolling pin. That’s easier and it saves you from washing up the food processor.

Place the crumbs into a medium-sized bowl and add the melted butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt and mix well with a spoon until all the crumbs are moistened by the butter. Add the crumbs to the springform pan and press them evenly on the bottom and 1/3 up the side of the pan. You can dampen your hands with some water if you’re having trouble making your crumbs stick. Also, you can use a tamper or a flat-bottomed glass to help pack the crumbs tightly.

Bake the base on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until it has taken on a light-brown color. Remove from the oven.

for the filling
In the bowl of the stand mixer (or in a large bowl) add the cream cheese and sugar and using the paddle attachment (or a hand-held mixer), beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula before each addition, and then add the dulce de leche, vanilla and salt. Beat to incorporate and then empty the mixture in the springform pan.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 1 hour, until the mixture is just set in the center. If you gently shake the pan, the outer area of the cheesecake should not move and the center should barely jiggle.

Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Using a thin knife, gently run it around the edge of the cheesecake to release it from the sides (this will help prevent cracking while cooling). Let the cheesecake cool completely (for at least 2 hours) and then remove the outer ring of the pan carefully. Theoretically, you could serve the cheesecake at this point if you want, however, cheesecakes should be eaten cold and firm from the fridge. Their flavor and texture is better when eaten cold. So, once the cheesecake has cooled completely, cover it loosely with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 5 hours (or, ideally, overnight) to properly chill and to firm up.

Serve chilled and enjoy!

You can keep the cheesecake in the fridge, covered lightly with plastic wrap, for 4-5 days.


  1. Congratulations Magda...well deserved recognition!

  2. Congrats on the awards! I've just found your blog, but I am already impressed. This cheesecake also sounds divine! I love making cheesecake as well, but I'm still trying to figure out how to stop it from cracking on top. So annoying haha.

    Justine from

  3. well done magda and congrats! your cheese cakes looks scrumptious! Lara

  4. Magda! I'm so excited for you - two huge awards and a piece in The Guardian! Amazing and so well-deserved. Way to go.
    Huge hugs from California!

  5. Thank you all so much, lovelies! xoxo