Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars…oh my!
Pinterest is a very dangerous place. Especially when you’re hungry. I’m always drawn to the most decadent looking non-paleo but ridiculously beautiful desserts. A few weeks back I stumbled onto Smitten Kitchens Dulce de leche cheesecake bars and I haven’t been able to get them out of my mind since. Caramel, cheesecake and chocolate..oh my! Her recipe is full of stuff I don’t eat (refined sugar, milk, cream cheese and corn syrup-gasp!), but I figured that where there’s a will (or a craving) there must be a way.
For those of you who don’t know what dulce de leche sauce is, let me just enlighten you. It is creamy, milky caramely bliss. I had it for the first time when I was in 8th grade and on a camping trip. Some family friends made it by boiling a can of Eagle Brand sweetend condensed milk in a pan of water over the campfire for 45 minutes until it turned into carmel. That by itself was beyond delicious, but then we added chopped up Snickers bars into it. Yeah, I know. Dessert at it’s dirtiest.
For my ‘not-so-dirty’ but still-very sexy dessert, I first needed to make a graham cracker crust. My Paleo Indulgences cookbook has a graham cracker recipe, but it calls for a lot of tapioca and arrowroot starch. I don’t want all that starchy stuff in such large quantities. I also looked at a recipe by The Paleo Mom but it called for cream of tartar (which I don’t have), and there was also mention of a lot of rolling and chilling of the dough. We all know I’m too lazy for that. So this is what I came up with:
The Graham Cracker Crust Layer
This crust turned out fantastic! I will definitely use this again in other recipes. I think it could make really tasty crackers/cookies, too. I would probably double this to make a nice 9″ pie crust.
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon almond flour
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
How you do it
- Preheat your oven to 175 C (350 F).
- Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk all of your wet ingredients together in a small mixing bowl.
- Now add your wet into your dry and stir until well combined.
- Pat your dough into a well greased baking dish (I used an 8″x8″) with your fingers and prick with a fork.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then remove to cool completely.
Smelled so good
The Dulce de Leche Sauce (make first or make ahead)
This had to cook a long time, but it was so worth it! I can see using this in many other recipes. It would be great drizzled over vanilla paleo ice cream or a baked apple. You could store it in the fridge for at least a week.
- 500 ml (14 oz) coconut milk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
In sauce pan, combine coconut milk and honey. Warm mixture over medium-low heat until mix begins to bubble. Continue to cook over low heat, mixing continuously until sauce is reduced to ½ , is slightly golden and is the consistency of a light syrup. This actually took forever. I cooked it down for 1 1/2 hours to get a thick creamy sauce. Cool to room temperature and pour over your graham cracker crust. And, yes. You can lick the sauce pan. Put this in your freezer while you make the cheesecake layer.
Worth the wait
The Cheesecake Layer
The vegan community makes cheese out of cashews, so after snooping around a few vegan sites, this is what I settled on:
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoons lemon juice (this was juice from one lemon)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
Easy- peasy. Put it all in your food processor and mix for about 5 minutes until it’s thick and creamy. Get what you have so far from the freezer and spread your “cheesecake” over it. Return to the freezer and go make the final layer of chocolate. No cheese, but it really does taste like cheesecake!
And there you have it
The Chocolate Ganache Layer
- 150 grams (about 1 cup)of dark chocolate, I used 70%
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
Heat together over low heat until chocolate is melted. Pour over the top of your cheesecake and return to the freezer or refrigerator for 2 hours before cutting into squares.
These turned out delicious (even better the next day). Craving satisfied :-). Now I want to make some thin mint chocolate cookies…..
I shared this over at Gluten Free Monday
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