The best  and worst part of time is that it changes. So while we sulk over a bad day or a bad hour, it passes over to bring in sunnier days. But this transition is not magic. What comes to the rescue are memories of happier times, memories of craziness. And its a happy memory of an amazing trip, which saved my baking disaster.

I was a bit disturbed over certain matters, I had been blaming myself for things I had not done over the past few years and all that jazz. Kind of a philosophical low down with oneself. I decided to divert my mind, and get to baking. But as 'WillieWonka once said, that his Candies did not taste good, when he did not feel good. I am no Willie Wonka,but its the same case for me. The disturbed mind, resulted in a slightly over baked Cheese Cake. We had just shifted to our new home. And I was so used to slow baking power of the oven in our old apartment,that I did not pay heed to the fact that the new oven in the new home should be more powerful . I might need to adjust baking times or how much I was pre-heating. Big Mistake !!

This was a Cheese Cake I had been planning for days. Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. It just spells decadence all the way. And Cream Cheese. and Graham Crackers. You cannot go wrong with that, can you ?! It seemed I had.

 I wanted to trash the entire Cheese Cake, once I came face to face with the cracks. I was so disgusted with myself. But then better sense prevailed. I decided to let the Cheese Cake cool over night, after I had taken it out of the Spring form pan. Maybe sleeping over it, would help me think better. 

That's exactly what happened. I woke up with memories of a trip to New Mexico. We had visited a small Chocolate Shop in Santa Fe. Kakawa Chocolate House. The lady who owned it, was surely 'Willie Wonka,' in Flesh and Blood for me. The flavors she had  paired with chocolate were just divine. It should be on the must visit list for every Chocolate lover. While we had been on a tasting spree, what really had stayed with us, were the Ancho Chili Chocolates. I had never tasted Chili and Chocolate together, and it was just divine.

So why not whip up a batch of Chocolate Chili Butter cream , to frost the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. A southwestern touch which would not clash with the south of the border Dulce de Leche taste. The morning did not seem bad at all. What an inspiration !! The benefits of taking a crazy number of holidays a year !!

Mindy, my Cake Decorating Teacher would probably frown at the fact, that I had decided to give Shortening a complete Miss. I was playing to the heart, so butter it was all the way. Since it was not an elaborate decoration, but simple swirls, I was assuring myself that probably we could sail through. A hint of Cinnamon. A pinch of Salt. A smidgen of Cayenne Pepper. Yes, you heard that right. Cayenne has this extra warmth,which I prefer, among chilies. And loads of confectioner's sugar. Whizz went the hand mixer and in no time, I had frosted the center of the cake. Not a bad camouflage to the cracks below it. In my mind, I was breathing a sigh of relief, that I had not trashed the Cheese Cake and given another chance. 

The best part, was how well it all tasted together. I had been sure that Cheese Cake would be completely dry as I had over baked it. But it was surprisingly moist. The frosting just nailed it big time. One bite and I knew I had to make it again very soon. This time, I would surely adjust the baking time.


Cake recipe courtesy:  Huffington Post

Ingredients : 
Graham Cracker Crumbs: 1 1/4 cup
Brown Sugar: 1/4 cup
Dulce de Leche: 1/4 to 1/2  can

Cream Cheese: Softened: 2 pkgs
Dulce de Leche: 1 can
Eggs: 4
Flour: 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract: 1 tbsp
Salt : A pinch

Butter: 2 sticks: room temperature
Powdered sugar: 2 1/2 cups
Semi sweet Chocolate chips: 3 oz
Cayenne Pepper: 1 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon: 1 tsp
Salt: A pinch

Springform pan: 9 inch
Wilton Tip number 16
Piping Bags


Pre-heat oven to 300 F .

Crush the Graham Crackers by putting them in a zip lock bag, and sealing them. Then run a rolling pin over the sealed bag, till all the crackers are crushed. Mix Graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and molten butter in a large bowl.

Grease a 9 inch spring form pan, and lay out the graham cracker mixture. Ensure that its a uniform flat layer by pressing it all down.

Open your can of Dulce de Leche.

Pour out a quarter of a cup of the Dulce de Leche over your layer of Graham cracker crumbs. Smooth it out carefully with a spatula.

Whisk the room temperature Cream Cheese till it is fluffy. 

Add in the rest of the Dulce de Lechhe, and mix well.

Add in the eggs one by one, vanilla and the flour.

Do not over mix. Pour it out carefully over the crust.

Bake in a pre-heated oven upto 40 mins(or upto 1 hour). Cake will be a bit soft and jiggly in the middle. Over baking might lead to cracks. Adjust the baking time, according to the power of your oven. While the recipe had called for baking the cake for 1 hour, it had led to cracks in my cake. So I lowered the baking time, the next time around.

Let the cake cool down overnight or for a couple of hours.

Run a spatula around to loosen the cake from the sides of the spring form pan,

While the cake cools down, prepare the Frosting.

Mix in the Frosting ingredients, and mix well till fluffy and smooth. ensure that its Medium Consistency.

Attach Wilton Tip 16 with a  coupler to a disposable piping bag.

Fill it in with the prepared Buttercream Frosting

Hold the bag at 90 degree angle.

Form a star, and without releasing pressure, raise tip slightly as you form a tight circle over the star in a tight complete rotation. Pull tip away, continuing the circular motion of the rosette.  

Bon Appetit !!!