Wheatmeal crackers (sometimes called digestive biscuits) have a flavor similar to graham crackers. For this particular recipe, we prefer Carr’s brand wheatmeal crackers, which are available at supermarkets and labeled as “whole wheat crackers.” (Don’t use Carr’s Wheatolos, which are a bit too sweet.)
Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 9 3/4 hr (includes chilling)
Makes 64 (1-inch) petits fours.
- for crust
- 3 1/2oz wheatmeal crackers (sometimes called digestive biscuits), crumbled (1cup)
- 2tablespoons sugar
- 3tablespoons unsalted butter, meltedfor filling
- 1teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope)
- 1/4cup whole milk
- 8oz cream cheese, softened
- 2large eggs
- 3/8teaspoon salt
- 1cup dulce de leche (12 1/2 oz) for glaze
- 3oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
- 1/2stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2teaspoons light corn syrup
DIRECTIONS Make crust:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with 2 sheets of foil (crisscrossed), leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
Finely grind crackers with sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor. With motor running, add butter, blending until combined. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of baking pan. Bake 10 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.
Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 2 minutes to soften.
Beat together cream cheese, eggs, salt, and gelatin mixture in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes, then stir in dulce de leche gently but thoroughly. Pour filling over crust, smoothing top, then bake in a hot water bath in oven until center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours.
Glaze cake within 2 hours of serving:
Heat all glaze ingredients in a double boiler or a small metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth, then pour over cheesecake, tilting baking pan to coat top evenly. Chill, uncovered, 30 minutes.
Lift cheesecake from pan using foil overhang and cut into 1-inch squares with a thin knife, wiping off knife after each cut.
Cheesecake (without glaze) can be chilled up to 3 days.
*Available at specialty foods shops and Cooking.com.