Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 2nd August 2013

Mini cakes are the perfect way to wow your guests and because they can be made ahead of time they’re perfect for entertaining. I turn to these types of desserts more often than not because I don’t want to have too many things on my plate the day of. Too often we over complicate things and instead of spending time with our guests we’re stuck in the kitchen getting everything prepared.

Cropped and close up photo of Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with layer of Caramel Mousse on white cake stand.

Serving any type of cheesecake is perfect because cheesecakes should chill for two days for best flavouring and texture. Cheesecake is a crowd pleaser too. If you haven’t noticed already most restaurants have some type of cheesecake on the menu.

Close up photo of a Mini Dulce de Leche Cheesecake topped with swirl of whipped cream drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with Hazelnut Praline displayed on parchment square.

Adding a layer of mousse makes these cakes extra special. The cheesecake is dense and velvety where the mousse is light and airy. I took my caramel a little bit further this time to offset the sweetness of the dulce de leche. The wafer crust provides a textural contrast but I also wanted to add a nutty, crunchy element so I’ve garnished the cakes with hazelnut praline.

Photo of Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Caramel Mousse displayed on white cake stand.

I’ve been meaning to make homemade dulce de leche (it’s suppose to be out of this world delicious) but sadly I cheated again and used sweetened condensed milk. Dulce de leche is basically a milk jam.

Photo of three Mini Dulce de Leche Cheesecakes displayed in a row, one behind the other, on parchment squares and displayed on rectangle shaped black tile.

The preparation is a simple one with only a few ingredients, whole milk, sugar, vanilla and bicarbonate of soda but the preparation is time consuming, the mixture must cook at barely a simmer on low heat for about two hours until a sticky toffee sauce consistency is reached.

Photo of Dulce de Leche Cheesecake on white cake stand displayed with cake knife.

When I first started researching its origins I came across an interesting story about its creation, apparently it was a mistake gone good. It’s believed to be created by a maid in 1829 in Cañuelas, Buenos Aires where two opposing leaders, Governor Juan Manuel de Rosas and General Juan Lavalle, were meeting to sign a peace treaty.

Photo of two Caramel Mousse mini cakes displayed on double stack white dessert dishes.

Governor Manuel de Rosas was absent from the camp when Governor Lavalle arrived. Governor Lavalle was very tired from his long journey so he decided to take a nap and since Governor Manuel de Rosas was absent from the camp he decided to take his nap in his tent.

Grace's Sweet Life Dulce de Leche Cheesecakes with Caramel Mousse

While General Lavalle was napping the maid was preparing “la lechada” for the camp. La lechada is prepared by heating milk and sugar (my mother used to make this for me as a child when I had difficulty falling asleep, I still enjoy it occasionally). The maid went to speak with Governor Manuel de Rosas but when she entered the tent she discovered the enemy.

Photo of Dulce de Leche Cheesecake and Mini Cheesecakes displayed on multi coloured cupcake stands.

She was unaware of the treaty that the two men were about to make, so she ran to alert the soldiers. Governor Manuel de Rosas returned to the camp minutes before the soldiers arrived and stopped them from storming the tent and waking his guest. In the chaos, the maid forgot all about la lechada and by the time she remembered, the milk and sugar mixture was transformed into a thick, dark brown sticky mixture, dulce de leche.

Close up photo of Caramel Mousse and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Cake displayed on ruffled edge white cake stand.

I enjoy reading the stories. When I’m reading about the origins of different Italians desserts and pastries it’s not uncommon to find differing opinions and you’re left wondering which story is true. Some are so exaggerated it leaves you wondering if any of them are true but it makes for wonderful reading. I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in between.

Close up photo taken looking down on a Mini Dulce de Leche Cheesecake on small yellow cake stand.

Don’t be surprised to see an updated version of this recipe in the future because one of these days I am going to get around to making homemade dulce de leche and like everything else that’s homemade it’s going to taste so much better, using the simple option will no longer be an option.

Close up cropped photo of Dulce de Leche Cheesecake decorated with swirls of whipped cream and garnished with Hazelnut Praline.

Happy Weekend!

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci al Cucchiaio, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Mini Desserts, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Spoon Desserts, Torte

Comments (15)

15 Responses to “Caramel Mousse and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Mini Cakes”

  1. Vilma Cipriani Ramsey Says:

    OMG, I can’t wait to try this. Looks yummy!!!

  2. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Thank you Vilma, please let me know what you think.

  3. Hannah Says:

    Can you freeze these? E.g. Make ahead of time apart from the garnish & freeze?

  4. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Hannah, I didn’t freeze these particular cheesecakes but I’ve stored others that are very similar and the texture of the mousse has never been compromised, but please, very important, strain the mousse through a fine mesh sieve because I find it provides a really smooth creamy mousse, the same for the cheesecake filling. Please let me know what you think.

  5. Lucy Says:

    Wow,this looks so decadent and delicious!

  6. Donald @ Tea Time Says:

    Perfect cakes, just fit to my mini plates.

  7. Dulce de Leche Cheesecake and Caramel Mousse | Oh So Yummy Says:

    […] Dulce de Leche Cheesecake and Caramel Mousse […]

  8. Kumar's Kitchen Says:

    OMG! Dulce de leche, this very thing makes us crave it…and in this scrumptious cheesecake with a caramel mousse…we are drooling over these clicks and wishing we could make them today :-)

  9. Cheryl S. Says:

    I made this for after church service coffee. Everyone loved it, no, I mean, LOVED IT! Within less than 5 minutes all that was left were the crumbs!
    I managed to cut myself a tiny sliver to taste and, it was, absolutely, delicious!
    Thanks for sharing your great recipes with us. You are very talented and, very generous.

  10. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Very welcome Cheryl, so very happy everyone enjoyed!

  11. Dina Says:

    it looks amazing!

  12. Catherine Says:

    Hello! This looks divine!
    I’d like to do this cake for my brother who will be turning 16 this May. I’m wondering if I could just do one big cake ? It seems to me that it will be easier. Do I have to change the measurements of the ingredients and do things differently for only one big cake ?

  13. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Catherine, you can absolutely make one big cake. You’ll need to adjust the baking time, I would use a 23-cm (9-inch) baking tin and bake the cheesecake at 160 C (325 F) for about 1 hour 15 minutes. I recommend checking the cake at the 55 minute mark (ovens vary), it should be set around the edges but it should jiggle slightly in the centre when the pan is gently shaken (it will continue to set as it cools). I hope you enjoy!

  14. Kalpana Says:

    I stumbled upon your recipe when I was looking for a caramel themed cake and I fell in love with the pictures so much I immediately decided this is the next cake I am making.
    I just have one question. As I will be decorating the cake differently – how stiff is the mousse? Would it hold something of a size and weight of chocolate chip cookies on top? Thanks!

  15. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Kalpana, so very sorry for my late reply, I haven’t been updating the site since my mom suffered her stroke. I think the mousse will be stiff enough to hold the cookies if you place the mousse in a piping bag and then chill it in the fridge for maybe about 20 minutes.

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