Cheesecake Dakarois

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Cheesecake has long been one of the hardest recipes to make in Dakar. Even if you know how to find that one shop downtown that sells Philadelpha cream cheese, you need to take out a loan to buy enough to make a decent dessert.

But this recipe uses ingredients available at your corner buutik. How crazy is that? It’s not only crazy, it’s really good! There were four us eating it and we all agreed it was pretty awesome. It has a nice texture that falls between the super creamy recipes and the thick, crumblier kinds.

Petit Beurre crust (recipe below)
1 kilo strained lait caillé
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Pour 1 kg of plain, non-sucré lait caillé into a cheesecloth and let drain until very firm, like thick sour cream. This will take several hours and can be done in the fridge overnight. Ardo brand lait caillé is my favorite since it’s fairly thick already and has a nice, rich taste. If you don’t have a cheesecloth, you can use a clean piece of muslin.

In a blender or food processor, combine the eggs, sugar, strained lait caillé, vanilla and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into crust and bake for 35 minutes at 350°.

When the cheesecake is done, it will still a little wiggly in the center but the top will look firm. Make sure you don’t overbake.

Let cool, then chill for two to three hours in the fridge before serving.

Petit Beurre Crust

1 package petit beurre cookies (available at any grocery store and most buutiks)
3 tsp milk
3 tsp melted butter

Crush the cookies into very fine crumbles. You can use a food processor, stick blender, mortar and pestle, Ziploc and can of beans… Whatever it take to get fine crumbs.

Add milk and butter, stirring well to mix. The mixture should begin to clump. If not, add just a little more butter and milk. Pour now-sticky crumbs into a pie plate and smush down very firmly with your hands or a sheet of wax paper. You don’t need to pre-bake the crust. Just pour the filling straight in.

12 comments

  1. Hello there just wanted to ask If you ever tried http://www.hellofood.sn .I myself tried it and it’s great ,easy and convenient. I wanted to send an e-mail with my review of all this hellofood expereince but I did not see the option.
    And Polly lait caille is sour cream basically

    • I would say that to most people, lait caillé more closely resembles plain yogurt than sour cream. But if you strain it (cheesecloth, coffee filter…) for a couple hours, then it becomes like sour cream and eventually like cream cheese. I love it! And Ardo brand is definitely the best.

    • Hi , I maintain sour cream is lait caille this is how sour cream is made quote: “Sour cream is a dairy product obtained by fermenting a regular cream by certain kinds of lactic acid bacteria. The bacterial culture, which is introduced either deliberately or naturally, sours and thickens the cream. Its name stems from the production of lactic acid by bacterial fermentation, which is called souring.” In Senegal there are 2 kinds of sour cream/lait caille the first one comes directly from cow milk from milking the cow and you just let it stay for hours (let if ferment) and it becomes lait caille called “soow piir” meaning “pure” nothing added to it and there’s the other kind that you can make yourself from powder milk mixed with cold water first and then hot water then add some sour cream or any unsweetened yogurt and cover it and put it in a very warm place usually I use the oven or the closet and let it stay there overnight and it becomes another kind of sour cream like these brands ardo.jaboot, niiw,etc… When I was in the U.S we had to use substitute to things we couldn’t find and we used to substitute sour cream to lait caille or spinach with green bissap etc… Hope this was helpful.

  2. I agree that the process for producing them is similar, and often they can be used as substitutes. (Like in this recipe.) But I think when Americans are looking for sour cream, lait caillé is often too thin. I strain mine to let the sour whey run off and what’s left is a closer relative to American sour cream.

    But in the end… all delicious dairy that I love!

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