I did read Alton's method thoroughly, and if I had made his cheesecake exactly I would have used his method exactly, because I didn't think it sounded that hard, but I didn't. I used, part of his method, the Cuisinart method and the Splenda recipe. I mixed the cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, eggs and flour in my food processor one ingredient at a time and it made this really smooth batter, oh, it looked so yummy. Then I put all that into a bowl and hand mixed the milk in and then I did my usual and didn't read all the directions so I just mixed in the dulce de leche to the whole batter. It still turned out really well; instead of swirls of dulce de leche, the whole thing has the caramel-y flavor. The cheesecake is smooth and delicious, with no cracks in it.
Things I think I did to avoid a crack: water bath and after it was done baking I turned off the oven, loosened the cheesecake from the sides of the springform pan and then left it in the oven with the door open until it was completely cooled.