Monday, January 18, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

It doesn't get much better then a creamy cheesecake
with chocolate on top, that is, until you add pumpkin to the mix. This is great for something different on thanksgiving or really anytime you want to impress. The key to a smooth and creamy cheesecake is to have all of your ingredients at room temperature, especially the cream cheese. It is important to also remember to scrap the sides of your bowl often as cream cheese will stick to the side and not be incorporated. There really isn't much to making cheesecake, it's quite easy to make. I promise!

What you need:
2 cups grahm cracker crumbs
1 stick of butter, melted
2 tbs sugar

3 (8oz) packages of cream cheese at room temp
1 c sugar
1 tsp vaniila
1 (15oz) can (approx 2 cups) pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 1/2 oz of milk (2% works fine)
5 oz of your favorite chocolate or just plain chocolate chips works too.

What you do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs together with the stick of melted butter and the 2 tbs of sugar. Using the bottom of a flat measuring cup or glass, press the mixture into the bottom and 2/3 up the sides of a 9 incn spring form pan. Place in the oven and back for 10 mins just to set the graham crackers. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the filling.
The best way to make cheesecake is with the whip attachment to a stand mixer, but a good hand mixer and a large bowl works just fine. Blend together the sugar and cream cheese on high speed until nice and smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl. Blend in the pumpkin and vanilla. Scrap down the sides of the bowl again. On medium speed, mix the eggs in, one at a time until incorporated. Once they are all in, scrap down the sides of the bowl and add in the spices. Scrap down the sides of the bowl one last time and give it one last mix. Pour into the cooled crust. Place a pan of very hot tap water on the bottom most rack of your oven. Then place your cheesecake on the middle rack of your oven and let bake at 350 degree for at least an hour. Your cheesecake is set when it is no longer giggly in the middle and a toothpick comes out clean.
Don't worry if the top cracks. They will be covered with the chocolate. Let cool for an hour before making the ganache for the top.
To make the topping, finely chop the 5oz of chocolate and place in a bowl. Heat the milk in a small sauce pan just until it simmers. Pour the milk on top of the chocolate and let sit for a few minutes. Whisk the chocolate until it's all melted and smooth. Pour on top of the cooled cheesecake and place in the refrigerator. The chocolate will set and give a nice rich topping to the cheese cake. Make sure you keep it in the refrigerator. It's also a good idea to let the cheesecake sit overnight before eating but I don't know of very many people who could do that!

H A P P Y  C O O K I N G !!

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