I love the challenge of coming up with new recipes using seasonal ingredients. This recipe is part of the Thanksgiving Communal Table challenge with some food blogger friends. I gather so much inspiration from my fellow food blogging colleagues, and I give thanks for them. Hoping you enjoy this recipe Cheesecake with Chocolate Swirls as much as we all did at our virtual Thanksgiving table.
I am going to share a secret with you all. I am kind of in denial about the holidays this year. So much so, that I feel like I may wake up and it will all be over. We had hoped to entertain at our new house, for at least Thanksgiving but, with last-minute work projects filling up the remaining of 2012, we have decided not to. The next best thing came up, an invite from very dear friends, friends who are like family. We were just talking today about how excited we are to be spending the day with them. Not only will the food be wonderful but the warmth of love with be welcomed with open arms.
Since we will be bringing an appetizer and a side dish to dinner next week, I decided to share this pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate swirls at the Thanksgiving Communal Table. The logical thing would have been to share with you, what I am bringing to dinner, but I have been fighting with a mad craving for cheesecake recently. I have a feeling it is because of my Pinterest addiction and all the time I have spent drooling all over the amazing cheesecakes being posted.
I normally bake cheesecake bars with a gingersnap crust and maple swirls, which is heavenly. This time I wanted to add chocolate, deep-dark, bittersweet chocolate. While I was at it, I changed the crust and made a simple vanilla bean paste cookie crust – it was luscious. I was a bit pressed on time so instead of using homemade pumpkin puree, I did use canned. I was able to find an organic and unseasoned pumpkin puree which worked perfectly with this recipe, and I am happy to use it again when in a pinch. The cheesecake bars turned out perfectly. The mild sweetness of the pumpkin mixed perfectly with dark chocolate. So perfectly, it was almost a sin to be enjoying them on a Tuesday. I am almost certain if you serve these during Thanksgiving you will have a happy table full of eaters.
- Crust ** inspired by Saveur
- 1 cup ap flour
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk. beaten
- 20 ounces of whole fat (delicious) cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350.
Make the crust:
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
Line bottom and two of the sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang on two sides.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the bottom and sides of the pan with the melted butter.
In a food processor, you will make the crust by adding the dry ingredients. Pulse.
With the food processor running, add a cube of butter at a time until crumbly.
Add the vanilla bean paste. Pulse.
With the processor running add the beaten egg and mix until it comes together; about 2 minutes.
Press onto the bottom of the buttered baking pan.
Place in the fridge for at least an hour.
Make the filling:
In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, salt, flour, and sugar. Mix until combined; about 3 - 5 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract.
Place 3/4 of the mixture into a small mixing bowl and set aside.
Add the pumpkin puree to the remaining batter in the mixing bowl. Mix until combined, about 1 minute.
Do not over mix or the cheesecake will crack.
Melt the chocolate and let cool for 2 minutes.
Mix the chocolate with the plain cheesecake mixture, that is in the separate mixing bowl.
Assembling and Baking:
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the baking pan.
Place dollops of the chocolate mixture over the top of the pumpkin mixture.
Using a toothpick or knife tip, make swirls.
Bake until the cheesecake is set, about 45 minutes. It will jiggle slightly when gently shaken.
Cool in the pan at room temperature.
Then chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, in the same pan.
With a sharp knife, cut into squares.